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Au Pair

(14 Posts)
Sunny18 Wed 20-Jan-16 22:11:53


I have decided to have an au pair to look after my 3 children (8,3 and 1) and she arrived last Friday, I am at home for a week to show her routine etc. She seems nice and chatty, but she only helps if you ask her to do something otherwise she is on her phone all the time. I am new to this and finding a bit frustrating to keep asking her. First thing in the morning she makes herself a coffee and looks on her phone, so I have to keep reminding her that she needs to help with children's breakfast. I don't know if she can cope when I am at work or am I being too judgmental.
Please advise.

NotAMamaYet Wed 20-Jan-16 22:16:19

Hi, I was an au pair and it was an unspoken rule that phones/screens/skyping etc wasn't to happen around the kids

I'm sure if you just explain this to her she'll get the picture - I don't imagine any of her au pair friends will be 'allowed' to do this....

I certainly made sure my phone wasn't on me most times, just to prevent temptation

Jesabel Wed 20-Jan-16 22:20:37

A 1 and a 3 year old sounds a lot for a young babysitter to cope with all day - what's her childcare experience?

Sunny18 Wed 20-Jan-16 22:53:14

Children go to school and nursery full time, so her job to get them ready, breakfast, pick them up and sort dinner, tidy up after breakfast, dinner, but since she came I thought I would give her time to settle. So when I come downstairs in the morning, children watching tv and she is with her coffee and phone and all she asks, may I help you? And I kind of think, she could at least put some cereals for kids. And toys, all over the place, I kind of hint start tidying and she just sits there with her phone.
It's so annoying me now.
Maybe I should give her a chance? I don't know

Sunny18 Wed 20-Jan-16 22:53:51

By the way, she's 24, not 18

mineofuselessinformation Wed 20-Jan-16 23:01:29

Give her a list of things that she should do if they need doing.
Tell her that you expect her to engage with your children when she's 'on duty' and not be on her phone - make it clear her social life is to be conducted in her own time.
And, in your shoes with these doubts, I'd tell her that you will review her job in two weeks, then again a month later; and add that she will be dismissed if you are not happy.
I've had a very good experience with an au pair, but also a very bad one.

Whinfell10 Wed 20-Jan-16 23:03:07

I have had 5 or 6 au pairs and you really need to talk to her. You need to make list of her duties and also rules ie no phone - maybe send by email and arrange to discuss. I always draw up a timetable. You need to sort it ASAP as otherwise if you are not upfront about what is expected, it will never happen.

Whinfell10 Wed 20-Jan-16 23:05:50

Sorry to add...but also remind her it is a job and she gets money/ a place to live / food etc in exchange for doing a bit of work and lots of free time in the day! Sounds also like she needs reminding why she is living in your house.

Sunny18 Thu 21-Jan-16 08:23:14

Thank you all.

I have to talk and explain her today.
Wish me luck!

DragonRojo Thu 21-Jan-16 13:57:12

Build a timetable with what she should be doing every hour of her working day. Be very prescriptive, ie, 7am: lay table, pour cereal for children, dress children. 8am: walk to school. 9am: clear the table, etc. She will soon get used to it

MrsFogi Thu 21-Jan-16 20:51:14

I tell my au pairs (and put it in the ad) that there is no use of mobiles/internet whilst looking after the children/during working time. I suggest you lay down ground rules now as to what is and is not acceptable.

Goingtobeawesome Thu 21-Jan-16 20:53:05

Hinting is no good. Tell her duties.

Sunny18 Thu 21-Jan-16 21:18:04

Thank you all.

Spoke to her today explaining things which I wasn't happy about and she's been running around doing so much stuff that even didn't have time to look at her phone.
But how long will it last and I don't know what she'll do when I am at work.

nannynick Thu 21-Jan-16 21:39:15

If you can get a timetable/schedule followed now, with luck that will continue when you go to work.

Have some kind of system in place for checking up on what happens, such as if children are getting to school on time. School will probably alert you anyway but make the school aware that you have someone dropping children off and collecting (they need to know this for security arrangements anyway) and ask to be notified if there are any issues. The school may or may not keep you informed but at least they know to look out for it and to query things with you faster than they might if you had been dropping children off with them yourself.

Remember we all have bad days, traffic delays and children refusing to get dressed. So an occasional slip may be ok but it should not be frequent. If they are frequently late for school they need to leave earlier. For the younger children it will be harder but nursery may not be happy if they turn up in PJs every morning.

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