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Au pair leaving low window on 1st floor wide open

(20 Posts)
Puffthemagicdragongoestobed Thu 11-May-17 21:57:12

Wondered how others would approach this. Since our au pair started with us last summer we have had to remind him several times not to leave the window of his room wide open when not in the room or when the kids are in the room. The bottom of the window is about 60 cm off the floor and the bedroom is on the first floor. The windows have child locks which he unhooked to open the window wide. This evening I noticed that he has done it again and then went out. The kids are usually in and out of his room all the time, he always leaves the door open and doesn't seem to mind them coming into his room.
The kids are 3 and 7 and the 3 year old is a climber, especially on window shelves. I am pretty annoyed that he ignored our request again to close it. I am concerned that with the weather getting warmer it will happen again and again with the kids around.
I do want to respect his freedom when he is in his room, but is it really unreasonable to expect that he closes the window when the kids are around or when he is going out? The window can be opened a bit with the child lock and there is also a smaller top window which can be opened quite generously. It's not even hot yet! I would actually prefer if he didn't unhook the child lock at all...
Thanks for reading

Akire Thu 11-May-17 21:59:43

Perfectly reasonable request you either get a lock for his door so kids can't come in, or you presume if he leaves it open you will go in and close it and he will not mind. Does your house insurence say anything about first floor windows?

TigerBreadAddict Thu 11-May-17 22:00:03

Put Jack locks on?

Puffthemagicdragongoestobed Thu 11-May-17 22:08:54

Akire, thanks for your comment. I have not actually checked our insurance about it, our immediate concern was more health & safety with the kids. I don't know if he leaves the window open when no-one is in the house, that wouldn't be good.
Thanks Tiger for the suggestion, I think regardless what kind of lock he would probably just open it anyway.
I am just frustrated that after so many times reminding him of a health & safety issue he is still doing it..

TigerBreadAddict Thu 11-May-17 22:14:16

Sorry, with a jack lock you can lock it with the key and keep the key if you think it's necessary

Puffthemagicdragongoestobed Thu 11-May-17 22:16:20

I see. That's something to consider, thank you.

cloudchasing Thu 11-May-17 22:18:05

Does he think you are keeping the kids out of his room? Shouldn't he have his own private space that isn't like the rest of the house? confused

Puffthemagicdragongoestobed Thu 11-May-17 22:26:22

I agree with you on this cloud and this is why I said in my post I want to respect his freedom in his own room (no need for the face). I have reminded my kids to stay out of his room (they mostly do when he is out) and when he is not on duty. However, he is usually happy to have them in his room when he is home and on duty and would usually close the door when he is in his room in the evening. But he often leaves the door wide open when he leaves the house and I cannot always control where the children go in the house.

cloudchasing Fri 12-May-17 12:35:57

Why can't you? My children aren't allowed in my bedroom unless they're invited, and they know that.

I'm only going on how I would feel. I think as an au pair he is entitled to his own space within the house, and it's down to you to control who goes in there when he's out. My point was maybe he is leaving the window open because he assumes you are keeping the kids out of his personal space when he's not there.

underneaththeash Fri 12-May-17 17:32:11

Well considering your 3 year old could die if they fell out of the window, you are well within your rights to tell him not to take the child lock off the window - its there for a very good reason.

Unless he has a lock on the door the children could just open the door anyway.

You need to be very firm on this to him.

Puffthemagicdragongoestobed Fri 12-May-17 22:13:33

Thanks underneaththeash, this is exactly how I feel.
I did ask him this morning and he rushed upstairs to close it. Hopefully it won't happen again. I really think he just forgets, he keeps leaving the lights on as well and goes out..
Cloudchasing, he does have a lot of privacy in his room, and a lot of freedom to do as he pleases in his free time, and when on duty I am not micro-managing him. I just draw a line where the safety of my kids is concerned.
Thanks all

DeeDooDee Fri 12-May-17 22:36:27

How about putting window restrictors on the window then you don't have to worry bout this again. With the best will in the world he will forget again. There are lots of types to chose from.

Lunde Sat 13-May-17 11:53:04

YANBU to expect him to follow basic safety measures in your home when he is looking after the children.

However you seem rather relaxed about your children roaming in his room and I think YABU to allow your children any access to his room when au pair is not at home - he has the right to expect privacy - for example he may keep medicines and private papers in his room. I think you need to put a locking mechanism on the door to keep the kids out if you are unable to supervise them and/or they cannot follow instructions.

Puffthemagicdragongoestobed Sat 13-May-17 13:09:23

Hmm. Do other au pairs have lockable rooms and lock them when they go out? He is our first au pair so I don't know what is the norm. The children usually don't go into his room when he is out, but, as I said before, he is the one who leaves the door wide open. So the kids could just walk in. I guess we could install a lock on his door, but how can I be certain that he remembers to lock the door if he already forgets simple things like switching off the lights or closing the window.

Thingvellir Sat 13-May-17 13:21:43

We've had three APs - the first wanted to keep her room private and kept the door shut (and we respected her privacy). The most recent two both tended to leave their doors open/ajar when they go out. Our current one shuts her door only when she's inside and wants privacy. The DC sometimes go in when she's not there (only when door is open) but I do discourage this unless they have a specific reason to be in there (--such as DS planting a plastic cockroach in her bed-- wink)

So conclusion is they are all different, important thing is to respect their privacy when they show they need and want it.

Re your window problem, have another very clear chat with him about the window. If he can't appreciate the safety issue I'd be quite concerned, as assume you do leave him in charge of your DC unsupervised...,

Puffthemagicdragongoestobed Sat 13-May-17 13:40:28

Thank you for sharing your experience. Doesn't sound like you have a lockable door either. We do respect our au pair's privacy, he respects ours, it's all good.
The weather is bad again now so I guess once it gets warmer I will have a serious chat about not leaving the windows wide open. Good point about general safety aspects.. he normally is a pretty responsible guy but there have been instances when he clearly has gone against my instructions - putting the washing machine on and leaving the house for 3 hours,even though we had asked him explicitly not to do that (I witnessed a house fire due to a washing machine blowing up. Luckily the family was at home when it happened so they could quickly call the fire brigade so the damage was minimised...)
Au pairs do have a lot of responsibility - for the children and the home - not sure what the answer is.

Thingvellir Sat 13-May-17 14:03:11

Yes- our AP room door locks from the inside but not the outside iyswim. But we'd not open a closed door unless there was and urgent need if she was out, or after knocking if she was inside

A firm chat about safety I think. Also I have the same concern re unattended washing machines as well!

ambereyesore Sat 13-May-17 19:10:29

Our au pair's room doesn't have a lock, but the children aren't allowed in there. She keeps the door shut when she's in there and when she goes out.

I didn't really want to get into door locking. Nobody sets foot in there apart from her though.

AnneofGreenGablesAgain Sun 14-May-17 22:34:13

We've had this - I then said door always to be closed if au pair not in the room. Window is one hazard but there is also other hazards e.g. chemicals (nail varnish remover etc), medication (paracetamols) that they often tend to keep in low drawers, nail scissors etc etc.

I say windows have to be open at the top only and door left closed all times that they are not in the room.

My kids have to knock before going in.

underneaththeash Tue 16-May-17 22:12:10

I forgot to mention, we have little signs in the house to remind au pairs not to do certain things, so a small sign on your au pairs window may be advisable.

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