‘’If my toddler says he hates the au pair and wants her to go away, then she goes!’’
The assumption: My child uses good judgement and can be objective about who he wants taking care of him.
The reality: Children can have many motivations for wanting an Au pair to go away. Among them is wishing for their parent to stay home instead. Remember you are the parent and the decision maker.
When parents evaluate an Au pair candidate, they often consider how she was when she first met their child. Did she pick up the baby right away? Was she loving, warm and interested in him? Was she playful with their toddler? Could she have an easy conversation with their preschooler?
Parents also watch their child’s reaction closely. Did the baby calm down when she held him? Did he go to her right away and enjoy playing with her? When she left did he say he liked her?
While these observations and evaluations are important, it is equally important to factor in that Au pairs and children know they are being observed. The simple fact of being observed can affect behavior. Sometimes the message beneath the behavior merits more attention than the behavior itself.
If a child says the Au pair must go, then should the Au pair go?
When it comes to the Au pair hiring decision, parents know best and we do recommend reading about the family interview guide for hosting an Au pair. There are definitely mismatches between Au pairs and children, but the shoe is on the wrong foot when the child makes the decision about whom to hire. Please read more about frequent family questions when hosting an Au pair.
The percentage effect
She will do 70% housecleaning and 30% childcare, so I’ll get a good house cleaner’’
The assumption: “ Place the most emphasis on the main skill required for the position””
The reality: While an Au pair does light housework, the main activity of an Au pair should be related to childcare, and not housekeeping duties.