Taking care of a child can be draining physically, emotionally, and mentally. It is challenging for working parents to find the time and energy for their children, aside from the weekends, and nights after work. With no one to watch their children during the days, having a caregiver at home is becoming the norm. These caregivers are godsends to parents as they take care of all the child’s needs. However, according to our Family Expert, Dr. Maribel Sison Dionisio, a child’s development and relationship with his parents can be greatly affected by the presence of a caregiver.
Physical needs like eating, clothing, and bathing can all be provided by the caregiver. As the child grows old, caregivers change their roles to guides in doing these activities. Doing everything for the child will make him spoiled and overly dependent. If the caregiver succeeds in supervising, the child can learn to become more independent. This is where the caregiver’s job ends. Emotional care and support should come from the parents. They should not be replaced by the caregiver in giving attention and encouragement to their children. It is their responsibility to play and talk with, and console their child.
If parents want to stay on top of things when it comes to their child’s care, Dr. Dionisio suggests that parents give a lesson plan to their caregivers. This will inform them on how to go about taking care of their child, so that they grow up to become caring, confident, and responsible. Scheduling all the activities from play time, nap time, study time, and the like should also come from the parents. This allows them to keep track of everything their child is doing.
“The parent-child relationship becomes strong when papa and mama play an active role in parenting the child and not delegating everything to the caregiver,” says Dr. Dionisio. Giving all your responsibilities to the caregiver will leave your child feeling sadness, and worse, abandonment. A weekly date, plus 3-5 times a week of chatting with your child is enough to assure them that you love and care for them.
Although your child can form a bond with the caregiver, do not allow this to become too strong that they begin to set you aside. Caregivers are only assistants in taking care of your child. They help take a lot of the load off your back, the rest is up to you. Don’t let your work come in between your relationship with your child.
Ma. Isabel Dionisio, Family Specialist