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DD (11) hates our au pair. Not sure how to deal with it.

(13 Posts)
Blewitt Mon 20-Jul-15 13:55:33

We have got out 9th au pair for this summer. Decided to go for a male au pair this time as DD(11) quite self sufficient and have DS's 9 and 4 so thought it would be good to have a man around for them. DD has on the whole loved all our au pairs before but she just hates current one. She just says repeatedly that she hates him, she's unimpressed, he is mean and moans all the time about him.
The boys are fine with him.
He has been pretty hopeless around the house but is getting better with instruction (DH asked me what I was expecting, "he's a bloke"!) and is pleasant enough to have around. He is quite strict compared to other au pairs but only in an adult in charge kind of way (he's used to looking after lots of kids in summer camps).
I feel really sad for her that its not going to be a great summer and am just trying to plan ways to avoid them having to spend much time together which is a shame as the whole point of au pair is so I don't have to juggle summer childcare.
Its so awkward, she's just decided against him and that seems to be that. They definitely just don't "click". He arrived 2.5 weeks ago and is with us til September so I need to just make it work.
Anyone got any advice. I am sure he is aware that they are not getting along but not sure how best to approach it with him.
Thanks!

minipie Mon 20-Jul-15 14:23:09

Hmm. The real question is whether you think her complaints are valid or not. 11 is a tricky age - it may be that she would have taken against any au pair. Or maybe it is this au pair getting things wrong. Hard to say without knowing more. Has she given any examples of what she doesn't like? She should be able to be a bit more specific than "he is mean" hopefully.

Assuming you think her complaints aren't valid, then I think the best you can do is say to her that he is fine as far as you're concerned and is staying, so she can either be grumpy and have a miserable summer or she can decide he's ok and have a much nicer time. Her choice - but either way she needs to be polite and not spoil things for her brothers.

If there is something specific he does that she doesn't like then you could ask the au pair to do that differently, but if not then I'm not sure there is much point in talking to him about it.

Heels99 Mon 20-Jul-15 14:27:43

How much time Is he looking after her for? When I was 11 I couldn't imagine I would necessarily bond that well with a male au pair, could that be it?

Blewitt Mon 20-Jul-15 22:14:29

Thanks both. My gut feeling is that she is being awkward to be honest. He isn't the most creative with the kids and compared to last years au pair who she adored and who was brilliant at entertaining them and finding interesting things to do I think he feels a bit of a let down. You are right heels, I guess at that age it is less likely she would bond. Really we decided to get a male because DS (9) as ADHD and needs lots of outdoor time and generally keeping busy so it seemed like a good option to have a sporty male around. She was fine with the idea, just said as long as he's nice it doesn't bother me.
He is sweet - he just came to me to ask for advice on getting her on board, so at least he is aware of the problem and hopefully we can work it out.
I think she is going to need to make a bit more of an effort.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 21-Jul-15 07:35:09

For the last two years DD (11) has loved having APs who are like big sisters - do her hair, go shopping, discuss make up. Is thus what she is missing?

hesterton Tue 21-Jul-15 07:37:54

Yes I wondered if it was a big sid thing and that a man makes her feel outnumbered.

hesterton Tue 21-Jul-15 07:38:04

Sis

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 21-Jul-15 21:47:13

Sounds like she dislikes him as male and she is used to females

He sounds sensible and least is aware a problem - how long is he here for?

Grittzio Tue 21-Jul-15 21:53:46

Hi, apologies for hijacking thread but could really do with a summer au pair next year but have no idea where to get one, I'm ok this year as have an ex foreign student staying until Sept who is helping out and realise it's the way forward if I am to cope working and summer hols. Can you advise where you get yours?

chloeb2002 Mon 27-Jul-15 03:44:48

I must have a cautious view but at 11 years old there's no way I would have a male ap. dd 12 loves dancing, hair
Etc from girl aps. Big sister advice on tap. Not confusing the relationship up with angsty teenage hormones!

chrome100 Mon 27-Jul-15 11:38:03

I think it's a little sexist to assume a female AP wouldn't be "sporty and outdoors".

Sorry, nothing constructive to add but I think that's rather a sexist viewpoint.

Blewitt Mon 27-Jul-15 13:39:44

Wasn't being sexist going for a male but as we have had 8 female au pairs (and none of them have been particularly sporty) and DD has always been the one to get the best out of them because they have the girly relationship, thought it was time for the boys to have their turn at that side of the au pair relationship.
A week on and things are no better. I am seriously considering sending him home. He is so nice when we are about but seems unable to cope when we are not. He texted me this morning asking what to do with them because the park is wet, I need someone with a bit more initiative than that!
Grittzio I always use au pair world, it has a huge number of potential au pairs and apart from this year and one other "meh" au pair has worked really well for us. You do have to put aside a week of intense searching as you will get inundated with applicants to sift through.

LikeTheShoes Sun 02-Aug-15 09:48:04

Can he take her somewhere fun for a day out so they get to know each other and have a good time?

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