Have you ever been slightly envious of your au pair’s year of adventure?
There have been many times that I’ve wondered what I mgiht have been like had I been an au pair (or an exchange student) and had the chance to live somewhere so different, make different friends, try new things, and experiment with life while having the support of a host family and the exit strategy of going back home.
Those of us who’ve imagined how we’d make our own au pair year great, or who have had au pairs who have taken full (positive) advantage of their years, often wonder why more au pairs don’t have more enthusiasm for using their free time well.
Consider this concern from Annonymom–
How do host families deal with dumb off-duty decisions and behavior from an otherwise great AP?
We are finishing up our first year as a HF and we have a very good AP. The kids really like her, she shows up to work on time, clean and dressed and ready to work. She drives extremely well. She is polite, kind, interested in what we are doing and how our day goes. She helps around the house and unloads the dishwasher, does her own laundry and never complains about food. We really like her a lot and think of her as part of our family. As I write that, I think to myself – wow, really great AP…..but…..
I’m very disappointed by how she acts when she isn’t “on duty”.
Her friends and boyfriend are not nice people. The friends are all APs from her home country. The boyfriend is what I would call a loser (and is American). She does everything for him, he does nothing for her. And being significantly older than she is, he is going NO WHERE. She spends every weekend with him when he is not working and has not seen a single thing in our state (or out of state) since she met him 9 months ago.
In discussion about this topic, she says that she knows she doesn’t stand up for herself but sees nothing wrong in her choices.
I have two very impressionable children and am worried her “I will let you walk all over me if only you’ll be my friend” attitude will be realized and immitated.
So here is my question – how do other host families deal an AP when their off hours behavior when rubs them wrong way?
(For the record, we have already agreed to extend as she swears it is for the kids and not the friends…I hope she isn’t lying!)
Many thanks! Annonymomom
So parents and au pairs: