The Goldilocks Conundrum
Your connection with your Au Pair is too heavy, or it’s non-existant.
Your Au Pair is either a homebody, sticking close to the house demonstrating little interest in the world around her/him. Or, your Au Pair is always gone — whether physically or socially. S/he does the job, and then disappears.
We Host Parents *want* some kind of social, familiar, friendly connection with our au pairs.
We don’t have to be best friends, ‘brothers from another mother’, or psychically twinned. We just want to feel with our au pairs that we recognize each others interests, needs, and moods. That we understand each other well enough, and that we have light-hearted but not insipid things to talk about with each other.
I spent a lot of time with our first au pair talking about the band Savage Garden. Ever heard of them? I had’t either. But I became an expert with Darren and Daniel’s lyrics, singing them to our daughter at appropriate moments, because Savage Garden was important to our au pair. And yes, I was relieved when she got interested in Lenny Kravitz. Less mopey, easier to dance to in the kitchen.
How can we help create ‘just the right’ connection between us and our Au Pairs??
We are a new host family – almost two months in. From the beginning we did not feel a connection with our Au Pair. She is nice and treats our son well. Her english skills are mediocre at best. We were hoping that as things moved along we would feel more like a family. She eats/cares for our son then disappears either to the gym or a friends or her room. We have made no personal connection whatsoever.
First, should we have expected too much and is this just an employer/employee relationship?
(To complicate matters, an even bigger issue: In the beginning our agency did not have a local coordinator, which they soon hired. Now, we found out she is leaving and have no one to get advice from – at least locally.)
We now feel as if we are alone, with an issue and no help. Should we ride it out for a year? We don’t want to make waves because we are not unhappy with her – just no connection – we feel as if she is a stranger to us – live-in babysitter.