Treatment of maids: Parents should set good example

Everyone, including foreign maids, has a right to dignity ("What are you teaching child by the way you treat maid?"; last Tuesday).

In the past, when having a maid was a rarity, most children would help with the household chores. More often than not, they grew up to become mature, independent adults who were more willing to serve than be served.

But children nowadays are a different breed. They expect their maids to do everything for them.

If left unchecked, their generation could turn out to be one with no experience of physical labour, expecting society to provide them with more than they are ready to contribute.

Parents should do more to teach their young the right values during their formative age. If respect, kindness and courtesy are not inculcated in children at home, it is unlikely they will have these values as adults.

Hence, parents should lead by example.

It is important for employers to demonstrate empathy when dealing with their maids, many of whom have incurred huge expenses to come here to work.

As they need to work for several years before they can save enough to give their families a better life, they have to endure hardship and cannot afford to antagonise their bosses, lest they be sent home.

There will always be complaints against employers due to various factors, which may not involve maid abuse. This can be attributed to maids being more educated and aware of their rights ("Dealing with a new generation of maids"; Tuesday).

Many complaints actually arise from miscommunication or a lack of communication.

Thus, it is imperative that employers do not take their maids for granted. Hopefully, this will lead to good employer-maid relationships.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

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