Just when you think the answer is clear, a situation comes along that makes it foggy again.
Only last week, I claimed that repeated lying was an automatic, unquestionable grounds for rematch. Then, we got this email, below, from DevastatedHM.
DevastatedHM has an au pair that she and her family adore, but who has broken several rules and lied about it. Even though they’ve had the heart-to-heart talk, and even though he’s said he’d reform, the Au Pair has continued to break rules.
Is this a situation where the Host Parent should cave, because it would hurt the kids to hold the Au Pair accountable?
Or does it make sense to hold the line, rematch, and manage the emotional repercussions to the kids as you move ahead with a new au pair?
DevastatedHM and I are both looking forward to what you all think!
Dear AuPairmom Community —
Can you bear just one more rematch question? I don’t want to hijack TrustbrokenHM’s thread, and I am pull-my-hair-out desperate for advice/support/comfort.
Here’s the good part:
I love our au pair. My son worships our au pair. My extended family adores him as well (my parents refer to him as their host grandson), the neighborhood kids all love him. He is fun, warm, engaging, reasonably diligent, thoughtful and just incredibly skilled at connecting with children.
He manages a great balance of host family time/ time away with friends. For us, he has been something of a godsend, because my son, who went through a number of difficult transitions last year, really did not connect well with our previous au pair (pretty much hated her by the end), and has really blossomed under the comfort and support of his new “big brother.” We’ve got 5 months left, and we’ll be sad when he has to leave. Which may be right away.
Here’s the problem:
I discovered a couple of months ago that he broke a big house rule (smoking) and lied about it to cover it up. When I found out, he came clean, and we had a long discussion that seemed to resolve things. No more smoking, rebuilding trust, etc. Last week, I found out that he broke another rule (car use rule) on a big way. It actually happened a while ago (right before the smoking talk), but this time, when confronted with it he lied. And lied. And lied, even when it was clear that he had been caught.
He finally confessed when it was clear I wasn’t letting it go and it was just ridiculous to hang onto the lie. We had another big talk, and he seemed to “get it”, and appeared remorseful, but…he lies, so who knows?
So, I am faced with a dilemma.
Our beloved au pair has lied repeatedly, and shown shocking (to me) lapses in judgment. My head says rematch is the right call, but the thought of it makes my heart ache. Some considerations: the broken rules occurred in AP’s off duty time. I don’t have any reason to believe he’s exercised such poor judgment in taking care of my son (who is old enough to tell). On the other hand, i don’t have any reason to trust that he’ll magically be able to exercise only the best judgment with my son. I just don’t know one way or the other.
After a lot of upheaval, my son is finally beginning to feel secure. I’m afraid of the effect that rematch will have on him (he knows exactly when AP’s year is up, and confirms often that he’ll be here for x holiday, birthday, etc.) And I’m afraid of his potential backlash against whatever au pair takes the current one’s place if we have a bad transition. And we’ll all really miss him!
I left a message for the LCC, letting her know the situation, and that I was torn, was considering rematch, but really seeking any suggestions or ideas. [She in turn sent me an email letting me know what rematch would mean financially. Not helpful at all.]
So I’m turning to the AuPairMom community. Please help me either find a way to continue the match with a person i can’t trust, or bring myself to pull the trigger and deal with the emotional repercussions.
Either way really stinks. Is there something in between?? Thanks, ~ Devastated HM