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Au pair advice on evenings

(7 Posts)
NaomiPS Tue 08-Nov-16 22:58:04

Hi all

Hoping someone might have experience of this and might be able to shed some light. When we come home from work our little girl (3.5) totally focuses on us and rejects any direction or help from the au pair to the point of rudeness sometimes eg don't speak to me etc.

Guess I'm wondering if this a sign of an underlying problem or her just acting out. She's undergone a lot of changes recently, I went back to work and she's started 3 hours nursery a week. She's tired in the evening and can be quick to fall apart. She also has a younger sibling 1.5 so it means the focus cannot all be on her.

I want to support my au pair and explain to my daughter about being rude but everything seems to end up at loggerheads as its late and difficult to really reason and I want to try and break this cycle.

Anyone experienced this and have any ideas?

I suppose I have a sox nary worry that she is acting out because things are not working out with the au pair for her as well as they could. She seems happy to go with her but they do seem to rub eachother up the weong way at times!

Thanks for any advice

thisgirlrides Wed 09-Nov-16 00:34:05

From a slightly different perspective I'm a childminder and have a lovely relationship with all my little ones - think favourite aunty, lots of cuddles etc but a couple of children over the years wouldnt want to know me the minute mum or dad arrive (or if I see them out and about with parents) and even very straightforward things like sitting them on my knee to get shoes & coat on would result in a meltdown
It used to worry me in case the parents thought child wasn't happy with me but I now know it's perfectly normal and just the child's way of saying - hey, you're great when mum isn't here, but now she's here I don't need you smile and forewarn parents when the start that this can happen.

NaomiPS Wed 09-Nov-16 09:00:39

That's really helpful, thanks. Perhaps I just need to find some info about it to give to her. She takes it very personally!

Callaird Wed 09-Nov-16 09:25:52

I've been a nanny for 30 years, looked after children 10-12 hours a day, 5 days a week. Generally see more of my charges than my employers do, I'm still just their nanny! The bond between a mother and child is infinite.

My current charge is just over 3, I've been with him since he was 5 months old and we adore each other but he still wants his mum when she comes home!! It happens with all of them. I bet there are days when your daughter doesn't want daddy to do things for her, she may not be quite so vocal with your husband as he's always been around. How long has the AP been with you?

Karoleann Wed 09-Nov-16 09:51:45

I think that's quite normal too especially when she's new, mine were like that with our au pairs at that age.
I would get around it by starting off doing something with them (e.g. I put them in the bath and the au pair takes over, whilst I put another child to bed).

There is of course a possibility that she just isn't right for your daughter. Is your au pair looking after both children whilst you're at work? That is a big ask for an unqualified person.

NaomiPS Wed 09-Nov-16 12:32:13

Yes. She's worked for us about a month. But only 3 days a week and the days are shorter as one leaves late and other comes back early. She also has a rest in the afternoon while 3 yr old at nursery and other has a two hour nap. She's got two much younger siblings she's looked after a lot so very at ease with the logistical side. But she seems to find this swap in reactions to her when we are there and not there difficult. Yesterday she said it had ruined her evening. Think best will be just to ask her not to try and help at all when we get home for the moment. She's not meant to be working anyway, just think she tries to help out sometimes once we're back. We'll have to see how it goes. May ask our old nanny to do a bit of mentoring with her as don't want her to feel bad but equally feel it isn't necessarily bad behaviour on my daughters part. Thanks all for advice

Doglikeafox Wed 09-Nov-16 13:43:22

Hi OP, I'm a childminder too and I also find this with a lot of children. I have one little girl (2.5) who i have looked after for over a year. She is with me 6 days a week, 9 hours a day and sometimes when her mum arrives she is awful to me! She does things she would never dream of doing during the day (think kicking, biting, hitting) if I try and help her do something as simple as get her shoes on. On the flip side, she sometimes behave similarly towards her mum and cries when she has to go home at the end of the day.
It is important to remember that little ones don't usually have the skills to express their feelings like adults do, so something that may seem like a very big deal to us (her being rude to the nanny) is just a build up of emotions to her. She obviously isn't quite sure how else to express her feelings that even though she may love nanny, she would actually much prefer to be with you when the option is there (so when you're home).
I remember someone once telling me that children can get quite anxious when their two 'worlds' collide. E.g she has a little world at home with Mummy and Daddy and her siblings, and another little world with her nanny. There are different rules in both worlds, and different boundaries and caretakers. She is probably finding it stressful trying to understand what the rules are, who is in charge etc when both you and nanny are there.

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