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how to handle this...

(21 Posts)
talkingrabbit Mon 20-Jun-11 10:22:35

A bit of context: I think AP should keep her birth control pills out of the sight of my kids (10, 8, 6) during working hours in her room, as kids often go in and she often invites them in. I've asked her about this several times but it hasn't happened, and I have taken to just slipping them into a drawer when I pass by. They always come out again to sit on the side. A few days ago, my daughter asked what they were (I was in the kitchen, they were in the APs bedroom with the door open, had been doing some drawing together), AP said 'medicine', DD said 'what for?', and AP said 'they're to stop me having a baby when I have sex with my boyfriend'. I really think this is unacceptable for a host of reasons, also DD was a bit shocked and upset herself (wasn't the answer she was expecting at all!). I had fairly gentle words with AP after, but AP's reponse was her usual throw-it-back-at-you one of, 'What do you expect me to say, how am I supposed to know how much they know about that kind of thing?' Does anyone have any experience of this kind of thing, should I put something in my 'welcome pack' (which look pretty forbidding as it is) specifically about avoiding touching on sex-related issues with the kids yourself but referring them to parents instead? Has this ever happened to anyone else - AP also keeps just-short-of-explicit pictures of herself and friends pinned up on walls, and when I raised an eyebrow, she raised one back...

RitaMorgan Mon 20-Jun-11 10:24:56

Maybe just keep the children out of her room.

cory Mon 20-Jun-11 10:30:28

was going to post the same as RitaMorgan

talkingrabbit Mon 20-Jun-11 10:40:14

HI Rita, I would love to - I think it's her personal space for her to retreat from the kids in and to keep all her very own stuff, but she invites them in all the time, into her bed to watch films etc., and this was one of those times when I would have liked them to be drawing together downstairs or in DD's room, but AP wanted to sit in her bed and carry on on her computer while DD drew at her desk. It's actually a bit confusing for the kids as they don't know whether they are allowed in (AP says yes, whenever they like, esp if that means she can watch a film in bed while they play on the floor) or not (i say not unless specifically invited, which doesn't include 'can i come into your room'). But just generally, with other people's under 10s in our house, if they were to find something like my birth control, I think I'd avoid giving a full answer to questions, move swiftly on, but be sure tell the parents what had happened when they came to pick up. I was really surprised that AP thought it was all ok, fuss about nothing.

RitaMorgan Mon 20-Jun-11 10:43:03

Personally I wouldn't have a problem with her answer but all parents are different.

Just tell the AP and kids that from now on they are not allowed in her room. You're the boss here!

Novstar Mon 20-Jun-11 11:15:12

I have told my 5 & 6 yo DCs exactly what my bc pills do, and what sex is etc so I'm not that surprised that your AP did. 10 yo children these days can surely come across it in other contexts that aren't under your control can't they? You could think of it positively, that at least they were told by someone they know and trust.

But that aside, I guess the point is it's your house, your kids, and you can set the rules and your AP should respect that. If she is "usually" throwing-back-at-you her responses, it seems disrespectful.

fraktious Mon 20-Jun-11 11:20:55

Stop her having a baby = fine
Mentioning sex isn't.

Putting a line in the welcome pack is probably a good idea, as is a word with the current AP on acceptable behaviour/erring on the side of caution

TobyLerone Mon 20-Jun-11 11:21:15

She probably leaves the pills out because it helps her to remember to take them. I don't think you can reasonably insist that she keeps them in a particular place.

I don't know -- my children have known for years what the pill does (I don't take it, but we talk about these things). I think it's probably unusual for a 10 year-old NOT to know about the basics of contraception. And the au pair is right that she doesn't know what you've told them and what you haven't. I'd probably err on the side of caution were it me, but perhaps she just felt that honesty was the best policy in this case. I wouldn't mind. But your kids, your rules etc.

ChitChattingagain Mon 20-Jun-11 12:05:36

Wow, TalkingRabbit, your AP sounds like a right royal pain in the backside (taking into account what you've said on the 'visiting' thread). WHAT are you still doing putting up with her????

But be that as it may, your house, your rules, and your AP has got to realise that. But YOU have to TELL her that. It seems to me that you've just let things slide because she's such a mouthy thing.

Her approach to her the pill is not on at all. You've made it clear to her that you don't want it out on display to your DC. She hasn't followed your instructions. It may be her space, but in that case she shouldn't be using it during working hours, or allowing your DC in there.

If YOU don't want your DC in her room - especially during working hours - tell her that. She shouldn't be watching a movie while they're drawing in her room anyway. That's not on at all.

She's an employee, not a family member. She doesn't get to set the rules, you do. You might need to handle her with more sensitivity than you would a professional nanny but I'm afraid I wouldnt' put up with her behaviour, and in particular, the way she talks to you.

talkingrabbit Mon 20-Jun-11 12:43:16

Thanks all, that's helpful. Chitchattingagain, she is going grin! - she took exception to us offering Mum and bro to stay for 3 nights out of the 6 she had booked without consulting us on dates or lengith of stay. Her Mum threw a fit at this and said they wouldn't come to with us stay at all, and AP has thrown a fit and said she is leaving this week. I had wondered whether I was overreacting here to the whole birth control thing because of being generally peed off with AP being impossible; my kids know about sex and birth control as far as it's of interest to them and have always had appropriately informative answers to q's, I just would rather that AP had toned down her remarks (DD asked me afterwards if AP likes children as she doesn't like babies!); and I feel irritated that none of it would have come up if she'd actually either kept DC out of her room as I ask or put Pill somewhere discreet where they wouldn't necessarily see it (tho I take the point about the visual reminder, I was rubbish at remembering back in my far gone youth). Thanks again for helpful replies.

ChitChattingagain Mon 20-Jun-11 12:50:00

Just tell her to not let the door smack her in the backside on the way out grin!!!

Seriously though, you are well rid of her. She sounds incredibly disrespectful.

It's so hard with APs, I found one which I thought sounded great, and on paper she ticked all of the right boxes. In person she was hopeless - let my son run out of our front garden onto the road (while standing there but too absorbed in watching my DH load the car up), never got down on eye level with the DC (then complained that they didn't want to go to her), came downstairs 5 minutes before she was due to start work then complained she didn't feel as though she was part of the family (well FFS come down and have breakfast with us you twit!!!), etc, etc, etc.

And breathe.....

I had to tell her it wasn't working and she needed to either find another position or go back home - she chose to go back home in the end.

talkingrabbit Mon 20-Jun-11 13:06:13

grin first time I've laughed for days, "never got down on eye level with the DC (then complained that they didn't want to go to her), came downstairs 5 minutes before she was due to start work then complained she didn't feel as though she was part of the family (well FFS come down and have breakfast with us you twit!!!)", must be the twin sister of our current I think!... Running across roads hauling youngest by the hand so fast that he trips,falls and oncoming car fortunately skids to a halt (in her own admission); leaving 8 year old unsupervised on the internet up in my bedroom, then shouting at him when I turned up to query why he has a large 'busty busty brides' pop up window on the page he's on; secretly inviting 10 year old to come and stay with her family 'on her own with us, we'll have much more fun without the rest of your family' (DD now totally confused as to why AP leaving suddenly if she liked her that much in the first place)...
Looking forwards immensely to my carthartic, vengeful hoovering and fumigating fest in her room later this week wink

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 20-Jun-11 15:43:07

tbh i think the answer was a very good one - minus the sex with boyfriend

children need to know about sex/how babies are made and tbh 6yrs need to know the basics before they get to 10 iyswim

i am all for being honest

i would also be greatful pleased that the ap actually wants to spend some of 'her time' with them, rather then slamming door at 6pm etc

thebody Mon 20-Jun-11 22:30:36

i think she sounds like an older sibling very fond of the dcs but a bit of a rebel with you!!

tough one as never had an aupair but to me its your house, you are the boss and its your rules...

talkingrabbit Wed 22-Jun-11 12:39:26

thebody, I'd agree there, though fond of dcs doesn't stop her playing with their little minds (leaving tomorrow, she has been round them all to ask 'how much will you miss me? this much? this much...? this much.......?? you'll never see me again you know!" Bonkers). Also can be very combative or provocative with me and exceptionally docile with DH, which is especially annoying. She is in fact a qualified social worker in France, which is amazing interesting given her grasp (or lack of) of child protection, health and safety, team working and effective communication....

fraktious Wed 22-Jun-11 12:49:42

No, that would sound about right for social workers in France. Not a shining example of any of the things you mention....

thebody Wed 22-Jun-11 13:05:52

oh dear,, sounds very stupid behaviour.. and the cow effectivly flirts with your dh.. unforgivable..

clare21 Wed 22-Jun-11 22:14:11

This reminds me of the moment I discovered a box in the fridge, in amongst the apples. I pulled it out thinking 'what's this'? Still none the wiser looking at the box, so I took out the booklet inside and discovered it was a pack of coils. In our fridge, with the fruit and veg, the very fridge drawer that the kids pull out every day to raid. Hmm WTF I thought. I left it in there thinking perhaps AP would be mortified and take out when returned from trip home. But no. I'm all for her not having a baby, but not so sure about keeping her equipment amongst the apples.

talkingrabbit Wed 22-Jun-11 23:20:07

grin I think I'm very glad next AP is going to be male...until I have to have words about the used condoms and/or porn mags under the bed, I guess blush?

crazycarol Sat 25-Jun-11 23:55:17

In a house with children in, NO medicines should be left out. What if the youngest one thought they were sweets.

mikulkin Thu 07-Jul-11 10:11:29

Completely unacceptable behaviour! It is not the job of au-pair to explain children about contraception and sex! My 10 yr old DS has no interest in knowing such things, he also believes everybody would love to have children and he would have been mortified by the answer!

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