How soon can you know that it just won’t work? Dory asked a question (which I post below) about whether she’s reasonable to think that she should rematch with another au pair. She’s only had this one for 3 months, but it isn’t promising. My quick response to her prompted this advice …
5 Questions to Ask Before Considering Rematch:
1. Have you done your best to be clear and explicit in your instructions to your au pair?
2. Has your au pair been kind to your children?
3. Do you feel like you can trust your au pair?
4. Has your au pair shown any ability to take feedback and adjust her behavior?
5. Is there any sort of Au Pair duty where she has done a ‘good’ to ‘very good’ job?
If the answer is "yes" to #1, and "no" to the other 4, I’d get ready to rematch.
You’ve had enough time with her to get a sense of whether she is willing and able to adjust to your family….imho. Although there is enough stuff in your description to warrant a rematch, when you look at just these four questions, you get a good enough sense of whether to end it now, rather than wait either for a really serious problem, or the final straw after hundreds of littler offenses.
Moms and Dads, read Dory’s description of the situation and weigh in with your advice!
"We’ve had our au pair for 3 months now. There has been a series of "little things" that is making me wonder if she is right for our family. I am considering re-match. My husband thinks we should stick it out. Here is a quick summary:
(1) On Day 1, au pair won’t come out of her room. LCC calls to talk to her and au pair says that she is second guessing her decision to become an au pair. [She comes out on Day 2 and proclaims she wants to be an au pair].
(2) On Weekend 2, au pair gets a flat tire with the family car while 25 miles in the OPPOSITE direction of where she told us she was going. We only find her because a police officer eventually pulled up behind her and he called us.
(3) Au pair disappears when she is supposed to be "on duty" if I am at home and participating in taking care of the kids (I know this has been a discussion in previous posts).
(4) Au pair routinely neglects changing my 2 year old, to the point he is soaking through his diaper when I come home from work.
(5) Au pair ignores my 1 year old while I am trying to leave and he is sitting in front of the door blocking it while screaming because he wants me to stay.
(6) On other days, au pair meets me at the door with the 1 year old when I come home from work and hands him to me, even though she is scheduled to be "on duty" for another 1/2 hour.
(7) Au pair takes the kids outside at dinner time (presumably knowing it is time for them to eat) and I have tears to deal with from both kids when I tell them they have to come in to eat.
(8) Au pair has friend over (who lives 30 minutes away) and the 2 kids that the friend watches while Au pair is "on duty" and without asking either me or my husband if it is ok. (We have a rule that friends are ok, as long as you ask).
(9) Au pair hides laundry basket of kids clothes in her room instead of putting them away so she can leave with friend in (8) above before her scheduled time to be done working. I later discover it.
(10) We sit down last week to talk to au pair about our expectations because of this growing number of "little things" and we are met with excuses, back talk and sass. We try again to talk to au pair about our expectations the following day and again are met with excuses.
I am ready to re-match. My husband thinks we should keep trying with her. Any thoughts would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!"