Saturday, February 19, 2011

Changing Yayas

When yaya leaves a big big part of their world changes.  No matter how hands on you are they are still affected by it because this is their first experience of someone going away.   When Bear's yaya left her a few months ago it was difficult for her, until now I can see that she hasn't gone back to her old self.  In the sense that she is still very much afraid that her new yaya will disappear just like the old one did.  There is no one solution on how to go through this process, there are different ways to help them depending on their personality and age.  With Maxiebear's old yaya, she left when Bear was a year and four months old.  Maxine doesn't remember her anymore now, but we had the yaya leave as M1 was taking her nap.  The yaya purposely went into the nursery and made loud noises so M1 would wake up, she did, she cried and asked the yaya to carry her but the yaya did not.  I took her and carried her as her yaya went on packing her things.  It took her more than 2 hours to pack.  I think she did it on purpose so that I would see M1 asking for her, she was not happy that I asked her to leave.  click here for the full flashback.

Here are some options you can choose from when your yaya wants to leave to help your child in adjusting.

1.  If your baby is smaller you can just ask the yaya to leave when baby is asleep and baby will look for yaya for a few days but will understand soon enough that the yaya is gone.  Depending on the age, the younger they are the less days they will ask.

2.  For toddlers, its better to tell them ahead of time and explain to them in the simplest of words that their yaya is leaving.  No need for reasons, just tell them that yaya will go back to her home but Mommy is here to stay.

3.  Make sure you remove all pictures of the child with the yaya.  One time M1 saw her picture with the yaya in the background, only the uniform could be seen, and she was reminded yet again of her old yaya.

4.  If she asks, answer her with the same line.  Be consistent in telling her the same thing.

5.  Make sure yaya never comes back to show her face.  M1's old yaya left a few days and then started calling me and dropping by the house when she knew we wouldn't be home.  Good thing the maid didn't let her in.

6.  M1's other yaya was nice enough to show the new yaya the ropes.  She helped show the new yaya how M1 liked things done so the adjustment wouldn't be so hard.  The 2 yayas worked together for 1 day with M1, showing M1 that it was okay for new yaya to feed her and do things with her.  The next day the yaya just hid in the room and watched from there, she didn't show herself to M1 anymore and that was it.  The bonus I got with the new yaya was that she's my mom's maid and M1 already knew her, so the adjustment wasn't as hard.

7.  Be extra nice and prepare yourself for the tears.  Depending on the child's personality, but most kids I know below the age of 3 usually cry when a caretaker leaves them.  If you are potty training let that take a backseat to this new adjustment, wait a week or to and get back to it.

8.  Don't leave the toddler with the yaya if the yaya is a person she doesn't know yet.  With babies its easier to leave them with the new person because they don't have a choice and they will sleep and adjust faster, maybe in just 1 day.  But with toddlers you have to be more careful abt the trauma it might cause them.  Let the new person do something with your child that you don't usually let the child do.  With M1 it was playing in the sink.

Usually the adjustment takes around a week.  A week for the child to get acquainted to the new caretaker.  A week for the child to fully grasps that the yaya he/she had is not coming back.  But everything else, we can't tell how long it will all take for it to go back to before.  In the past Maxine had no problem playing by herself in her room when she woke up from her nap, now she always asks to see her yaya then she can play.

For everyone going through this difficult task, goodluck!  But don't stop letting someone go just because you're afraid of the adjustments your child will have to go through.  Just keep in mind that this will pass by before you know it and that kids are resilient and adaptable.  If your child is 4yo and above I would think you won't have the same problems with yayas as we new moms do.

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