When You Suspect That Your Au Pair is Lying. A lot.

by cv harquail on February 4, 2013

From Ananomousthistime

Our current AP has been here since the summer. On one hand, she takes good care of the children, is responsible and follows our instructions. I used to think she was a GREAT AP.

I should also mention that we place a very high value on honesty in our home. We respect the AP, treat her well, and see her as part of the family.

However, over time we have discovered several small and big lies. When confronted about the big lie, she denied the underlying cause to our face, with an honest and wronged facial expression. I felt like a jerk accusing her but it turns out she is a fantastic lier. She later confessed to the lie in a way.

Last week I discovered another lie about something she does not need to lie about: Everybody in the house has been having colds and we purchased 6 packets of medicine. My husband used 4 and casually mentioned that the box was empty so AP must have taken them. This morning, we were chatting and she said she was not feeling well and I said something like “oh the medicine didn’t help yet.” She said “I have not taken anything yet, I want to cure this with tea and rest.”

WHY would she feel to lie about this??? We have offered the medicine in the past, it is totally available to her and we actually welcome her taking it!!!

I just can’t wrap my head around this. If this was the only thing, I would not write about it as it is so small but we have now had so many instances where she lies about things she doesn’t neet to lie about!

Have you ever experienced this? What would you do?

 

{ 59 comments }

cv harquail February 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Anon.thisTime: From this post it is hard to say what is going on. Perhaps two packets of medicine did get put somewhere else (like someone left them in a car or at the office), and perhaps the “in a way” confession about the big lie has some subtlety to it that would shed light on the whole thing. How have the big and little lies been confirmed?

cv harquail February 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm

TexasHM
She said I haven’t taken anything yet. Not, I don’t have the missing medicine. It could be sitting on her desk and what she said could be true – she wants to try to cure it with tea and rest first. There isn’t enough context here to judge. The previous incidents – did you have proof then? In referring to a different lying incident you said “she later confessed to the lie in a way” – was it in the same way that she confessed to taking the medicine? I’m not trying to be harsh here, just adding some perspective. In a broader sense lying would be a dealbreaker for us because we would lose trust. I can’t live with someone and entrust my most cherished to a person that I can’t trust. If you search dealbreakers or lying on this site I believe there are several good threads on these topics already.

cv harquail February 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm

AnonThisTime
I knew you guys would dissect whether she is actually lying or not

I have been on this site for 4 years, the same time I’ve had APs. Please, guys, believe me when I say she is lying. I am sincerely asking if any of you have ever experienced a pathological liar AP? Is that something that can be managed if the person is otherwise hardworking?

cv harquail February 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Should be working February 4, 2013 at 2:11 pm [edit]
If you really truly know she is lying (I still am curious!), then no, how could you possibly keep her on? How would you know when the lies are important ones–how would you know what’s a lie? Have you asked her why she is covering up these things?

cv harquail February 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Host Mom in the City February 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm [edit]
I also think the cold medicine thing isn’t that big a deal taken alone – maybe she didn’t understand the question, or truly didn’t take them, or took some to keep in her room but didn’t actually use them yet, or whatever. Not such a big deal.

But combined with multiple other lies, particularly if they were big or related to the children, then of course she needs to leave. But we’d really need more context about what she lied about.

cv harquail February 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm

HRHM February 4, 2013 at 4:45 pm [edit]
AP1 was a pathological liar. RUN THE OTHER WAY.

I knew she was lying to her famliy and friends back home about how we treated her (she left an email open on the desktop of my computer) but I brushed it off. I knew she was “borrowing” my stuff (hairband here, perfume there). I knew that she was hiding an eating disorder (eating nothing but apples, laxatives on the dresser). What I didn’t know was that she was stealing me blind, force-feeding my kids and using my out-of town house on the weekends without permission. Right to the bitter end, she lied. Even told the LCC lies to try to not get sent back home.

cv harquail February 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Anna February 4, 2013 at 6:54 pm [edit]
Yes, I have had a pathological liar au pair. I have rematched as soon as I found out she was lying. This is a deal breaker for us. She lied so well that I would have never suspected this – even after I knew she was lying, she was so sincere sounding and she was so proficient at it – I wanted to believe her. This was not something I could change about her obviously, this was so ingrained it was her.

She also have put my kids in danger and lied about it, and I found out about it only after she has left.

You never really know if she is hardworking – she is taking care of your kids alone while you are at work, right? You never know if she follows your instructions. She may lie about small things to save face, but she may lie about big things to save face… she may lie about driving and texting, driving and drinking, she may lie about giving your kids certain foods, going with your kids to certain places, leaving your kids alone… or alone in the car (flashback to my pathological liar story)….

cv harquail February 4, 2013 at 10:30 pm

CA Host Mom February 4, 2013 at 2:28 pm [edit]
Ananomousthistime, We experienced something similar with the one AP with whom we went into transition. It can be incredibly frustrating – I feel for you. In our case, I think it was a symptom of her overall lack of maturity. Kind of like a panic response, if that makes any sense. I still struggle to understand the logic behind some of her lies and she went to a new family 5 months ago (and has since been sent back to Sweden as her 2nd match didn’t work out either). Dishonesty is a big thing for us too …

The only bit of advice that I can think of in terms of figuring out why this is happening would be to see if you can figure out if there is something that is putting an unusual amount of stress on her … or if she is dealing with anything that is compromising her ability to make sound decisions or that causes her to ‘panic’. And have a frank conversation with her wherein you explain that you are worried about her and wonder if things are OK due to the lie that you are sure of (and she admitted to). Sometimes doing that calmed down our previous AP and she was able to get a (temporary) grip and realize how silly the lies were – and she was always sorry (not that the behavior ever changed, but she acknowledged it anyway). At the very least, asking some questions in that spirit might give you some inkling as to what might be causing her to come up with the ridiculous lies.

It is hard when you aren’t sure that she is lying but just have a feeling or see signs. My advice there, when you don’t know for sure that she has lied, would be to just be patient and observant (and of course always make your kid’s safety the highest priority). It seems to me that falsely accusing her carries with it a high price in terms of being able to work through things in the future.

Good luck.

cv harquail February 4, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Melissa February 4, 2013 at 3:05 pm [edit]
We have also recently dealt with a big lying situation, although ours was different in that it was one big issue rather than something ongoing. But it has really shaken my view of our AP and the AP program and has made me start to question lots of things.

Our case in a nutshell is that we have an otherwise absolutely fabulous AP who is two-thirds through her year. She has complete access to a very nice AP car, but we found out that she has breaking our only BIG car rule (no driving into the city) for months. And when I confronted her, she pretty much continued to tell lies/half-truths, until I told her exactly how much I knew (we pulled a very detailed GPS report on the car). And this was not a one-time case where her ride bailed out and she felt stuck and made a quick decision to drive herself, which would still have not been ok but at least I could understand that better. No, this was repeated instances, driving all over the city (sometimes into not very safe areas) to bars/clubs, parking on the street, picking up/dropping off others, at all hours of the night!

We had a big conversation, greatly limited her car usage and are seemingly back to normal now, but I can’t help but wonder if there are other things that I don’t know about, should I trust her at all now, etc? We only have a few months left and it’s such a shame that this one thing (a very BIG one however) would spoil an otherwise great relationship. There are a few other things too that have raised my eyebrows a bit about her personal life (nothing at all to do with us or caring for our kids though), which I would probably just otherwise ignore as none of my business, but now thrown all together I am wondering if I really know her as well as I thought. Ugh, this is what I hate about the ‘trust issue’ – it makes you start to question EVERYTHING…..

cv harquail February 4, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Should be working February 4, 2013 at 3:15 pm [edit]
I agree that there is a weird all-or-nothing feel when it comes to lies. I suspect that our AP ‘fibbed’ about how serious her back-home boyfriend was when she came here. I can understand why, but sometimes I then wonder if I’m being ‘taken for a ride’ in general.

cv harquail February 4, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Host Mom in the City February 4, 2013 at 3:47 pm [edit]
This is a tough one. Obviously, lying would be a huge issue for me and I would really question everything else she’d said if I knew for a fact she’d lied and even more so that she covered it up and didn’t admit it.

But I also remember what it was like to be a teenager or young adult. I was a good kid, and would never have lied about something big, but I remember lying about things that I didn’t think were a big deal or breaking rules that I thought were dumb or random. Particularly when it had to do with being out and about with friends. I could completely see how at 19 or 20, I would have felt that it was so important that I get out to see my friends that I felt like my life practically depended on it. I could also see not really getting a rule on not being allowed to drive into the city and justifying to myself that it was a dumb rule, and I knew I was safe, and it wouldn’t really matter if I broke it if no one knew better. I don’t think that necessarily means she’s lying about more “important” things, but definitely means she’s immature and selfish (in that she’s focusing mostly on what she needs/wants).

I know we’ve had this debate on car restrictions and curfews all over this site, but this is one of the reasons we don’t place any restrictions on free time. I’ll let you know when I have to eat my words on this, but it’s worked for us so far

I make it clear that I am hiring an adult, and I expect that she acts like an adult. In return, I treat her like one. If I’m going to let her drive my car, I don’t have restrictions on it other than when it needs to be back because I need it (we share). I expect her to know where she’s going, know whether or not it’s safe, and be personally and financially responsible if something happens. I lay it all out in the beginning – here’s the areas of the city where it’s dangerous, here are better ways to get around, here is how much gas costs, here is how much a parking ticket is, here is how much it’s going to cost you if you get into an accident or get a ticket, here is how fast you will be sent home if you get a DUI. Obviously I make sure she’s a good driver, and when I feel satisfied that she can drive safely, after that it’s up to her. I expect her to act like an adult. I feel like if you’re placing restrictions that are similar to how you’d treat your teenager, then you can’t be surprised when you get teenager behavior.

Now obviously if you have someone that’s very immature anyway, she’ll be immature no matter how you treat her. But maturity is something we screen for heavily when we match – lived on her own or at least not been coddled, held down a job, etc.

And all that said, my current AP did “lie” about a boyfriend back home in her application. It said “no” and she never mentioned anything, but shortly after she arrived she admitted she’d been seeing someone for about 6 months and he’d like to visit during the year. It hasn’t bothered me for some reason. The “boyfriend back home” isn’t something I care about either way, so it wouldn’t have affected my match decision. And it’s debatable what “boyfriend” means to young adults anyway, so I don’t think she really flat-out lied about it.

cv harquail February 4, 2013 at 10:31 pm

One Thing at a Time February 4, 2013 at 4:06 pm [edit]
Host Mom in the City,

How would you handle a situation when your au pair was out with the car and it broke down, wouldn’t start, etc. while not on duty? I’ve been wondering about how I would handle it if my au pair took our car out of the area or it was in the middle of the night. Of course I don’t want to leave her stuck or unsafe, but I also don’t want to have to rescue an adult when it could be a major inconvenience for me or during work or something. Would you expect your au pair to call for and pay for a tow truck if something happened like this? The problem I would have enforcing this is if whatever happened to the car could have happened to me while I was driving. She just was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Have you run into anything like this?

cv harquail February 4, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Host Mom in the City February 4, 2013 at 4:23 pm [edit]
If the car truly just isn’t working (and not like she got into an accident or something), she knows I’ll pay for a cab. We also have road-side assistance and she knows how to call them. We’re lucky in that we live near a major city, so she can always call a cab and it’ll be under $50 (and probably more like $25) no matter where she’s gone. Neither of our au pairs have taken the car outside of maybe an hour away, so I haven’t had to deal with that. They’re welcome to, but we have great bus routes to any major city for like $25, and I make sure they know that driving with the tolls and gas can be $50 either way, so they’ve always opted for the bus. I guess if she was in another city and it broke down, I’d pay for a cab to get her somewhere safe and then we’d have to work it out from there.

Now if she got into an accident or had some other issue that was her “fault,” I’d expect her to figure it out. Again, she knows the cab number, the roadside assistance number, and there are tons of buses and the subway anywhere you want to go. She also knows that if she truly cannot handle a situation, that she can call me anytime and I will always help her find a way home.

I can’t forsee a situation where I would be out picking her up in the middle of the night or during work.

cv harquail February 4, 2013 at 10:31 pm

EastCoastHM February 4, 2013 at 7:49 pm [edit]
We put our AP on our AAA membership – costs about $20 for the year to have her added as a third driver on our membership. THen, when she breaks down in the middle of the night, or the middle of the day (we share a car, so I can’t drive to pick her up if she breaks down with my car!) I can say, “call AAA”. It doesn’t completely solve the problem, but it is a cheap way for me to know that at least in the immediate moment the car and the AP can get towed to a safe place when I can’t come get her!

Should be working February 4, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Me too on AAA for the AP! Peace of mind for $30/yr!

Anna February 5, 2013 at 6:10 am

We also do this! And have no restrictions on the car. AAA also gives them discounts on museums, etc.

cv harquail February 4, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Taking a Computer Lunch February 4, 2013 at 10:11 pm [edit]
I have hosted 8 APs. Some of the APs had minor fender-benders (you know, you’re inching through traffic and don’t time stopping perfectly – no one is hurt and nothing is really dented – at least not any more than it already is), a couple have had accidents.

All of my APs have solved their problems and have let us know after-the-fact (by the way, I got stuck in a ditch and was towed out, the car drives fine but if you want to have the shop look it over, then let me know), except one. She was young, immature, and within her first three months in the United States. The car had to be towed, so I bought her a AAA membership on the spot, and DH went out to meet her because she was panicked, and despite being with two friends, unable to think straight (it was close to midnight – on a working night for everyone). Our agency says that the AP can only pay the deductible or up to $500 if the deductible is higher – and that’s exactly the deductible we had on the aging but not ancient AP car.

Fast forward three months – the underwriter reviewed our insurance and said that unless the AP has an American license then she cannot drive our cars. Doesn’t matter what the state rules of the road are. She nearly totaled that car, so they want proof that she’s road worthy.

We also took steps that we had never taken before – we put a curfew on the car. This AP is welcome to stay out all night, but the car has to be home by 10. We’re now waiting to see if she will pull off acquiring an American license. We’ve given her a rematch deadline. While we’re willing to pay all fees, because we require a driver, but it is up to her to follow through. We used the failure to require a license as the main reason not to extend with another AP (our state permits driving up to a year on an international license for J-1 visa holders, but not a second year).

Back to the original question – typically I would expect an AP to handle the situation regardless of where she is. My handbook says to wake me up if she is alone and feels threatened. And while it does happen that reasonably maintained vehicles do break down unexpectedly (btdt). If she is so panicked that you can’t coach her through the steps needed to get through the situation, of course you need to rescue her. Afterwards, when the kids are in bed, is the time to talk about choices and being adult and how she might have handled the situation differently.

I feel that everyone is entitle to one free rescue. After that, I’d be thinking that the AP is incapable of learning from experience or mistakes.

Momma Gadget February 5, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Although NJ requires anyone living in our state for 6 months or more to get a NJ state license; the police in our area give anyone stopped with and international license a very hard time. We now require our AP’s to get a NJ license within their first 3 months. This requires them to study for and take the written the test. We pay for it, and it is a little souvenir to take home with them.
If an AP could not pass the test ( after 3 tries), we would rematch.

Host Mom in the City February 5, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Our insurance won’t insure someone with an international license, so we also have had both our APs get the state license. We send them the handbook right after we match, accompany them to the office, and pay for the licensing fee.

cv harquail February 4, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Ananomousthistime February 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm [edit]
The biggest issue with your case is that she didn’t come clean right away when confronted. I can only advise that you don’t take things at face value and check on your AP more. I am a very trusting person but it is a mistake to believe in the good in people when our kids are involved.

cv harquail February 4, 2013 at 10:32 pm

TexasHM February 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm [edit]
Amen Art! You did a much better job than me of illustrating the toll this type of relationship takes on your marriage. Every night in our very limited time before bed after kids were put down we addressed whatever our au pair’s current drama was. Like you said, we were no longer talking about our goals in developing our kids or even discussing our own feelings/goals/work, we were tackling whatever she wasn’t handling or was unloading on me emotionally! It strained our marriage and we didn’t even realize it /or how much it had until it was over. That’s where my shellshocked comment came from.

You are under fire girlfriend! Until you are off the battlefield you will not be able to truly assess the damage this type of relationship has on your kids, your marriage and YOU!

I honestly believe that our previous au pair did not do it maliciously, but it is what it is. I don’t hate her, we still treat her well but I no longer tolerate a one way assault of emotional demands without the same respect and regard for my time/feelings. Ironically enough, she has now moved on to others who will feel more sorry for her and take care of her.

Our current au pair is very nice to her but admitted to me that she doesn’t like hanging out with her a lot because the poor pitiful me bit is exhausting – lol!

BTW – a part of that poor me bit is playing dumb. I noticed over time that things she didn’t “get” were strongly related to things that she just didn’t want to bother with. IE – can’t learn directions for 8 months, its so confusing then gets a boyfriend and suddenly/miraculously can read a map and has multiple routes memorized. Hmm…

In the words of a fellow host mom I know (to me) “honestly though do you want someone of questionable intelligence with poor judgment being responsible for your children full time? You can’t sacrifice your children to “save” this girl no matter how sweet she is.”
I will be praying for you!

cv harquail February 4, 2013 at 10:32 pm

ART2533 February 4, 2013 at 1:57 pm [edit]
Thanks! – It felt good to share. What an emotional several months this has been. I am not sure we will ever have an aupair again, though once all the kids are school age I hope that we will have gotten past it because I do believe there are good ones out there.

DCBurbTwinMomma February 5, 2013 at 7:52 am

Lying: I am much more casual about lying in the au pairs personal life. My fantastic AP subsists on chocolate milk, croissants, McFlurries and cupcakes. She will eat proteins on occasion from dinner but mostly has an unhealthy diet. I used to ask intricate questions about her eating habits and knew she’d lie to make me feel better–then I realized, it does not matter. She feeds my 13m twins what I require which includes weighing portions and cooking with vegetables. If they were older, her diet example would be a problem; now, she’ll just get fat. She lied about having a tattoo. I showed her mine after I saw hers. She lied about a boyfriend and I can care less about him either. She has exhibited total maturity, love and respect for my girls and my family while on duty. She Skypes with him and I’ve given her some generic relationship advice on long distance relationships. If however, the AP were to lie about childcare or personal safety issues, it would be reason for rematch. Our au pair has gone on multiple vacations with us, to concerts and fairs, to dinners and events and we hope to host her and more of her family for future visits. I perceive we are close, but I remain her employer and not cool aunt. If she breaks the rules with lies about the kids–she knows that I LOVE them whereas I really kinda LIKE her. If the AP is creating drama in your lives, I stand testament that there are ones that surprise you with balloons on your birthday, poster boards of your children’s week, your favorite cupcake and thoughtful suggestions to enrich your child(ren). I agree, it’s like battle–you don’t appreciate the horror of the situation until its over. Cut bait.

Driving: our AP can go anywhere in the DC Metro area that she pleases on her off time. However, the car cannot go to some of the seedier places and has a curfew. We have her on our AAA membership and USAA insurance and she carries both cards. She has been pulled over twice and was able to talk her way into warnings. She promptly told me about the full incident as they happened. I felt both were unavoidable (headlight) and using GPS on her phone to navigate when we have a state no texting rule. That said, she has respected the car and used public transportation when desiring to hit a club in a “bad neighborhood”. She was told upfront about any restrictions and location restrictions and given maps and links to the Metro/bus/train to navigate the city.

So far these things have worked because I see her as a employee for whom I have friendly feelings and not niece or daughter. My daughter would not be allowed to go Go-Go / Salsa dancing in the ‘hood. My daughter would be forced to drink more than 1/2 gallon of chocolate milk, my daughter would not be allowed to wear such interesting outfits. The AP is required to tell us where she is going and I talk to her about my thoughts about safety. Beyond that, she knows I will help her in a bind and how to call the cops. (While we were on vacation in Miami, she met new friends and danced the night away–oh youth). I take the approach that she is an adult in a foreign country. My employer likewise does not restrict my free time. I have worried about her and do text her to make sure she’s okay. She knows I will let her do anything she wants within reason so there is little to lie about. Your AP is a different bird in that she IS a liar. See above, it’s not eorth the drama. They are not foster children to whom we should show love, build family bonds, earn trust and work through quirks. They are APs and can go to rematch / get fired for a better model.

I try to interview for these traits: ladies who have lied independent from their families, ladies from cities, ladies who are familiar with using public transportation, ladies who have had full time jobs (we use our AP 45 hours) and ladies who talk about being independent. It has worked for our unique circumstances.

I appreciate that I may be harsh and it may not work for all. I manage/mentor junior attorneys all day and realized that being their friend was creating chaos but in being a friendly supervisor the lines weren’t crossed and rules were followed. Likewise, I’m not searching for a daughter or son, I need childcare. period.

Momma Gadget February 5, 2013 at 11:55 am

DCBTM- I love your direct pragmatic approach.
Although having a strictly employee relationship with an AP is just not who I am, the take away ( for me) from your post is how critical clear communication and respect are…. even more so for us where some of the lines are blurred.
We hire adult APs with many similar requirements to the one’s you listed above. We have learned through trial and many errors to be clear in our expectations- We hired adults because we expect them to act like adults. We don’t have a curfew for them ( although like you, our car does) as long as they can get up and function effectively in their morning responsibilities. We do have rules about the personal use of the cars- they must ask permission to use it, stay within a 15 mile radius, not take it out of state or into the city ( NYC),and replace any gas used for personal trips. For safety/ peace of mind, I do ask our APs to let us know where they are going, and around what time they will be back. (ie “not so Late”,”Late”, “Very Late”) and to shoot me a text if they have a change in plans and will be staying over a friends just so that I don’t worry.
We have only had one AP who had lying issues, mostly around the use of the car. There were entitlement issues along with issues with dealing with authority-some of reasons we went into rematch.

American AP in Europe February 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm

I completely get what the LC is saying and your experience is only one example.

Another, from my personal experience is that for example, Korean culture values loyalty and saving face above honesty (academic honesty, to be more specific). When I taught in korea, I’d catch students cheating all the time. Their reason? Their friend didn’t study and asked them for “help”. They seemed to think I would understand… This is a whole different example, but my point is to not assume the worst. There is also the jumpy, nervous lying that I am prone to. I’ve even done it with employers/superiors about trivial things and if you can imagine, it’s awkward to try and backtrack.

All that said, go with your gut. If you can’t trust her, don’t feel you need a reason other than that to not want her to take care of your kids. If you think it’s just some odd lying here or there, she’s young and still getting her head screwed on straight. If the lies don’t matter, don’t worry. Also- as difficult as it may be with someone who has lied to you before, don’t get in the habit of assuming the worst of her by always assuming she’s lying. That will sour a relationship really fast.

German Au-Pair February 8, 2013 at 3:11 am

A little OT:
Maybe it’s just me but I didn’t feel bad AT ALL when I helped out my friend in tests. I have no experience in that area in college, but I cannot even tell you how many times I have actually corrected or even written whole parts of tests for my friends in High School…and yes, I have cheated myself and no, I don’t feel bad about it either.
In our class everyone knew who cheated and sometimes some people actually managed to get their hands on the test (because teachers used the same twice, not because they stole anything) and while I personally didn’t use it, I was loyal enough not to do anything about it. (It’s also so not my business…)
In Germany cheating is taken much more lightly than in the US…if you get caught cheating during a test in High School, the hardest consequence you might face is to fail the test (but some teachers let you finish without your cheating help!)

BUT the fact that my culture doesn’t really view cheating on a test as that horrible, doesn’t mean I’d lie to my host parents.

Momma Gadget February 8, 2013 at 10:25 am

I am quite certain that the significance of cheating from the eyes of a child/student conflicts with the view of school officials in any society that values education.
Bullying, using drugs, skipping school etc…. Are never a “big deal” to offenders. This doesn’t make them a cultural difference.

Should be working February 8, 2013 at 1:42 pm

MommaGadget, we lived abroad for awhile and in fact in other countries cheating (or what we would call cheating) is viewed differently. My kids learned that the attitude in school was that kids ‘cooperate’ sneakily on tests, and the teachers knew it and it was ok. It just wasn’t that big of a deal, it was sort of a tradition of kids vs. teachers. I will add that it made in our case for a great social cohesion in the class that included taking my kids in and being pretty nice to them.

Also I gather that in some countries what we would consider ‘plagiarism’ is a more usual practice for how to compose a paper, i.e. incorporating what ‘better thinkers’ have to say about a topic without acknowledging them.

My kids actually very easily understood that “rules and customs here are different” and this didn’t translate into cheating when they came back to the US.

kat February 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm

mammagadget, i think there is a lot of cultural difference in cheating at tests and papers. here noone bothers with listing recources, and its not until university level ( and not all unis i believe) when its considered bad to just copy sentences /paragraphs from elsewhere.
if you are copying stuff from your notes or your neighbour, its either overlooked or the notes are confiscated or people are moved away from each other. end of story. its not considered something to be ashamed of amongst the vast majority of the students. just a bad luck that you have been caught. there isnt any ‘school/uni’ policy for these situations. its upto the teacher as to how s/he wants to deal with it.

German Au-Pair February 9, 2013 at 4:46 am

Momma Gadget, believe me, with the attitude we had about cheating, we would have been kicked out of school in the US! A friend got caught 3 times (in the highest for of high school you can do) and there were NEVER serious consequences.
Everyone knew that students would stick together. One time a teacher actually sent me out of the room at the end of an exam and said “You may stop correcting your friend’s exam now, that is my job”. She got to continue writing.
I have made that experience in 3 different schools.

Then again, school is different. We don’t have multiple choice at all but write papers in class. The papers we write for homework don’t count nearly as much as they sometimes do here in the US.

The point, however, is that I don’t think a cultural difference like that makes you more likely to lie in other settings. It was sort of tolerated in school in regard to that specific area but not when it came to other things -and certainly not in other areas of the culture.
From 5th to 10th grade I was very talented when it came to cheating on tests but I have NEVER lied to my parents.
So when you find out your au pair is constantly lying to you, don’t try to explain it away with her cultural background.

SKNY February 9, 2013 at 7:27 am

Agree here.
On my time as an au pair I lied once about something completely silly just because I was caught by surprise and got nervous.
I was new in the family, wanted to do good, had a good friend go in rematch for nothing the week before.
I wanted to impress so I boiled all the little things the baby put in her mouth. One of which (one of those teethers) could not be boiled and turned white (lost its colors). I did not really realize it until host came to me very upset asking if I boiled it.
I should have said I did, and explain why. It was a little thing. But at the time I got nervous, panicked and lied with a no (which was stupid because it was obvious I did). And as APIE said, it is very hard to backtrack then

NJ LC February 5, 2013 at 10:16 am

Dear Anonymous, thank you for sharing your story, and DCBurb I really appreciated your balanced perspective.

I would like to ask each one of you who is hosting or has hosted an au pair to consider the cultural underpinnings of ‘honesty’. People in many cultures throughout the world are raised to think that relationships and saving face (maintaining pride or avoiding embarrassment of self or the other) are more important than telling the truth. This might shock many of us who only see the world through our own lenses.

Please allow yourselves to consider this before labeling the au pair as a bad person or a pathological liar. I would never suggest that you compromise your own sense of trust in your child(ren)s safety – always trust your parental instinct in this regard. If an au pair lies to you about fundamental things, there is more than cultural difference at play.

I am saying, however, that before you judge your au pair from your own U.S. American cultural perspective, you should also consider whether the au pair’s behavior is informed by cultural values that are different than your own. It is a fact that the value of ‘honesty’ is not interpreted the same way in all cultures. At the end of the day, we are all products of our own upbringing, and this is very different from culture to culture.

HRHM February 5, 2013 at 11:27 am

I agree that there is a huge cultural variant to honesty. My pathological liar AP came from a war-torn country and a poverty stricken family with an unemployed alcoholic father – so she lied and stole because in her prior life it was a neccessity and now it’s a habit. Several of my APs have come from communist/former-communist countries where corruption is so deeply embedded in society that you can’t get ahead without gaming the system on a routine basis. In that atmosphere, he who is the best liar, wins. I totally get that. But now, you are in my house and I have told you very clearly that with respect for me and my family comes honesty, so if I catch you lying to me about anything material, it’s grounds for immediate rematch. My Au Pairs have been warned that I won’t tolerate the lack of trust that comes with catching them lying to me. If you have possession of my two greatest treasures, I need to trust you beyond the pale. Just my 2 cents.

Momma Gadget February 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Having traveled extensively to China- I learned (again the hard away) the importance of saving face in their culture.
Since saying “No” out right is considered impolite, “Yes, yes, yes” does not necessarily mean ‘Yes’.
An AP from such a drastically different culture may need terms like “honesty” defined down to the HP’s specific expectations.

Taking a Computer Lunch February 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm

I cannot tell you how many times a crying AP has sat at my dining room table because her HF accused her of being a liar. That accusation, in my experience, when tossed about unfounded, leads to rematch because the AP doesn’t feel trusted. I’m not saying all APs are honest, and I’m not saying that little white lies don’t slip out once in a while.

If you suspect that your AP is telling big lies, then show up at home unannounced, track her car use, look at the cell phone log. In my experience, you don’t have to call someone a liar to get a behavior you don’t like to change. Just point out that you have the means to track her cell phone use while driving, where she drives the car at night, or how much she uses her phone during the day.

Every year I tell an AP, “I’m aware that you came to the U.S. to travel, to meet new people and have an adventure. I give you time off to attend cluster meetings, to take classes, and try to be flexible with your schedule so that you may attend concerts, go to the airport to say good-bye to a friend, or take a trip with friends. In return, I ask that you remember that I matched with you to take care of my kids, and that you make them your priority when you are working. I’m not trying to prevent you from seeing your friends, connecting with your family, or having a good time.” (Now that I have school-age kids and my AP works two short split shifts with a 6-7 break in-between and a day that ends by 6 pm, I am not sympathetic to texting or skyping; hanging out with friends and ignoring my kids; or making travel plans on shift.)

I try not to accuse APs of lying, but I do point out where my priorities differ from hers, and that my handbook guidelines exist because a predecessor made them an issue.

Tahoe Mom 2 Twins February 5, 2013 at 11:21 am

In my experience, lies beget lies, and it only leads to bigger and worse things. If it bugs you now, it’s only going to get worse and you should talk to the LCC, and schedule a sit down to see uf you can nip it. If its something that makes you feel your family’s safety or security is at stake, it’s time to pack her up before it gets there.

We sent our au pair home at 9 months because the lies were just out if control. We moved in the middle of her time with us, from a rental in the Bay Area to a temporary rental at Tahoe, to our long term rental. When we moved out of the first rental, we found her bedroom to be trashed; old moldy containers of food, used utensils, syrupy red beverages and drippy dried up liquids all over the floor and wall behind her bed, staining the walls and carpets. When we asked her about it, she said it must have been there before her (it certainly was not!). So the house rule became “no food outside the kitchen”, which was for us too, not just her to follow.

The exact same thing happened at the next house, but worse. She said she was sorry and wouldn’t let it happen again. She then also started staying out past curfew, and not contacting us. She also texted incessantly, on our ohine, and my son tripoed in our backyard, and now has a chipoed frint tooth; she said she wasn’t using the ohine, but the acciunt says otherwise. Also in the current home, we found wet snuss tobacco packets on the counter in the bathroom she shared with guests, within reach of our infants. We found them on the floor, too, after she left. Our house is a no tobacco house, but that’s not even the point. She was storing them, wet, we suspect, because they were soaked in something unsavory; The trend is to soak them in liquid mescaline (sp?).

She was staying out all hours, with people we didn’t know, coming home hammered after her curfew, and even calling out sick the next day. One time, she was still hung over two days later and laughed to my husband how she can’t kick the feeling from all the booze two nights before! Another time, she offered him some of the cookies in her room. But it gets better: we let her go, and later found out from her family member that her mother and stepfather helped her lie on her au pair application about her medical conditions, which would have been a non-starter for us.

Her condition put our children and family in serious danger, and or that reason, we decided the au pair system is too risky. We got lucky no one died, but now we also know how and why the horrible accident happened that almost drowned our son 6 weeks into her stay.

It sounds to me like you’re already fed up; if you haven’t done so, you need to gave a frank conversation with her. Lying, or covering up, may just be part of her personality, and it most likely wont change by shedding light on it. You’ll need to decide if its something you can live with. Your home needs to be your sanctuary, too, and this au pair doesn’t sound like a good fit.

TexasHM February 5, 2013 at 12:17 pm

NJ LC,
Great point. One of my APs told me this as well (cultural shift). Therefore, during the interview process I explain what our perception of lying is and explain that here, people would often consider you untrustworthy. I then explain that trust is our #1 priority, communication #2. If I can’t trust you (AP) 100% for whatever reason (lying, stealing, poor judgment, suspicious behavior) that’s a deal breaker for us. Ironically enough, with our first needy au pair I trusted her and that’s what kept me from rematching. We had communication issues, attitude issues occasionally, etc but at the end of the day, I knew she’d take a bullet for my kids so I sucked it up. In the future, I will find APs that I trust AND don’t need me to fix/mother/take of them. Right now I have that so if anyone knows any hot single guys in Texas let me know quick so I can marry her off and keep her forever!!

SingleHM February 8, 2013 at 2:59 pm

I’m not really sure what to say, except I’m kinda in the same boat.

My AP, German and 19, has lied to me on three occasions (that I know about). I’m not sure how I feel about her, or what to do. I think she’s a very nice girl and she takes good care of my children and is involved in family life. My kids like her and she often works off the clock, to be part of the family, when she’s not required to. She has a happy personality and does the work that’s required and takes direction well.

My lies that she has told include her smoking habits (she put non-smoker on application, but is a ‘social-smoker’), a boyfriend who she has been seeing and it’s getting serious, but she’s just telling me that they are going on their first date, and the latest is that she has been using her phone in the car.

I have confronted her about 1 and 3. I think 2 is kinda not my business, (maybe she’s not ready to tell me more), so I haven’t confronted her about it.

She got defensive on both confrontations. Had excuses for both. (smoking = didn’t consider herself a smoker, since it was socially…texting = only does it waiting in the school car line or at a long stoplight).

Both of those issues really bother me, and they didn’t seem that big a deal for her.

Its been 4.5 months and I’m not sure what to do. And while I think she does right with the kids and does her job well, I think that it will be hard to re-establish that trust.

The problem with liars, is that they are good smooth talkers and will twist it around that you are the one ‘at fault’. I have an EX that does that. I am really unsure about what to tell you to do, as I struggle with it myself.

KUP!

HRHM February 9, 2013 at 9:43 am

Depending on the phone, there are apps that you can add to the phone that doesn’t allow it to text while moving over a certain speed. If she really is texting while sitting in the carpool lane, do you actually care? If not, then this is the perfect solution. If you do, I’d have to ask why. :)

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/08/business/la-fi-tn–texting-driving-apps-20121107

As for the smoking, this is a frequent problem, especially with Germans who don’t see themselves as smokers if they have a couple of cigarettes at the bar. And in all honesty, when I deploy and we have liberty port in Bahrain and Dubai, I totally have a couple cigarettes with my well-earned gin and tonic! So the question becomes, does her smoking exceed that, does it cause a problem for you (doing it in front of the kids, in your house, in your car?) and did you warn her in advance that ANY smoking is not tolerated? In my HFHB I actually state that we won’t tolerate ANY smoking, including in her free time (yes, I am a hypocrite!) mainly because I can’t stand the smell and smoking leads to increased sick days. So my APs know before they match that I have a zero tolerance policy.

Anna February 8, 2013 at 6:12 pm

SingleHM,

It appears that you are hesitant and are open to giving her another chance. In that case I would call her on smoking and say if she said she is not a smoker than she is not addicted and she can stop smoking while she is in America. You only matched with her because she was not a smoker so she has to truly become a nonsmoker in the way you mean it.

I would also ask her to stop texting in the car at all, on lights, on stops, if she needs to text – park a car in a safe spot, exit and text.

I suspect at 19 ( I am speaking from a very similar experience) she will think she knows better than you and it is her personal life and just keep doing what she was doing.

I rematched with my au pair when I found out about those lies (she lied about smoking in exactly the same way), and after she left I found out her lies also put my kids in danger. But she was not a good au pair and I could see it – your case may be different.

Taking a Computer Lunch February 8, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Didn’t someone have an APP that caused the cell phone to cease functioning when the car was in motion?

Anyway, I tell my APs not to use their phones in the car. I tell them that if they were to have an accident, we will check the timing of the phone, and if it is found to have been in use, they will be out of our house. I tell them “Why bother to take the risk?’ Most get it.

I think most young drivers are unaware of how little time it takes to have an accident, and that the “second” that they turn their eyes away from the road, there could be trouble. I model the behavior I want from them. If I’m driving and my phone rings, I ask them to answer.

I had a college roommate once who was a smoker. I went to residential services and said “She got what she wanted, a non-smoking roommate. Why can’t I have what I want?” My advice, tell your AP that non-smoking means non-smoking in the U.S. It sounds like you are having trouble. Do you suspect that she is smoking in or near the house? in the car? when she is on duty with the kids? If you answer yes to any of the above, then will you be at peace without rematch?

Busy Mom February 9, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Good point on preemptively telling them that – in the event of an accident – we can tell exactly when they have used their phones. Think I’ll add that to my handbook.

Should be working February 8, 2013 at 6:31 pm

I’ve had two au pairs lie about smoking. Smoking is so common in many of the source countries for APs, they know they have to lie to get a HF. I am more lenient than most people. I say that if they are ‘social smokers’, I don’t ever want to smell it on their hair, clothes, in my car or anywhere, and never see it either.

Lying about the boyfriend, who knows. She might have her own weird approach to the relationship.

BUT texting and phoning in the car is an absolute. Phone must be in a purse under the seat while the car is not in ‘park’. My handbook states, and I reiterate, that this is grounds for immediate firing. And I have kids old enough to tattle, which may help.

exaupairnowhostmum February 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm

hi, I had the exact same problem with my 3d au pair! she was great with the kids, a wonderful cook, excellent managing the household chores, very pleasant to live with, always happy and outgoing, we were so close we used to share everything (never happened with any other au pair). The problem, she was a big liar. I realized around her first day with us! little lies, as you say, about things she didn’t have to lie about, like food disappearing (she could eat anything in the house, no need to lie), broken things,schedules, etc…

She was so great in every aspect that I overlooked the lies. I think it was something pathological, since she really didn’t need to lie about most of the things. She use to make up a lot of stories, and some of them I found out were not true (she comes from a warm country, told me she had never ever seen the snow, she couldn’t wait to see it, and that winter we were checking the weather to see if it was going to snow, not just me but other mums in the cluster, my relatives, she was so enthusiastic about it. Turns out one day she was showing my children some pictures in her laptop here comes one picture of her SKIING with her father. My children immediately told her, but that was you, in the snow! She denied it, and said no that wasn’t really snow blah blah blaha)

She was with us for almost a year, we loved her. She was supposed to stay with us for 2 years. After 1 year I told her how happy I was she was staying with us one year more. She said she was thinking to go to London to learn some English (we are in another European Country). I told her that would be wonderful, but first she had to complete the second year with us.

Not even two weeks later her mother was terribly ill, had a tumor and she was about to die, and her family needed her, she had to go back immediately I just felt horrible for her, I cried at night thinking at her, she cried so much, but after some contradictions, (she told me the tumor was in the liver,but she told my mom it was in the stomach (??) ) plus the surgery date was changing daily, depending on the price of her flight home (?)… I started to not believe her, and I felt awful for it, but of course I had to let her go home.We kept in touch, I was worried sick for her mom, and to make a long story short, now her mom has miraculously healed, and guess what, she found a family in London who wants her as an au pair, and would I write some references for her?

Since she left we found out some MAJOR lies she told around the neighborhood who hurt us sooo much. I wouldn’t want this for any family. Sorry for venting this way, I guess I really needed it.

That may not be the case with your au pair, but beware of small lies. It started like this with our au pair. She was such a sweet girl, but I’m positive she was a pathological liar.

Gossip was a major problem for us, since we are a really reserved family and is something we had told her before, but I guess she couldn’t control herself, and I had to warn her more than twice not to talk around about our family, since we live in a small town and everything she said was coming back to me, but as I said I guess she couldn’t control it.

How did we manage the lies? I have to say at the beginning they were not bothering me so much, but time went by I became more and more intolerant. Especially because once they have lied to you, how can you know when they are telling the truth? did the children really eat what I left for them? did you really give them the medicine? did they play outside or watch tv all afternoon? she was so good at lying that you never knew. I used to confront her, I’m a really straightforward person, but she used to cry and swear on her mother’s grave (really!) she didn’t do it, even when I caught her red handed, so it was exhausting, and I tried to not confront her unless was something really important, but of course I didn’t see any danger for the children.

Looking back I wouldn’t have rematch myself, because she was so great in every other aspect and actually I think she had a problem and she mostly hurt herself with that behaviour (she was lying daily, for the most trivial things, what was the point?)

I wouldn’t know what else to advise you, just wanted to share my experience. Every family is different, she was good for my family in that period, she was a big help. But I wouldn’t trust her NOW as my au pair.

kristen March 6, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Just came off a horrible situation with a lying nanny. She was great with the kids but I caught her in multiple lies and continued to keep her on. She met a guy online and made up a whole story about how she met him (through another Au Pair). She lied about how many times she saw him (said it was two…it was at least ten), introduced my kids to this guy at my daughters swim team practice without my permission. He then tried to commit suicide over her. The police had to become involved since he knew where we living and I feared that he would show up here. Still I kept her. The last straw was when I went on vacation with my children and left her home alone. She was under strict instruction to have no one in the house. I came home to a broken down door which she claimed she did by accident. Police say it was a very strong male trying to break the door down. She was interegated by the police and they believed she was lying but couldn’t get any answers out of her. I did find out she was partying/drinking/smoking alot without my knowledge. I had the Au Pair liaison remove her from my house that same day. Total nightmare. Lesson learned…if they lie to you then you get rid of them…. PERIOD

Taking a Computer Lunch April 2, 2013 at 2:11 pm

With 5 months to go in our current AP’s year, we headed off for a family trip, thinking our AP had already boarded a plane for a destination city. We cleaned out the garbage, so as not to attract extra bugs while we were gone, and locked the door. We returned late at night, and discovered that our AP had not boarded the plane, because food wrappers from one of her favorite foods was in the garbage. I was upset because she never told us that her plans had changed. When confronted, she replied, “It didn’t matter, you were gone.” Needless to say the trust is gone. If it were up to me, I’d go into rematch, despite the major loss in fees this late in the year, but DH wants otherwise.

DH and I are mostly around while the AP is caring for our school-age children, and she does as she is told, but with one foot out the door for her time off. Other than the random return home in the middle of the day, what can you suggest to double-check on an AP whom you no longer trust during her personal time? DH works from home two times a week.

Should be working April 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Why would you lose money if you rematch? At CCAP the fees you paid apply to weeks-of-having-AN-au-pair, not weeks-of-having-THIS-au pair. In other words, money paid rolls over to your next au pair match.

What are you most worried about in her personal time, knowing how deceptive she can be? That she would neglectfully damage the house? That she would vengefully damage something? Both are worrisome issues. That she might hang around with unsavory types and you wouldn’t know? This isn’t your problem unless she is giving them info about your lives/location.

Basically trust gone is gone. Does she seem to want to re-earn it? If not, 5 months is too long to keep her!!

Gianna April 2, 2013 at 2:56 pm

As I recall, you have never been in rematch, isn’t that correct ? And you have also known your LCC for a long time. Are you sure that your agency won’t be generous with the financial arrangements since you are such a good long time customer ? You’ve been struggling with this for a long time…

hOstCDmom April 2, 2013 at 5:29 pm

If you go into rematch, press for every dime; there is MUCH more flexibility re refunds than the agencies put forth as their policy (I speak from experience in our one rematch).

But, I also think that there is a difference between REFUND and CREDIT — with the former implying some financial loss bc the agency is losing you as a customer. If you will be getting another AP, then I would push for a completely pro rata CREDIT based on 7/12 of your annual fee (or actually X/51 of the fee based on the number of weeks AP has been with you). You are a long term customer who has invested probably close to 75k with your agency over the years; you are one of their best work of mouth advertisers among your children’s peers and among parents of special needs children. I would not be shy in explicitly mentioning those points. And, offer to agree to a confidentiality clause re any credit – the agency won’t want to advertise that they “settled” with you, but you don’t care, right? You can happily keep quiet about it if you have your money back in your pocket (or rather applied to your next AP.)

Momma Gadget April 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Ooh that is tough… I am not sure what would bother me more- that she didn’t tell me her plans had changed, or the cavalier attitude about it when confronted. Did she actually pretend to go to the airport… or just avoid telling you that her plans had changed? Moreover, it’s not like its so easy to just cancel airline tickets these days… ( without loosing a large chunk of money).How long ago did she know?
Would it have been an issue if she wanted to stay home on her own while you went on vacation if she had told you up front? It seems a bit childish and immature to not tell you her plans had changed. Did her friends bale on her… maybe she was too hurt and embarrassed?
Could you talk to her again about it telling her how bothered you are by not knowing why she felt she needed to lie about this?
5 months is almost 1/2 a year… and a long time to have to feel like you need to keep tabs on someone who is watching over your children. My DH sounds similar to yours- the financial repercussions of rematching would weigh heavier on him than the lack of trust.. But for me, unless the AP could give me an honest answer to why she/he lied, showed a little remorse, and apologized, I would not be able to get past it.
I have always believed that if I felt the need to spy or take other measures like installing a nanny-cam to keep an eye on a childcare giver, then that person did not belong in my home.

P.S. Sorry for the barrage of questions.

Taking a Computer Lunch April 2, 2013 at 11:15 pm

If I trust my AP with my kids, then I trust her in my house – alone. That is not the issue. I thought she got on a plane for her vacation while DH and I headed out of town in another direction. Imagine my surprise when I came home and saw evidence that someone had been in my house and I didn’t expect anyone to be there. It would have taken her 30 seconds to text us, but she thought that since we were gone anyway that it didn’t matter. (She didn’t know, of course, that I send an email to my immediate neighbors when I hit the road given them my travel plans and telling them whether or not she was in the house. She was lucky no one called the cops, since I had told them she was flying out of town before we left.)

Mostly her behavior was stupid. If she had been a fantastic au pair I probably wouldn’t have reacted the way I did, but we had just had a “reset your attitude” talk a few weeks prior and communication was a major issue. Underlying, of course, is the fact that DH and I came home and had to deal with car insurance issues from a car accident she had six months ago.

Usually I am calm, but I have my limits. And when I reach them, DH and I play good HP/bad HP (the same way when The Camel is in the hospital and I freak out because the nurses forget her meds/ignore the monitor that beeps all night/doctor forgets to write orders and I go ballistic because I find that it’s pretty effective when DH says “You don’t want to piss off my wife.”)

I’m going to leave it. While she thinks she gets the message every time we have a check-in chat, I know we’re going to continue to have issues, because common sense can’t be learned in a year. And that is the crux of my problem as I begin my search for her successor – how to test for common sense!

Momma Gadget April 2, 2013 at 3:09 pm

One last thought about her personal time- as long as she is following your rules with regard to curfew/car, and not doing anything illegal-
Is it our concern as HFs what our AP’s do in their private time? I ask because this recently came up with A friend of my AP, who’s HM had a problem with the “company” she was keeping.

Taking a Computer Lunch April 2, 2013 at 11:17 pm

This has been a problem with this particular au pair. We’ve already had a “bedbug” chat when I realized that an American friend who had been hanging out in our house was couch surfing.

Host Mom in the City April 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Hey TaCL – I know you’re not an over-reactor from your other posts and I know you haven’t been pleased with this au pair for a while, but I don’t get what the issue is. You WERE gone and her plans changed. I would probably think it was weird that she didn’t tell me just because she usually does, but otherwise I don’t get what is trust-ending. Is there more to the story? Do you think she lied about leaving at all?

hOstCDmom April 2, 2013 at 5:12 pm

TACL – I have read Aupairmom for years and always appreciate your posts and input. Like others have said, you are even keeled, extremely fair, and don’t overreact. So, therefore, I feel like I’m missing something in your story, that there must be more if you feel as strongly as you do..? What exactly are you worried about for the future? Why did her not telling you about the change of plans bother you? (or was it her attitude when confronted?) or is this simply the straw that is breaking your otherwise very strong, patient, kind, reasonable back?(!)

Should be working April 2, 2013 at 6:33 pm

I think the weird part is that the AP had “left” for her trip BEFORE the family departed the house. And then when they came back it was clear she hadn’t really gone anywhere.

So that would be pretty sneaky to PRETEND to leave and not really leave. Weird-sneaky. It isn’t that the family was ALREADY gone and then the AP didn’t go away as she had planned. Or so I understood TaCL’s post.

hOstCDmom April 2, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Aaahhhhh….Agreed- pretending to depart would be sneaky (and just plain weird!) because I’m guessing that TACL wouldn’t have cared if she went or not (unless maybe AP said she was unavailable to be on duty bc if this trip? And TACL accommodated or changed plans to accommodate AP?). TACL is the last HP who would try to control her AP’s off duty time or private life! So an AP who is sneaky or lies when the stakes are that low is really demonstrating a serious character flaw and lack of honesty/trusworthiness…how could one trust that the AP would tell the truth when there was “something to lose”

Host Mom in the City April 2, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Oh, got it. Yeah that would be really weird. If you’re at a point of totally lacking trust and needing to check in to feel ok, then maybe it’s time to at least talk about rematch? If I remember correctly, you have been unhappy the whole time?

LeAnne Nelson May 10, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Our au pair, Irca (Irena) Vitkova from the Czech Republic seemed to want to hide things she’s eaten, consuming entire family size meals while we’re away and then hiding all evidence by walking outside the big trash cans to throw away boxes, etc. and telling us she’s dieting and doesn’t want to eat much. Very odd. Now we’ve found lies like this and others were evidence of larger ones, so be careful. Irca told us she’d come here for the remaining 2.75 months of an AuPairCare contract she had, after “bad experiences with bad families,” and she promised to extend 12 months, so that we wouldn’t be paying all of her education costs (previous families never did) and integrating her into our family for nothing. Then after the 2.75 months she starts saying she’s so homesick and needs to leave, and I work to help her through it. Then another few weeks pass and she says she’s so sad she has to leave right away, the next night! Abandoning our family and babies she cares for. She always seemed to have an excuse, which I always believed, for why poor Irca Vitkova was being wronged by others. So when I ask that she please stay long enough so we can find a replacement, she agrees, but then the next morning she posts on her Facebook page, “home in 48 hours!” and she tells me she’s so sorry, but her aunt bought her a plane ticket back to the Czech Republic without telling her, so she has to leave… Be careful with the “poor me” mentality and seemingly small lies. I’d say it represents a much bigger problem of conflict avoidance, selfishness and manipulation.

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