Problems and Disagreements

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Familiy Problems and Disagreements With Au Pairs

Every family and every au pair is different so it is impossible to provide a definitive list of every concerns and grievances. Fortunately most disagreements can be resolved. Here is a list of commons issues and how to approach a way to resolve them.

  • Home Sickness

    Home sickness can be a problem for younger Au Pairs, or if it is their first trip away from home. We try to introduce our Au Pairs to others we have placed or know in your area, and we organise regular social events. Families should try to involve their Au Pairs in family life as soon as possible so that they feel part of the family. In most cases, feelings of home sickness lessens over time.

  • Au Pair Doesn’t like the food our family eats

    The families typical menu may well be alien to the Au Pairs' normal diet. Try cooking dishes more familiar to the Au Pair and then gradually introduce your family’s diet. Why not let the Au Pair cook their own favourite dishes?

  • Pocket money not enough

    This always needs to be handled sensitively. If they are working more hours than originally agreed, then it is reasonable to discuss increasing pocket money. Alternatively the Au Pair could undertake some local cleaning activities or babysitting for friends and local families.

  • Au Pair is struggling with English

    One of the main reasons Au Pairs are here in the UK is to improve their English. Taking English classes at a local college is always recommended. Be patient, and try and speak in simple English sentences until she has a better grasp of the language.

  • Struggling to control or Bond with the Children

    Give it time, for the children to get used to the Au Pair, and vice versa. Remember Au Pairs are not trained professionals and you may need to guide them in how best to communicate with your children. You should set the boundaries of how your children should be treated if they mis behave.

  • Au Pair complains there is too much to do

    Be careful not to overload with your Au Pair with too many duties. Consider which roles are more important for you - cleaner, babysitter/childminder, housekeeper. Farm out some of the other jobs, prioritise what’s more important- childcare or housework and agree on a compromise.

  • Au Pair not living up to family expectations

    Our best advice is to have an open discussion with your Au Pair. Most Au Pairs are happy to modify their behaviour and some expect the family to take a lead in giving feedback. But remember we are all human. If the problem is an issue of personality, in extreme circumstances this may be irreconcilable, if both parties cannot make allowances for each other. Don't rush into hasty decisions about whether the Au Pair is right for you, or before they have had time to get used to your family.

  • Poor attitude / comes home too late / stay in their room too much

    Set ground rules, talk to your Au Pair about what behaviour you expect. Most Au Pairs instinctively know to be respectful!

  • Au Pair Doesn’t like the location

    Try and find out places of interest for the Au Pair to discover. In the early days, signpost local public transport and encourage them to explore the local area.

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