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Is my au pair useless?

(169 Posts)
winewithcakeplease Thu 23-Jul-15 12:21:24

AIBU to expect au pair to teach children more?

My main reason for hiring ap is to help my 2 ds (3 and 4yo) learn French. Ap KNOWS this 100%, she isn't here to improve her English, it's already perfect.

They haven't started speaking any more French at all and it's been almost a month! I want her to help them learn French vocabulary by looking at books and pointing at words etc. I know he has tried because since her being here two of our lovely French children's books have been ripped whilst she was with them! They seem to mainly be playing with Lego/ toys which is not what I want as they already know colours, shapes etc.grin

She needs to speak French even when telling then off- ds2 had accident and she didn't speak French at all throughout dealing with it!

I am really frustrated by all this and really questioning why I've even bothered to have au pair, should I be? Are my hopes too high? And if so, what can I do to make her do her job better!?

StillStayingClassySanDiego Thu 23-Jul-15 12:23:30

Sorry but grin.

First world and all thatwink

GraysAnalogy Thu 23-Jul-15 12:26:49

Is this real?

If you want a teacher then hire one. She's an au pair and it isn't her job to teach your child a language. It can be an added bonus - but it shouldn't be expected.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Thu 23-Jul-15 12:27:32

She is not a teacher. She is a young girl here to help you with child care.

If you want your kids to learn French, send them to French lessons.

YABVVVU

Theycallmemellowjello Thu 23-Jul-15 12:28:50

I think that telling her you want her to improve their French is too vague. She's not a trained teacher presumably, so how is she supposed to know how to do this? Tell her that you want her to teach them new vocabulary, read with them in French, speak to them in French, encourage to respond to them in French... whatever it is you want, but be specific. It's reasonable to pick her up on it if she doesn't follow specific instructions, but you can't blame her for not reading your mind! I also wouldn't blame her for speaking in English when she wants to get a specific point across - imagine how frustrating it would be to have to deliver childcare without being able to effectively communicate what you want (I'd guess that that level of frustration is above her paygrade!)

StillStayingClassySanDiego Thu 23-Jul-15 12:29:55

In my opinion the Lego and playing is far far more important and if she's doing that with your 3 and 4 year olds then good for her, it's not just about shape and colour you know!

defineme Thu 23-Jul-15 12:30:03

Au pairs are for childcare and light housework, in exchange they improve language etc in a supportive family setting ( as they are usually young).
Do you need help with the above?
If not, then why not language classes?

Kayden Thu 23-Jul-15 12:32:03

YABU, she is not useless. She sounds great! You just have unrealistic expectations of an au pair who is not a teacher.

OttiliaVonBCup Thu 23-Jul-15 12:33:34

Could they play Lego in French?

Salmiak Thu 23-Jul-15 12:35:40

Yabu. When your dc had an accident she dealt with it in the best way she could, regardless of language. She dealt with it, NOT YOU. That's a good au pair, you should be bloody grateful.

She has also been looking at books, etc with them, also good. She gas been playing with Lego, etc. Also good. An au pair who interacts happily with your dc is a good thing. And yes, they may know their colours and shapes already but its still good to practice them.

Maybe try and say you'll all speak French during dinner times together.

If you want a professional French teacher then hire a professional French teacher and judge them by measurable results. If you want someone to play with your dc, whilst speaking any language they want and maybe do a bit of light housework then an au pair is the way forward.

GraysAnalogy Thu 23-Jul-15 12:35:47

Might this help?

bloodyteenagers Thu 23-Jul-15 12:37:15

Stop being a tight arse and pay for a trained professional to teach your children French.

What would be the point telling someone off in a language they didn't understand.

mimishimmi Thu 23-Jul-15 12:37:26

imagine how frustrating it would be to have to deliver childcare without being able to effectively communicate what you want (I'd guess that that level of frustration is above her paygrade!

This.... but thanks OP, DH and I had a good chuckle over this. They are 3 & 4 for heavens sake. Presumably you haven't spoken any French with them from birth so it's a bit much to expect they are suddenly going to be interested in speaking it.

maybebabybee Thu 23-Jul-15 12:37:34

why are you so manically keen on your DC learning french anyway? :S

I speak it but I learnt it at school, what's wrong with them doing the same? Assuming you aren't bilingual?

What a bizarre post.

OstentatiousBreastfeeder Thu 23-Jul-15 12:38:46

Oh yes, absolutely useless.

My au pair is required to spent one half of the day speaking German, the other Mandarin. On weekends she must speak Swahili. All poetry must be read in Japanese.

Tell her to pull her finger out.

maybebabybee Thu 23-Jul-15 12:39:05

ostentatious grin

MrsLeighHalfpenny Thu 23-Jul-15 12:41:29

Big LOLs at ostentatious!!

ChablisChic Thu 23-Jul-15 12:42:02

Haiku presumably Ostentatious ? grin

MoreBeta Thu 23-Jul-15 12:42:02

Err... I think the idea of an au pair is THEY improve their command of English by helping an English speaking family look after their children.

It isn't supposed to work the other way round which is what you actually want.

Loveleopardprint Thu 23-Jul-15 12:42:36

Graysanalogy you are missing the Lego string of onions.
That made me smile. grin

Toombumber Thu 23-Jul-15 12:43:30

Children need to use the other language at least 30% of the time and have some sort of motivation to use it. Sounds like no one's got any motivation not to use English.

penny13610 Thu 23-Jul-15 12:43:44

For about £30k you could get a French speaking nanny would would do just what you are asking of your aupair.
Your aupair is here to learn English, you ABU

maybebabybee Thu 23-Jul-15 12:44:22

toombumber the OP has not said anything about wanting her kids to be bilingual. she is BU because she expecting the Au Pair to be a french teacher on the cheap.

Sazzle41 Thu 23-Jul-15 12:44:32

If you wanted a foreign language teacher why did you get an au pair? There are lots of foreign language classes for little ones where i live. An au pair is for light housework and childcare, not teaching. She may not even be a graduate & teaching is a skill that takes 3years at degree level, minimum or a 2yr post grad degree.

coolaschmoola Thu 23-Jul-15 12:46:44

Someone else who thinks anyone can teach... A good teacher would cost you between £25 and £40 an HOUR depending on where you live. I'm going to hazard a guess that your AP doesn't get that a DAY.

You aren't paying for a teacher, you're paying for an AP - and that's what you got.

I teach my own language - it still took a lot of education and training to be able to teach it effectively...

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