While we were homeschooling this morning, a bird all of a sudden flew into the room. While Janina and Ryan squealed in delight at the sight of the bird, I started to freak out and called the helpers to catch it. I guess Joaquin picked up on my reaction and was acting nervously. So I tried my best to remain calm while frozen in one corner waiting for the bird to be caught because I didn’t want to pass on my fear to him. It was quite a funny sight as two of our helpers ran to and fro with their towels desperately trying to trap the frightened bird. After a few minutes, the chase was over. And the bird was caught.
I saw Joaquin curiously watching from the background and I knew he wanted to hold the bird but was unsure. The older one of our helpers then said “Takot si Joaquin sa ibon.” (Joaquin is afraid of the bird.) She didn’t say it just once, but twice or thrice. That’s when I told her to stop and explained to her that saying things like that does not do anything good for the child. I was glad she understood me right away and she started to tell Joaquin “Kaya mo yan Joaquin!” (You can do it Joaquin!) After a few more coaxing from all of us, Joaquin finally held the bird. The helper saw for herself the result of positive encouragement.
As much as our helpers are a huge blessing to us, we need to recognize the bad habits they bring with them into our homes. Because they live with us, they have constant interaction with our kids and can therefore have some influence on them. They say things to our children that are commonly said where they come from like “May mumu dyan (there’s a ghost there) or hindi ka na love ni mama mo (your mom doesn’t love you anymore.) A lot of them don’t mean any harm, they just don’t know any better. It is part of our responsibility to educate them and make them better at their jobs.