Yaya as Teachers
Good help are rare to find nowadays. And it’s even harder to find someone who will give the love and care you want for your child while you are away. If you already have a trusted one at home, we give you the basics on how to encourage your caregiver not just to be a yaya but also a teacher to your little one.
Start with a goal
Let yaya feel that this is not just a job but also a calling. Tell her that it means a lot to you if she could treat your child as her own so that it will be easier for her to adjust and understand your child’s needs. Set some goals together which include:
- Malinis sa pangangatawan
- Aktibo at hindi sakitin
- Ligtas sa kaniyang kapaligiran
- Masayahin, mapagmahal at magalang sa kapwa
Goal 1- Malinis sa pangangatawan at aktibong bata
To achieve this, you need to emphasize the importance of basic hygiene which includes bathing regularly, brushing the teeth after every meal, regular washing of hands, and cutting of nails (which most yayas forget). If you follow this on a regular basis, you will be sure that your child will stay healthy and active.
Goal 2-Ligtas sa kanyang kapaligiran
Adult supervision is important inside and outside the home. Start with watching over the child when using the stairs and coming in and out of rooms. When visiting the park or going to the mall, remind yaya about “Stranger Danger” and to not give any personal information to anyone who attempts to make conversations with her.
Goal 3- Masayahin, mapagmahal at magalang sa kapwa
Remind yaya that children mirror everything they hear, see and feel around them so it is important to mind their own manners. Start by greeting the people you meet Good morning! or saying magic words like Please, Thank You, Welcome, Excuse me and I’m sorry. Say po and opo as often as possible even when talking to younger people so that kids will also do the same.
So how can they teach children while you are away?
Play and learn
Yaya can start by introducing children’s songs in Filipino. Why? It’s something easier for yayas to remember and it’s time kids learn more Filipino words, don’t you think? Here are some songs they can use:
- Ako ay May Lobo
- Tong, Tong, Tong, Pakitong-Kitong
- Pen-pen De Sara Pen
- Leron Leron Sinta
- Tatlong Bibe
They may also use bible songs that children hear during the mass or songs from their all-time favorite movies including Frozen’s Let It Go, Moana’s How Far I’ll Go and Coco’s Remember Me. Singing songs together can create a bond between yaya and the child.
Introduce Filipino Games
Are you familiar with taguan, sawsaw suka and piko? How about tumbang preso and bato-bato pik? These are simple games that can boost child’s creativity and imagination while they are with yaya. The best part is that they are all for FREE instead of heading to the arcade or amusement parks which will definitely cost you more.
How about gadget time?
Don’t worry, not everything they see online is violent. It’s OK to give your child the gadget but with adult supervision and limited time only. The ideal screen time for young kids is only 30 minutes to an hour. Make sure to tell yaya that there are strict websites or apps to use only and to monitor what the child is doing online.
Explore the great outdoors
If you have a spacious garden, allow yaya to make a set-up outside the home. Build a tent, put a picnic mat and bring out some healthy snacks! Aside from a picnic, children can also read books, play toys and even hide and seek. If you live in a condominium, tell yaya to inform you first before going to the park or playground. Also make sure to put insect repellant before heading out.
What books can yaya read to the child?
Sometimes, yayas are hesitant to read because they are overwhelmed with the words inside the book. You may start by buying Adarna books that have both English and Filipino language that yaya can use.
How do I teach the child to eat healthier?
Picky-eaters are common during preschool years and it’s a challenging phase for the adults. You can start by cooking their meals in different ways (example for chicken, try chicken nuggets, roasted chicken, chicken lollipop, or chicken tinola). Also, hiding veggies can be a good idea! Veggie burger pattie is a favorite! If yaya has more time to prepare, try doing a bento box. Colorful baon will attract the kids, which will make them look forward to eating what’s inside their lunch boxes!
My alaga always throws tantrums. How do I deal?
First of all, if the child always acts up, try to find out where his emotions are coming from? Maybe the child is feeling sick or maybe he just misses Mom and Dad?
Give the child choices
Kids love being in control and giving them choices will lessen the chance of tantrums. Start with asking what they want to wear for school, what food they would like for their baon, or make negotiations like I will let you watch your favorite TV show if you finish eating your lunch.
Teach your child to label his feelings (and your feelings too!)
Practice empathy and make sure that you try to understand the child’s feelings. Say maybe you are angry because… or I know you are sad because…. Aside from the child’s feelings, let him know how you feel too. Say Yaya feels bad because….. Yaya did not like it when you threw your toys….
Being a yaya and teacher at the same time can be intimidating but with the right support from the parents and practice over time, yaya will be gain confidence and knowledge on how to properly educate and handle the child entrusted to her.