• Opening Time : 8:30 AM - 9:30 PM

Au pair and children

Au pair and child care

The au pair and your children. What do you have to know about the topic?

Read more about “Au Pair and children” here!

The au pair and your children – building a relationship

Right after arrival, the au pair will try to spend some time with your children. Ideally, the au pair will start slowly by playing games with your children, reading books to them and by helping you around the house. During these first days, hold back as parents and let the au pair spend some quality time with your children.

Let the au pair help your children get dressed or have the au pair prepare some snacks for them. Give your children some time and space to get used to the au pair and the new situation.

The au pair and your children: giving feedback

If both parents work, we recommend that you take one week off from work, until the  au pair  gets settled in. Watch to see if the au pair can motivate your children to play and if the au pair approaches the children without your help. See how the au pair acts around your children. Give the au pair feedback and make sure the au pair knows what is important to you regarding your children. Don’t forget to show your appreciation if you think the au pair has handled a difficult situation well.

Talk to the au pair

If there is something about the au pair’s approach that you don’t like or if you would like the au pair to handle certain situations differently, you have to speak up! Make sure you talk to your au pair when the children are not around. Your conversation should end with clear instructions so your au pair will know exactly what you want. This will also reassure your au pair.

It is not helpful if you are secretly upset with the au pair. Your au pair is still young and can’t possibly know exactly what you expect. Therefore, it is important for you and the au pair to be open and honest when talking to each other.

Child care and cultural differences

In some parts of the world, children are very confident, outspoken and maybe even spoiled, while in other parts of the world, children are more introverted and are expected to be quiet. So, it is possible that your au pair’s ideas about childcare might clash with your own.  

Also, your au pair might want to win your children’s sympathy by allowing them everything and avoiding any conflict with them. This is probably not the best way to help you with your children. Since your au pair is still young, it will probably be a big challenge for them to make both you and your children happy and fulfill everybody’s expectations. This is even more difficult if the au pair doesn’t speak your language well.  

Childcare advice for the au pair

We recommend that you give your  au pair  some useful advice right from the start. Talk to the au pair about your children’s personalities and explain how you think the au pair should treat them. Make sure your children know that the au pair will be in charge from now on when you are not at home.

Get everybody together and explain the new situation, so your children will know that they will have to respect the  new au pair . Also, make it very clear that there will be consequences if your children disobey the au pair. Explain to the au pair in front of your children when and for how long they are allowed to watch TV, play at the computer and how much candy they are allowed to eat.

Don’t let your children play you

Tell your au pair how to punish your children. If there has been a conflict between your children and the au pair, don’t get involved. Stand back and let the  au pair  handle the situation. It is important not to undermine the au pair’s authority.

If, for example, your au pair says they are not allowed to do something, don’t overrule the decision. As long as the au pair is responsible, you should allow the au pair the freedom to come up with new rules. Your children will profit from different influences.

You are a team, not competitors!

You are not the  au pair’s competition ! Sometimes parents act jealous when they see that their children like the au pair. Even if it might look as if your children like the au pair better than you, it is usually just a phase. The love your children have for you is unconditional and the trust they have in you is difficult to shake.

Don’t forget that you and  your au pair are a team , and try to keep your negative feelings in check. If your children feel left alone by you as parents, try to organize special trips so you will spend more time together, or maintain important rituals such as tucking them in at night.

On the other hand, if your  children and the au pair get off to a rough start, this will pass. In a couple of weeks they will probably get along wonderfully, so don’t worry and give your children time to get used to the au pair.