It’s the Parents’ Job to Teach Children Kind Behavior

by cv harquail on September 18, 2014

Au Pairs can reinforce discipline and expectations, but it’s Parents who remain responsible.

Many parents who are either new to parenting at all or new to host parenting specifically struggle with this issue.

14070424932_3cb77dbb4a_zWe all want our children to be kind. Full stop. (I’m assuming this is true. It’s true, right? We want our kids to be kind.)

We also want our children to treat others with respect as well as with kindness. So a child who hits, punches, gets aggressive, and is generally mean is a kid whose behavior we want to change.

We can ask our au pairs to help our children change their behavior, but we parents have to take responsibility for taking the lead in this.

Host Parents Are Responsible for Addressing Children’s Misbehavior

That means that the host parent has to decide on the strategy  for discipline, reinforcement, punishment when necessary, and rewards when appropriate (time outs? corner time? Candy rewards? 1-2-3-Magic?).

The host parent also has to decide on the standards of behavior, standards that fit the expectations of the family, the child’s developmental age and ability, the situations the child will be in, and the other children, adults, and creatures who will be interacting with the child.

(I’m adding creatures because I think that it’s important to teach children to be kind to animals. Sometimes I’ve seen parents teaching children to be kind to an animal as a way to teach them to be kind to any living things. And cats and dogs are so easy to cuddle!)

The host parent  has to teach the au pair how to discipline the child, as well as demonstrate this same kind of discipline in her or his interactions with the child too.

Even though we know that kids treat non-parent adults different from their parents, and that parents have additional authority with children that au pairs don’t have, the parent still has to set and demonstrate what’s expected.  We cannot expect our au pairs to discipline our children if we won’t.

And, we can’t expect our children to be kind to au pairs unless we parents teach them to be.

I emphasize this because I’ve gotten an email from a host mom who’s child is mean to the au pair, and the mom wants some advice. What’s key in this situation, I think, is that the host mom is new, the au pair is new, and the child is young. Seems like no one really has experience with coordinating discipline.

She writes:

We are new to hosting an au pair and she has been with us now for 3 weeks. She is a lovely girl, speaks excellent English and we get on really well. We have two young children a 3 year old boy and a 9 month old girl.
The boy is abusing the au pair constantly, pulling her hair, biting, pinching, etc and no matter how much discipline, time out etc we instill on him it continues when he is being looked after by her. We are so worried she is going to leave us because of his behavior.
We’ve had similar instances of poor behavior at nursery, but usually when he is over tired. When it happened in the first week we put it down to excitement and expected it to calm down by now, but its getting worse.
Parents, what would you advise this mom to do regarding discipline?
And everyone, what should the Host Mom discuss with the Au Pair to help sort this out and give the au pair the support she needs?


Angie host mom September 18, 2014 at 4:15 pm

My guess is the boy is abusing the au pair because he wants his mom to take care of him and not the au pair. This is a struggle that pops up in various forms in our house at least once a year.

Kids are older now, so I can point blank say they need to be respectful, punish them significantly and consistently for bad behavior, and make sure they get enough mommy time that they don’t feel abandoned, making sure I de-escalate the situation at each step, and hopefully it works.

But at age 3 he probably doesn’t even know why he is upset, he just knows it used to be him and mommy and then he got this intruder of a little sister and now he’s got this intruder of an au pair.

Suggestions are: 1. train the behavior – consistently. Three is old enough to know not to hit, punch, pull hair, and a 3 minute time out is reasonable. 2. Take time to train the boy to like the AP, make sure she has some times when she is doing something fun just for him. 3. Make sure he gets enough mommy time.

Good luck!

ILHostMom September 18, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Maybe up the punishment? When our first Au Pair came our son was really wild. I think he was testing to see what he could get away with. We tried time outs and they didn’t work, so then we progressed to taking his favorite snuggly away at night as the severe punishment for when he did something really naughty. Find what really motivates your 3 year old. If he loves candy, tell him he’ll get one piece for every day he behaves nicely toward the Au Pair.

NJmama September 18, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Timeouts were never effective in my house but taking away TV, a favorite toy and canceling a play date have all been effective. Another suggestion – make sure the child apologizes (verbally and then later in writing or even by drawing a picture for her). Consistently make it clear the behavior will not be tolerated but give rewards for good days (or even good mornings, good afternoons, and good evenings, so the rewards are more immediate).

Also perhaps try helping the au pair plan activities you know your child would like – things the two of them can do together while the baby sleeps. Getting special arts and crafts, having the child help decorate cookies, getting a lego they can both do together. I’m sure the au pair can probably come up with ideas too. It’s always harder for my older child to bond with the au pair. She’s older so things are different, but I spend a lot of time interviewing about this and help the au pair and my daughter find common interests. That’s helped tremendously.

Good luck to you!

OzHostMum September 18, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Is the AP on the same page as you regarding discipline/reward? Make sure she follows your warning/timeout/punishment procedure EXACTLY as you do it – this may take several demonstrations by you and perhaps written step by step instructions. But you also need to try to build the friendship between your son and AP as others suggest – perhaps make his FAVOURITE activity in the world (with my 3yo son it’s baking cookies) an activity that is exclusively for him and AP, without any input from Mum (perhaps that’s time alone with baby you can have), and really encourage AP to focus on the positives of his behaviour when he’s acting nicely. Not an easy situation and I feel for you having been there with a former AP who really struggled to bond with Master 3 – it’s a difficult enough age as it is without throwing change into the mix, but he’ll come through it a more balanced and well adjusted child for your efforts!

skny September 18, 2014 at 8:19 pm

things I can think of:
1. Is the child hungry, tired, thirsty during those situations? He may not be able to inform his needs, and it will affect behavior.
2. Having a new sibling is a HUGE thing. It really affects behavior. He needs time alone with mom and dad. Connecting, playing, doing something fun for him. 9 mo is still new.
3. Make sure au pair has a plan in the morning. CONSISTENT. Develop a routine. And plan for no holes. May look obsessive but my experience with 3 little ones is that if there is no plan, they get bored and act out. Have a lay out plan: from 8 – 8:30 breakfast, 8:30 -9 coloring… Make sure it is predictable, and the same every day (like they can go out every morning to a different location, but have it be always at same time – like after breakfast)… Kids love routine. It helps behavior to have a plan… Have her plan for down time… Again, when my little ones have nothing to do, they tend to run around and get wild… they also start testing. Doesn’t need to be sophisticated. just a plan.
I always tell them to review plan and expectation with kids before hand, and allow time for transition (because kids are more likely to act out if they are rushed).

old au pair mom September 18, 2014 at 11:34 pm

my very favorites! Are you hungry tired or thirsty? Well then let’s fix that immediately because who can behave when they are h t or t?!? Not me and I am really old! But after that, the kiddo will learn that there is no reason to be rude or mean. Especially to a friend of his or her mommy. Someone mommy holds in high esteem and someone mommy hugs and says thank you for being our special friend. Because the kiddos will care about people you care about. It is a little fake in the beginning, but every AP you care about and want only the best for, will become your kiddos favorite. I regularly hug APs and thank them for being with us and helping our family. This is positive parenting in the nicest way, Your child feels understood and your AP feels supported in her work and cared for as a person. 14 years of APs (sometimes 2 at a time!) and this loving way helps all parties involved grow into a loving relationship. Also, 9 month old sibling! You have to cut this little one a large amount of slack!!! Your tiny infant has become a real, demanding, adorable person and that is a great deal for a 3 year old to reconcile. Love, Love and Love will help you through it. As much solo mom or solo dad or solo partner time as you can give this no doubt amazing 3 year as you can. best wishes

Seattle Mom September 21, 2014 at 12:17 am

I agree with all of this… kids, especially at 3 years old, act out when they feel disconnected from the people around them, especially their parents. With a new baby (who is now becoming mobile and getting lots of attention and starting to encroach on the big brother’s space/stuff) and new au pair, he’s probably feeling a loss of connection with his parents and it’s freaking him out!

We don’t do ANY rewards or punishment for behavior in our house. It doesn’t mean that we let things slide. I like using what is sometimes called a “time-in,” which is where you get extra time with mom or the caregiver and you talk about what happened and why it might have happened and what else the kid could do that would be a more appropriate reaction. I’m also big on giving 3 year olds an alternative that would be acceptable but allow them to get out whatever feelings they are having. I have a very intense 3 1/2 year old and she has hit people her whole life.. I’ve taken to telling her to hit the couch. She thinks it’s funny at first but then she does it and she really feels better! I tell her it’s ok to be mad, it’s normal and everyone feels angry/jealous/sad/lonely etc, but we still can’t hit/kick/bite/punch etc.

It is a lot more work to parent without punishment & rewards. We potty trained without using stickers, reward charts, or candy. It makes us need to think on the spot more, and really connect with the kids and be more patient. We also need to set expectations that are age appropriate. 3 year olds can learn to not hit, but they might sometimes forget. If we treat them like dirt for being impulsive and forgetting themselves then they will take it to heart and think that they ARE dirt, and that’s when they just give up and become truly aggressive and mean.

Of course when kids are hurting each other we separate them physically and deal with whatever the current crisis is… although as they get older we do that less and less. It helps that our younger kid is generally the aggressor. If it were the other way around it would be more difficult, because an aggressive kid who is twice as big as the victim is really unfair.

I tell all of our prospective au pairs that we don’t use rewards and punishment, and occasionally I find someone who says that won’t work for them and we all move on. Sometimes they ask how we discipline without using rewards and punishment, so I go into greater detail. A lot of the time the au pairs understand and say that’s how they are too. I have noticed cultural differences, so we tend to look for au pairs from cultures that are more on the gentle parenting side. Believe it or not I’ve found most of the French au pairs to be great… they are big on setting limits & boundaries (which I agree with) but they don’t do this whole legalistic negotiation thing that a lot of Americans do.. “if you do x you will get y reward, if you do a you will get b punishment.” They just expect the kids to behave and they teach them how. You don’t get anything special for behaving, it just feels good because everyone gets along.

I’ve found that reading some resources on gentle discipline has really helped me come up with different strategies. My favorites so far are the blog, Alfie Kohn (though he’s extreme for me in some ways), Dr John Gottman (How to Raise Emotionally Intelligent Children), and for sibling issues, the book Siblings Without Rivalry- I can’t remember the author’s name, but I’ve heard that her book How to Talk so Kids will Listen and How to Listen so Kids Will Talk is equally good.

skny September 18, 2014 at 8:24 pm

one last idea (if this only happens with au pair) is develop a behavior diary. Mark when the behavior happened, at what time, what they were doing (was she changing the baby or feeding? was close to lunch time)???
Observe over the course of the week and see if there is a trend. And if so, be proactive. If usually happens in the afternoon, maybe he needs an extra snack”? go to nap early? if during transitions, maybe he needs extra time… If while sister is being held, maybe have him engage in an activity (fun one) while sister is being changed….

Multitasking Host Mom September 20, 2014 at 10:44 am

I second this suggestion. We did something similar to this when my child was struggling adapting to preschool. It was something the teacher recommended. It really did help all of us pin point the source of his anxieties. And then better curtail his behaviour.

Taking a Computer Lunch September 19, 2014 at 4:32 am

AP #1 lived with us for 3 1/2 years (she had been a PICU nurse in her native country and we tried to sponsor her as an employer – her application didn’t rise to the top until a year after she left our employment) – she left in anger 3 weeks before AP #2 arrived. Child #2 was so angry because his “Portuguese mom” had left that he took it out on AP #2. She was young and inexperienced, and I have thanked her several times for having the fortitude to withstand his anger and to use her training to work on his skills. They bonded over their love of Disney movies (she would beg me to schedule her to work on the weekends so she could take him to see the latest animated releases).

Having 1:1 time, whether it be with mom, dad or the au pair is very important to toddlers. Divide and conquer! Let the AP have a fun activity to do alone with your child, and have her make a point of saying – “This is a special activity I’m doing just with you.” Likewise, each parent should schedule a couple of hours out of the house and alone with the toddler – and make a point of emphasizing it. Vary the activities – a trip to the playground, a walk in the woods, a visit to a museum. This is a great age to explore your community with your child – when he’s older then he’s more likely to place limits on what he’s willing to do. But, at first, schedule the AP take him on outings to his favorite activities so that he associates her with the best times. (You’re likely to be maxing out on 45 hours of work with your AP, so it make take some tag-team scheduling at work to pull it off.)

Finally, and in my opinion, 3-year-olds are pills. I recall, when child #2 was three, turning to my husband and saying, “This must get better because the human race hasn’t died out.” Fortunately, they turn into 4-year-olds, which are much more fun!

Julie September 19, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Perhaps more punishment is not what this child needs, but rather more understanding. What is he trying to say? 3 year olds aren’t mean just for the sake of being mean. They hit/bit/kick because they are frustrated that you are not understanding them. Consistency is good, but I think it’s time to sit down and figure out what needs are not being met. Some children really struggle with transition and to punish him does not deal with the problem–it only forces your punishment on his symptoms. I would remove the au pair each time he tries to hurt her and have her say “I can’t be with you when you are hurting me” and walk away. He wants to be loved and understood. Just my 2 cents.

AlwaysHopeful HM September 19, 2014 at 12:43 pm


DC Metro Mom September 19, 2014 at 4:44 pm


skny September 19, 2014 at 5:51 pm


Julie September 20, 2014 at 1:21 am

Thank you. Such a site of support!

Au Pair Report author September 19, 2014 at 1:50 pm

I agree with those who advise against additional punishment and guess that this has something to do with adjusting to having a sibling. There are tons of good children’s books that deal with resentment toward new siblings, and reading them together could be fun (Julius the Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes would be a good choice in this case, but any children’s librarian would be happy to make recommendations). This is a child who craves attention, whether negative or positive, so an abundance of positive attention may be at least a partial answer. He should have some one-on-one time to bond with the au pair (that may be logistically challenging but probably worthwhile) and regular one-on-one time with the parent(s). This is a lifelong project, but it is fundamental to building relationships with our children as individuals and not just as members of the family. Because positive reinforcement is generally more effective, acknowledging any brief moment of kindness will probably accomplish more than punishing the moments of unkindness.

CAmom22 September 19, 2014 at 5:06 pm

These comments about transition issues really hit home and may be your issue. When we got AP#1 my son (who was about 7 at the time) acted out A LOT. And he’s an amazingly easy-natured child normally. After about 4 weeks and a particularly bad incident I took him to my room, lay down with him and just talked. Talked about why we had an AP and most importantly that she wasn’t here to replace me and that I loved him more than anything in the world and that hadn’t changed (he hadn’t said anything that indicated he was feeling this was an issue; I was at the end of my rope and thought I’d just make this super clear just in case it wasn’t). And that was it. That was the end of his acting out and behavior issues. Like night and day from that moment forward. With this child it sounds like there are two very significant transitions — first AP and new baby — that could be making him feel insecure with his place in the family. Obviously I can only speak from my experience, but I would try the one-on-one extra mommy (or daddy) time with him to see if that turns it around. Good luck!

NJmama September 19, 2014 at 6:26 pm

I think that’s great advice! You may even ask him why he thinks he’s acting out – he may not be able to articulate it, but he might. And I think what skny wrote earlier about having a consistent schedule is really important during times of transition. And of course encouraging bonding with the AP is key.

At the same time I didn’t mean to go on about punishment but I do think sending a message that a certain behavior is wrong and won’t be tolerated is important. When the kid goes to preschool or the playground or the library, that behavior isn’t acceptable either. Walking away from the child is one way of showing that. Timeouts and taking away toys are others.

It’s a matter of finding the right combo. And it can be really hard. Discipline is tricky throughout a child’s life. What works for one won’t work for another and what works today may not work tomorrow. But that’s the fun of being a parent :).

Also – remember the au pair probably needs just as much reassurance and positive reinforcement as the child does at this time. She’s going through a transition too!

Multitasking Host Mom September 20, 2014 at 10:39 am

I just wanted to make one point…only because we experienced it ourselves. The OP states the phrase “…no matter how much discipline WE in still on him….”. Does that mean only the host parents are giving the time outs, etc? How exactly is the AP handling this when you are not around, OP? We had a very similar situation with our first AP. She did not get along with child 2 and showed major favoritism to child 1. She also was very timid and was not comfortable with enforcing any rules. So for, example, child 2, would hit her at 10am and pull her hair at 2pm ..she would just let it all go…then when I got home at the end of the day, she would unload all of the misbehavior that had happen and expect me to deal with it. This set up the senario in my child’s mind at least that a)the AP was the one who always got him into trouble and b) child2 was so young that by the time I sent him to time out he wasn’t really making the connection to the previous bad behaviour. Our AP frankly was simply inexperienced with handling children who put up any kind of resistance, and also did not realize at first that she was empowered to handle misbehaviour. I did work with her so she would know what to do to be seen as the authority figure also, when needed, yet could still have fun with the kids. I did clearly spell it out in writting so that she knew exactly what we wanted her to do when our children misbehaved. It did get better somewhat (she was my so-so AP so that was just one of many issues.)

WarmStateMomma September 20, 2014 at 7:00 pm

I don’t know how to effectively curtail this kind of behavior in a 3yo (my daughter isn’t that old yet), but I have a 3yo nephew who does this kind of thing. His parents and grandparents find an excuse every time, which just enables his behavior. I applaud the OP for recognizing that it’s not right for her 3yo to treat anyone this way and for reaching out for solutions.

Whatever you decide to try, make sure you communicate to the AP your strategy and that you’re taking it seriously because (a) you want your son to learn and (b) you value the AP as a person. She may be more interested in working with him if she sees that the family is trying to address the problem.

Old China Hand September 20, 2014 at 9:58 pm

I don’t have experience with 3 yo yet, but do have a 2 yo and a newborn, so I’ve been dealing with some acting out with my toddler. So… I guess take what I suggest with a grain of salt. Little ones often don’t have the words to express what they are feeling, so they act it out. If you can sit down with him and explain that you know it is hard to be a big brother and to have an Au pair, but you still love him, that may help a lot. You have given him words for what he is feeling. Then you can set up the guidelines each each day (or part of day) – you are going to be with ap for the morning, if you hit her, this is what will happen. Then remind him regularly. We had to use this kind of discipline a lot with potty training and it worked really really well. It ends up being about choices and the set up rather than punishment. So the kid doesn’t feel like the punishment is arbitrary, he knows what it is for. Then if he starts to hit her, she should stop him and say “I’m not going to let you hit me, because you tried, this is what will happen”. Not sure I’m being coherent, but I think you need to do three things:
1) help give him words for what he is trying to act out and make sure you spend enough mommy time with him (like others suggested)
2) set up the consequence at the beginning of the day
3) stop him from hitting gently and follow up with the consequence immediately

Anyway, like I said, I only have experience with a 27 month old, so grain of salt is definitely recommended. :)

skny September 22, 2014 at 3:59 pm

very related question. Our new au pair arrived on Thursday. I had already told her we disciplined without spanking. She is here for less than a week and has been awesome! She has found a way to bond with my trouble 4yo already. She made it her mission to bond with her ASAP. She actually fit in our family amazingly well.
She also researched many different ways to do positiive discipline and all, and spent a lot of money and time making a chart with happy faces, sad faces, rewards, etc for the girls (ages 2 and 4). She is extremely motivated and has amazing potential.
For many reasons I dont like reward charts. I am however hesitant to blow au pair extra motivated bubble… Wondering if I should offer suggestions to alter her chart so it is more reward driven only (and less mommy is sad because I did not A…), or if I let her try it out and see how it goes???
I was going to touch on discipline this week but she beat me to it?

skny September 22, 2014 at 4:15 pm

ops error. so it is less reward driven

WarmStateMomma September 22, 2014 at 4:55 pm

These kinds of decisions are incredibly personal. Given what your family has been through recently and the fact that you are so impressed with this AP’s attitude and potential, I’d probably give her a little time to try it out if her way isn’t too far off from what you’d like. Then gently revise the plan in a couple of weeks if it’s not working out the way everyone hoped. If the AP’s approach is too different from your approach to let her run with it, I would see if there’s anything you can keep from her approach and make a point of telling her that you’re impressed with whatever it is that you are keeping.

Congrats on finding a great AP who takes initiative!

NJmama September 22, 2014 at 6:10 pm

I also say why not let her run with it? I was never much of a reward-chart parent either but that’s bc they never worked for my older daughter. (And that includes the ones they used in her school over the years – they just weren’t effective because they heightened her anxiety and then she acted out more). But for some kids they’re really great motivators, and it can’t hurt to try. As WSM said – if it doesn’t work or there continues to be an aspect that you don’t like you can make suggestions to tweak it or try something else. It’s really wonderful that she’s taking her job so seriously!

So glad to hear you have found a good AP! Mine also has been amazing – I’m still afraid to say it out loud. But a big reason why she has been so great is that she made a huge effort to bond with my older child as well. This whole thing has been such a learning process.

Here’s to a good AP year!

Always Hopeful HM September 22, 2014 at 11:12 pm

I agree. Whatever you choose, if you make sure you (sincerely) compliment her on her initiative and enthusiasm, she should be okay. Especially since she fits your family so well, she’ll probably “get it” if you explain some of your reservations.

I have to say, I’m feeling really jealous of everyone’s amazing new au pairs! I’m really struggling to adjust to ours. It’s only been a week, but I already feel weary thinking about the year ahead. It’s painful to watch him interact with my son, and my son’s initial enthusiasm is starting to fade into crankiness. Is it terrible that my son and I (and my extended family also, actually) miss our rematched au pair like crazy? I don’t regret going into transition–it was the right thing, but boy do we miss having him around!

Taking a Computer Lunch September 22, 2014 at 7:50 pm

My feeling is that my kids are going to be exposed to a variety to caregivers, teachers, therapists, and family members who treat them in a variety of ways while they are in charge. As long as my kids aren’t directly harmed, I’m pretty flexible. I will follow through on whatever my AP reasonably offers as a reward or punishment.

Just make it clear that your AP’s reward system is hers. Your kids will understand that there are different expectations with you.

Seattle Mom September 23, 2014 at 4:09 pm

I would feel the same way! Ugh! I actually specifically said in all my emails & on my HF application & in my handbook that we do not do rewards and punishments, so I hope that would make this not come up as an issue with any future AP.

But even though I did that I have had APs do different things that feel wrong to me and go against my basic philosophy. Nothing really bad, just stuff that I would never do.

I do think you should say something. Since it is so early on you have to set the tone that you want. What I would do is this: I would tell the au pair how great I think she is fitting in, and how pleased I am that she’s already bonding with the 4 year old. Not an easy task within the first week! I would say that I have one concern, that I don’t really like the use of reward charts. I would probably tell her that she can try it out for a while to see how it works, but (a) I would not be involved in using the reward chart AT ALL and I wouldn’t want it to say “mommy is sad” or whatever- I would want to be left out of it. Because for me, I’m an unconditional love kind of parent, and I really don’t want my kids to feel like they have to earn my love. If the AP wants to have that kind of relationship, and she seems like she is generally a warm and loving person, I would give her the green light to try it out. But not to put my reputation on the line!

(b) I would say that we need to watch and see what effect this chart is having, and that we might possibly have to stop using it if it’s having the effects that I fear.

I might actually tell her some of the reasons that I wouldn’t like to use such a chart. My reasoning for not using rewards & punishments is that it makes discipline very transactional- it cuts out the part where we teach our kids WHY certain behaviors are positive or negative, and puts the focus on the reward or the punishment. It’s very pavlovian! I never want to hear my kids say “I promise I’ll be good” – instead I just want them to be the best they can be and understand the real intrinsic consequences of negative behavior (it puts everyone in a bad mood, it hurts people, etc) and not the artificially imposed consequences (I don’t get candy, my favorite dolly gets taken away, etc).

Kirsty September 22, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Wow, we had the exact same thing. 3 year old girl though and she was not kind to the au pair, was quite out of character for her – she is in nursery 4 days a week so au pair mainly helped with our son. Until we realised she was jealous that the au pair spent all her time with him and didn’t play with her. As soon as our au pair started spending time with her, she just melted and now loves her to bits… Best of luck! ;)

Didis September 23, 2014 at 1:03 am

From Au Pairs perspective,
I would say the most important thing addressing situation as it is.
Tell your au pair your worries and make her realize that you are not ok with situation, and you are not making it -not big deal-. My hosts kept making excuses for that kind of behavior and even though I was aware kids are tired, sad, sick, but that doesn’t make it less hurtful for me while dealing with it all day, every day.

Let her know that she has control and you trust her judgment in that kind of situation.
-Making sticker chart and if he keeps all his stickers he gets special treat or activity (from au pair, while on duty)
-giving him more chores, duties, responsibility and au pair reinforcing it so he can see her as person in charge he has to respect
-finding story time, activity, playroom and making it special au pair thing he gets if behaving properly

After few months kids I took care of embraced me as part of the family, so give it time and show your support to au pair and she will appreciate it

happyhostmom September 23, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Great ideas Didis.

Miryam Aubert September 27, 2014 at 3:09 am

While working at Au pair Australia, we have had some host parents complaing that the children do not follow the instructions of the au pair, we explain them that is not to the au pair to make sure they obey, is up to the parents and the way they teach their children and discipline, if they learn to obey adults, they will do it if is the teacher, the aunt or the au pair, discipline starts at home with our parents

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