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To fire my au pair

(79 Posts)
Mummaaaaaah Mon 11-Jul-16 08:55:29

DD, 4, casually informed us yesterday that our new au pair had pinched and twisted DS' ears (6) a few times when he was naughty. When it didn't work she used her nails. DS confirmed exactly the same story when we asked him. Including the bit about the nails. We are horrified and sacked her as soon as she got home. She hasn't denied the ear pinching but says he was laughing not crying. She didn't do it to hurt and her mother used to do this to her when she was naughty. As on 4th au pair I have a big manual that I give them when they arrive and go through it. It includes no shouting or physical violence of any kind and suggest alternative punishments. Woke up this morning to a DH who seems to be acting as if we've over reacted. I feel dreadful about the whole thing but the trust has been broken. Did we over react? At mo feeling so guilty and worst mother ever!

KoalaDownUnder Mon 11-Jul-16 08:57:08

Did he say it hurt?

Milanisabadman Mon 11-Jul-16 08:59:44

YANBU. I don't pinch my children myself and I'll be damned if I let someone else do it to them. No overreaction from my point-of-view; you acted appropriately.

RedHareWithBlondeHair Mon 11-Jul-16 09:02:29

I don't think you over reacted at all. It's not the way you want someone to behave towards your children. Very understandable.

Have the other au pairs been fired for similar behaviour or did they quit?

RebootYourEngine Mon 11-Jul-16 09:11:17

I wouldnt want someone pinching my child like that.

What other things are in this manual?

DowntonDiva Mon 11-Jul-16 09:13:46

I think no shouting or physical violence is a no brainier! YANBU she's be gone if it were me.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Mon 11-Jul-16 09:19:34

That's not the point Koala.hmm.
YDNBU op, and with much respect
. Has your DH gone stark raving mad. How were you over reacting. What happened to your DS was child abuse. There's no dressing it up. Imagine if your DS was a little baby and he couldn't speak out for himself.
Please tell me you've reported her to the police and her agency. She's needs stricken off. The next child she abuses may not be fortunate enough to be able to tell the tale

MaisieDotes Mon 11-Jul-16 09:25:16

No, you haven't overreacted.

Even the reason she gave- that her mother used to do the same to her- is a sign she hasn't the first clue about how to look after children. Don't they get any code of conduct from the agency?

HermioneWeasley Mon 11-Jul-16 09:25:39

Not over reacting at all. If she thinks it's acceptable to ignore that rule, which others will she ignore? As you say, the trust has been broken.

chameleon43 Mon 11-Jul-16 09:26:49

what were the other 3 fired for?

LordoftheTits Mon 11-Jul-16 09:30:09

My mother told me from a very young age that pinching or nipping someone was particularly nasty, horrible and wouldn't be tolerated. I'm shocked that an adult would do that to a child and think it was fine!

TheWindInThePillows Mon 11-Jul-16 09:33:52

I would definitely sack her, as she doesn't seem to know she's done the wrong thing.

Twisting or pinching ears is something I've seen once or twice, once at school and I also have a friend who pulled her son's ear when she was cross at him, and I did wonder if this was a cultural difference as she's the same culture as my husband.

It's still wrong though, so I don't see what choice you have, au pairs shouldn't be laying their hands on children.

EarthboundMisfit Mon 11-Jul-16 09:34:54

Surely other details aren't needed here? THIS aumpair has crossed THIS line...yes, I'd fire her.

Ditsy4 Mon 11-Jul-16 09:35:23

No, you were right to fire her. Just because her mother did it to her doesn't mean it was right.
You would feel a lot worse if it escalated and she really hurt him.
If a four year old has told you and knows it is wrong then you know that it was. Your DH is just thinking of the difficulties of not having childcare.

damepeanutbutter Mon 11-Jul-16 09:37:59

Definitely a no-no. She has to go because your trust has gone. Not nice for your kids at all to be with someone like this 'caring' for them. Aupair needs to use YOUR rules, not her mother's.

Mummaaaaaah Mon 11-Jul-16 09:40:58

thanks all. she's gone now. I KNOW it was the thing to do just feeling v confused and in shock a little. FYI no other au pairs have been fired. The usual deal is they come for a year to learn english and live in an english family so they have all moved on as expected and I'm still in contact and very friendly with them. Just went to get something out of the car we gave her to use (which she drives the kids to school in) and it stinks of smoke!

And when DH just took her to the station she still said she hadn't hurt him and that she thinks DS has ADHD. Am now even more flippin furious. How dare she!

Finola1step Mon 11-Jul-16 09:41:49

A big, fat no-no. This is an indication that the au pair isn't suited to you as a family. Best move on now rather than drag out the inevitable.

FWIW if an adult pinched my child, twisted ears, used nails etc then getting sacked would be the bare minimum I would consider.

Mummaaaaaah Mon 11-Jul-16 09:43:07

the manual is a guide to the rules of the house, routine of the kids, some food ideas, info on local area (shops etc), maps and a very clear outline of what behaviour we expect and how to manage the children (i.e. the no pushing, pulling, shouting, violence of any kind etc etc). I go through the whole thing with them when they arrive as I know from past experience these things are better clearly laid out so we all know where we are.

Zhabr Mon 11-Jul-16 09:44:44

In Norway she will be charged with assault, that's for sure! Is she from Eastern Europe? Ear twisting is still quite common way of "discipline" in there.

NoahVale Mon 11-Jul-16 09:45:01

i spose in fairness an au pair isnt a nursery nurse, and was perhaps joking but you made your decision

NoahVale Mon 11-Jul-16 09:46:30

pretty awful thing for her to do though, seems mean

Mummaaaaaah Mon 11-Jul-16 09:47:56

she's french. but as most of you have pointed out, its not the point if its part of her family or culture, these are my kids, this is my family and we clearly spelled out the rules. I would never, EVER, pinch my childrens ears till it hurt and I won't have someone looking after them who thinks that is normal.

am now rethinking the whole au pair thing tbh. and bloody planning how we are going to get through the summer with no childcare set up!

JohnCheese Mon 11-Jul-16 09:48:49

Completely unacceptable. YADNBU.

You probably should also inform the agency you got her through.

Aeroflotgirl Mon 11-Jul-16 09:49:02

Yanbu at all op, and in your situation, I would do the same thing. Au pairs are not qualified nannies, but usually students who come from abroad to learn the language and culture, she sounds quite inexperienced and immature. Mabey discipline is different in other cultures. Does not make it right at all.

Aeroflotgirl Mon 11-Jul-16 09:49:48

Temporary nanny mabey?

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