The new Au Pair is finally home and it is time to meet the kids. The first days might be a bit awkward, after all, the Au Pair is a new person living in the family home and both the Au Pair and the family need time to adapt. After a couple of days, everything should be working just fine and the children will start sharing more with their new “Big sister” or “Big brother”.
But in some cases, the things are not as easy as we would like them to be. If after a few days, the relationship between the Au Pair and your children does not seem to be improving, it is time to take some action. Here are some simple tips to follow to help them to get along with each other:
Talk to the children
Be sure to explain the new dynamic to your children. If they are used to nannies and other Au Pairs the transition might be easier. Nevertheless, if the children are usually with their parents it might be difficult to get used to being under someone else’s care. Parents should always make clear that they love their children and that the person taking care of them will not replace them but rather be a friend and a great help for the family.
Spend quality family time
Try to spend quality family time and invite the Au Pair. Maybe a picnic in the park or going out to eat some ice cream or the children’s favorite dessert. It is also important that the family does some activities together without the Au Pair. However, they should never make her feel unwelcomed. For that reason, the best moment for the family time is during the Au Pair’s free time when she/he decides to go out with friends.
Motivate the Au Pair to learn the language
If the Au Pair has a very basic knowledge of the Host Country’s language it might be very difficult to communicate with the kids. If the children are a bit older, they might find this annoying or get frustrated for not being able to establish a conversation. By improving his/her language skills the Au Pair will be able to interact and play more with the kids and even tell them stories from his/her home country.
Talk to the Au Pair
Try to have an honest chat with your Au Pair. Ask him/her about his/her feelings during the first few weeks. Remember to explain that the children also need time to adjust to the new routine. Tell him/her about what the children like and dislike. Solve any doubts regarding the house rules and the children’s education.
Try to talk to the children about the cultural differences. Be sure to tell them that the Au Pair comes from a different country and might not be able to speak their language. Talk to the Au Pair as well! Explain the most common manners and traditions of your country. Check out our post about the culture shock to understand what the Au Pair might be experiencing during the first days. Most importantly be the bridge between both cultures!
Our last advice would be to consider the adaptation process. Try to find solutions to the problems instead of taking a radical decision within the first couple of weeks. Keep in mind that a few days are not enough to get to know another person. However, if after following our recommendations the relationship does not improve, you can choose to end the contract before the established date. You will need to give at least a two weeks notice during which the Au Pair needs to find a new family. Remember that if he/she doesn’t find a family in that time he/she will need to go back to his/her home country.
Take the chance and Host An Au Pair! If you meet all the requirements to be a Host Family then you only need to register on AuPair.com and start looking for your match! Let us help you to be part of this cultural exchange program!