Earlier we had a conversation about whether or not au pairs in the USA were, as a group, starting to act more entitled than in earlier times.
In our poll, 60% felt that au pair expectations were on the rise, while 40% felt that things had stayed the same. Although we were fairly split in our views, there was one thing we all agree on —
An au pair who’s unhappy with a good deal and wants something more plush can be a very annoying presence in your household.
So how should you handle it if your au pair starts acting like his or her gig with you is no longer ‘good enough’?
I just did a quick poll of the former host parents I’m visiting with this afternoon, and all three of them said “rematch”. I think they all forgot what a boatload of awful it is to go into rematch. So…
First, I’d run a quick self-evaluation:
- Are you following the rules?
- Are you being fair?
- Are you walking your talk?
- Are you making good on promises that you’ve made?
- Have you kept a lid on your expectations of your au pair?
If the answer to all of these is yes — and you’ve made sure you’re not letting yourself off easy — then what?
First time host family here, and we are about halfway through our year. So far, we have had a fairly good experience. Our au pair is wonderful with our son, and everyone in our family loves her.
In the beginning, she went on and on about how lucky she was to have us as a family– half of her friends from training were in re-match/horror stories, etc.
Recently, however.. we have a case of the “entitled” au pair.
We have just one 2-year old son, she works during the week set hours (probably only 40, not even 45), never works weekends, and can use the car nights/weekends.
Now, though, she is finding au pair friends with “princess” situations– their own suite, school-aged kids (so the au pair has a LOT of free time), free gas/food credit card, lots of extra $, etc etc. Due to the au pair’s carelessness (we were NOT snooping.. she uses OUR computer, and left her email open!), we noticed she was complaining to the area director about “never getting the car,” and “can’t wait until the contract is over.”
I resent her complaining. We have been MORE than accommodating with her.. and she is so ungrateful. I feel like I have a bratty American daughter!
Can anyone provide some advice? I’m not going to say anything to her- I don’t want her to quit at this point. We are in a good rhythm, and I want her to stay with us until her year is up.
But, any advice on how to deal with “entitlement” would be greatly appreciated.
See Also: Classic Case: Can you change a Princess?