The pros and cons of hiring domestic helpers


Pros and cons of having a domestic helper

In recent years, it is common to find a domestic helper in many Hong Kong families.  While having a domestic helper seems to have lessened the burden of many parents, there are also many who sing a different tune and think that housemaids are troublemakers who cause annoying trouble to their family.  Why is employing domestic helpers a prevalent trend in Hong Kong?  Are they making any contribution or to our society or bringing us more drawbacks?

Numerous reasons can account for the popularity of hiring maids, of which the most concerned one is that they can help take care of children.  In the 21st century, modern parents tend to break down the gender stereotype.  Women will be less willing to stay at home to look after their kids. Despite that, women go to work to earn money. Dual-career family thus becomes a common trend in Hong Kong. According to the law, parents cannot leave their children who are younger than 16 years old alone at home or else they might face prosecution.  For the sake of their children’s safety, parents then will mostly hire a domestic helper to look after their kids.  With the helper’s supervision, children can be more self-disciplined and stay away from danger, for example, climbing out the window.  To make sure that their kids are safe, parents will be more than happy to spend a fortune on hiring a domestic helper.

Moreover, a housemaid not only can help keep an eye on children, they can also do housework. Nowadays, the working hours of Hong Kong people keep on increasing. The time for them to do house chores is very little. Besides, people like to rest when they get home from work. Thus, employing a domestic helper can let them have a more comfortable life, because the chores have already been done by a domestic helper.

However, employing domestic helpers may also bring harm to the family. Domestic helpers’ job is to take care of their employees’ kids and do housework. Children will only rely on the maid’s help, not having any need or chance to learn by themselves. For example, some children still do not know how to tie their shoelaces when they grow up.  It shows that over-reliance on domestic helpers will lower Hong Kong’s children self-care ability, leading to the phenomenon of ‘Kong Kids’.

With the above in mind, having a domestic helper can exert both positive and negative impacts on parents and children. Therefore, it is important that parents should think twice before deciding whether to employ a domestic helper.