I’m known for losing things.
Sunglasses, cell phone, car keys, arguments, emergency chocolate, the Costco card… . I try hard to hold on to things, but the absent-minded part of being a professor is really strong with this one.
My own sensitivity to losing things has led me to compensate for potential losses in two ways.
First, I work to have a system — a firm place that things go, an extra one hidden somewhere — to cut back on the problems that losing things can cause.
Second, I try to cut other people some slack when they mess up.
That said, when other people lose things repeatedly, I get pretty irked. I want people to treat things with respect and to take care of their things. With au pairs, I want them not only to take care of what they are in charge of, but also to teach my kids how to treat things responsibly.
MKK Host Mom emailed about some trouble she’s been having with her au pair —
Her Au Pair has lost and ‘left behind’ kid items like sweaters, toys, books and mittens. Recently the au pair left a pair of the kids’ tap shoes at dance class, and the shoes disappeared before the Au Pair thought to return to look for them. MKK Host Mom says —
I have never asked our Au Pair to replace these items, but my husband thinks we should.
What do other families do when items are lost forever and must be replaced? What would happen if our au pair forget our kids’ iPad somewhere?
Also, all 3 of our Au Pairs has misplaced important items in the house (like car keys and the TV remote), and it’s taken days or weeks to find them. Each time this has happened, the burden of ‘not having’ the item has been a drag, and it’s been compounded by the Au Pair’s not treating it seriously or taking responsibility to find it or fix it.
Any suggestions for what to do when — despite having a plan and place for putting things where they belong— items are commonly lost or misplaced by our Au Pair?