When you are trying to make sure that your potential new au pair has a realistic understanding of what to expect of your family, it seems like it might be a great idea to have the potental au pair talk with the current au pair.
Of all people, your current au pair knows your family, your routine, your expectations, your neighborhood, and can see it all from the perspective of an international exchange person. So what’s not to like about the idea of having the two talk?
If you have a current au pair who is only so-so at the job, who is a poor communicator, who has anything other than a positive attitude towards life, or who resents the idea that someone might take her or his place, you might want to avoid having the current au pair spoil the picture for the incoming au pair.
And really, how complete does the au pair’s information need t9 be? If your current au pair hasn’t made an effort to make the year an adventure, can she really present to a new au pair the full spectrum of opportunity an au pair yeatr with you might offer?
Assuming that you have an ‘okay but not great’ current aupair, you might consider trying to put some limits around what the two talk about— for example, ask your current au pair to focus on the day to day tasks, or the personalities of your kids.
And, tell your potential au pair — the the nicest and most discreet and unblameful way possible — that your current au pair has some limitations or personal issues that kept her from having the best year possible.
Other thoughts? How have you managed situations like the one below?
We are about to complete our year with our first au pair, and are in the process of interviewing for our next au pair. I recently spoke with one women who we really liked and will probably match with.
During our conversation, she asked to speak with our current au pair. I am going to agree to give her our current au pair’s contact information (once I get our au pair’s permission of course), because I can see the appeal this women has of hearing what she will be “getting into” with our family from someone who is currently doing the job.
But I do have some reservations. I am sure it will be weird for our current aupair to talk to her replacement. Also, she was a so-so au pair, just doing the basics, but never went beyond unless I explicitly spelled out what she need to do and then micro managed the situation. Because of this, we did not extend with her, although I talked up the seeing-another-part-of-the-country-during-your-second-year so much that I never had to officially have the I-can’t-take-this-for-another-year talk.
I guess it also comes down to I am just not sure what our aupair will say….. I would like to hear from other host families if they routinely have their current au pair speak with their future au pair. Is there anything that they do to try and make this work well?