FAQs - Au Pair for my family

I’m unhappy with my au pair – what should I do?

Problems will crop up.

There may be times when your au pair’s way of doing things frustrates you and tries your patience. She may not want to eat the food that you serve, she might have her stash in your already overloaded fridge.

Did she perhaps chip one of your favourite dishes, or load dark clothes with the whites in the washing machine, or use the last slice of bread without telling you until it was time to make the lunches?
Handle the immediate fall out from the problem first and then set a time a place with your au pair to discuss the situation in depth. Try not to lose your cool or raise your voice!!!!!

It is very important to find the time to have a regular chat with your au pair (we suggest weekly) about how things are going. This should be done at a time when interruptions are minimal. Ask her about the previous week and anything she would like advice on or help with. Solve problems together, and talk about the upcoming week. If everything is going well, remember to say “thank you” and “well done” which will be greatly appreciated by your au pair.

Here are some suggestions for you and your family:

  • Are you tending to your au pair’s needs adequately?
  • Do you try to include foods she likes in the family meals?
  • Do you take her places, find time to talk and are you being considerate of her as an individual?
  • Do you encourage participation in social activities?
  • Are you doing what you can to help her make friends? Do you suggest that she invites some friends over?
  • Do you suggest that she invites a friend along to do things, when possible?
  • Are you considerate and fair about asking her for help?
  • Are you talking in a calm and positive voice?
  • Do you show appreciation for a job well done?
  • Are you clear about what you expect of her?
  • Are you understanding of problems that occur with children?
  • Do you mediate fairly if there are misunderstandings?
  • Have you made a set time to discuss things?
  • Are you balancing what you expect of your young helper and her need for freedom and independence?
  • Are you understanding of the inherent problems in adjusting to living with your family in possibly a different culture?

If you would like suggestions for handling specific situations, please contact us. There are a number of things that can be tried -and usually work – before we look at option options.