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What activities does your au pair do with your dc's? Mine seems reluctant!

(6 Posts)
kittywise Thu 25-Sep-08 13:50:48

This is my second au pair, three weeks in. She is very quiet, but efficient, but it is like having another child in the house, there is no initiative from her.

I wish she had a bit more oomph iyswim? I have suggested on a number of occasions acitvities sh could do with the dc's, like painting, cooking, playing with the shed load of toys we have, but she doesn't she just sits there drawing pictures with them.
I wish she would show a bit of initiative.

How can I get her to DO something with them?

What do other au pairs do?

Do any au pairs actually want to be with the childrenhmm?

I've a feeling I'll be posting again on the subject of this au pair, she needs a rocket up her bum grin,

Just to add I'm always there in the house, only leave her alone to do the school run.

Weegle Thu 25-Sep-08 14:18:30

They don't often show initiative. You've got a gem if they do!

Tell her today I would like you to go to the park, stop at the station on the way home to watch the trains. Then when you get home maybe you could bake some biscuits using this recipe. Maybe after that you could do some painting. Etc etc.

Also if you are there in the house that almost certainly will stop her taking initative she'll be waiting for you to suggest the activity.

Mine will do anything I ask - but she won't think to do anything other than sit on the floor playing with toys unless I say so. But she's 19, I wouldn't expect anything else really.

Currently getting slightly irritated with mine turning the house in to a laundrette due to useless time management, so I really think they do need a certain amount of hand holding and being told "do this at x time, then do this".

kittywise Thu 25-Sep-08 14:33:03

weegle, you are so right. Mine is great really, very conscientious, eager to please, very mature for her just 20 years.
I probably am asking far to much in that I want her to do it all without me asking.

I suppose I am worried about telling her what do to incase she thinks I'm bossy!!

moeaw Thu 25-Sep-08 16:11:04

Maybe Weegle is right, but maybe she doesn't want to be an au pair. I'd ask her the question as soon as possible. We now have our 4th au pair, 3rd successful au pair.

No 2 had no oooph, and it took me 3 months to have the right type of conversation with her, about her motivations, what we needed from an au pair and whether it really was something she wanted to do - to which she replied NO. I just wish I'd had the same question a few months earlier as its the only time I have felt my childen suffered from our lifestyle and childcare decisions. She stayed her notice and some more (we let her stay on full pay another month) but although she only moved a few streets away she never visited or spoke to DD again who felt confused and betrayed by the action (which I put down to her embarrassment).

It may be that she just needs more space and direction - but if its just that she isn't cut out to be an au pair its better than you find out sooner than later for your children's sake.

kittywise Thu 25-Sep-08 16:59:40

moeaw, that's a sad storysad

This girl is going to study at the university which happens to be across the road from us hence her initial keenness to be here.

We were discussing her uni timetable table today and I expressed my concerns about her being able to fit in uni, studying AND her 35 hrs per week.

She too is a bit worried and said she hadn't realised that it would be so much work with us!!

But she is sensible and said we should see, perhaps it would be fine.

It's little things like if the bread is running out I wish she would just take the initiative and go and buy some from the farm shop which is 30 secs walk down the road!! I said this to her today.

Having said that the house is immaculate, and that's an incredible feat, the washing and ironing done, the beds made etc shock

ingles2 Thu 25-Sep-08 21:17:11

if the house is immaculate and she's managed to do anything with the dc's she's doing pretty well kittywise.
It will take her quite a while, if she manages it at all, do things independently.
Don't worry about being bossy though... you only get what you ask for and if it's done nicely shouldn't be a problem at all.
I would wait and see what happens when she starts Uni though,..obviously her priority will be her college course, so I would make it clear exactly what you want now as it is inevitable it will suffer slightly.

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