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AP regretting not setting ground rules...

(15 Posts)
mrschigley Mon 21-Sep-09 15:34:20

I know you lot are so good on this sort of thing... We have made classic AP newbie mistake of being too matey with AP. Now finding it really hard to get him to leave house at weekends, he's watching TV in the sitting room all evening while we're hiding out in kitchen, having to ask him to get off my laptop so I can do my work (told me he was bringing his own laptop then after arrived said it was broken...)

Having aerial for telly in his room fixed at great expense tmw and then want to set down some hard & fast rules about giving us some space in evenings/weekends and getting out more rather than sitting on facebook all day.. any suggestions? Should say have made big effort to introduce him to people/activities and giving him extra money for travel costs (which he's saving as doesn't go anywhere...) help!

Minismama Mon 21-Sep-09 15:43:00

By the looks of things we should get your AP and our nanny introduced to each other! I just posted nearly identical post here! AAARGH.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 21-Sep-09 15:45:04

Sympathies, but get his aerial fixed very soon as you can't really expect him to sit alone in his room with no tv.

Maybe buy a cheapy laptop for him to go on?

becks5109 Mon 21-Sep-09 16:08:57

Yes I agree get TV in his room asap, buy him a cheap dvd player (£15 - 20 in Tesco) and try to source a cheap laptop for him if possible. Our au pair is lovely and does get out and about but also sometimes spends all Saturday (day and night) in her room which doesn't bother me as I think teenagers/young people do just want to chill out/watch telly/skype/read etc. Also maybe you need to type up some sort of manual and put everything you expect in there and give it to him. We are on au pair number 3 and its all a learning process as you go along! Good luck!

Weegle Mon 21-Sep-09 16:20:30

We are just preparing for AP number 4 to go home in a few weeks (can't come soon enough) and AP number 5 to start in January... and I made the mistake with this current one of not guiding expectations well enough from the start (was horrifically sick with hyperemisis and worry and just couldn't find the energy) - have seriously learnt my mistake. I feel there's no point rectifying it with this one, but making sure we don't fall in to the same trap again. Which doesn't help you much. But from past experience I can really tell you it pays to invest a lot of time and energy in the first couple of weeks - so get yourselves back on track now.

I'm also adding in to our new Info Folder (started out as a few sheets - is now a folder subdivided in to Your Work Time, Your Time Off & Our House, Where We Live, Contact Info, Bank Info, Your First Few Days) that we will spend a few minutes every evening of the first fortnight reviewing the day. I'm hoping that will mean we won't build any resentment which I'm currently feeling towards current one when she does things like use the tumble drier on a glorious day like today, but I've let it go on too long that I feel I can't say anything.

From where you are now I would try and get back on track as soon as possible. Limit laptop usage to set time that doesn't inconvenience you - we always say DH's work needs come first on the computer, otherwise they can use it whenever in their time off (but we have another laptop). As for being in your lounge in the evenings - I actually think that is fair enough, especially if there is no TV in their room. The whole point of an AP is that they share in the family life, and ours are always welcome to join us watching TV in the evening. Current one hasn't spent a single minute of her time off with us and as a result we haven't got a proper easy-going relationship as she's never made the effort, despite lots of "we're watching a DVD, fancy joining us?" type conversations!

But get it on track now - the sooner you do so, the easier it is.

mrschigley Mon 21-Sep-09 16:38:02

Thanks guys
interesting about sitting with us/being part of family, I agree in principle but problem is that he is there the whole time, all evening, all day at weekend and we have no time alone as a family which is causing us a lot of stress. Think we have to have a cut off point where he goes to room and watches his brand-new TV/dvd/cd player with freeview! I'm also just really surprised that he doesn't want to get out and explore & do a bit more - you can sit on facebook talking to your mates at home, why bother travelling abroad? Steeling myself for "chat" when I get home..

booreeve Mon 21-Sep-09 17:50:32

Well our AP is hopeless, but respectful! I stipulated in our house "rules" that we could have dinner together etc...but that from 9pm she should repsect that we are a busy couple and that we do require some privacy. So we've been lucky enough to have dinner every evening, she may come and watch a bit of telly with us but come 9pm, she tootles off to her room. She has a tv and dvd player in her room, and it's been a godsend!

Oligo Mon 21-Sep-09 20:56:19

Maybe you could find a website where APs can chat and maybe meet up with each other some evenings and pass it on to them.

Weegle Tue 22-Sep-09 07:26:54

if he's in to FB there are some groups on there which our last few AP's have used to get their social lives going - you could suggest that. Current one seems to think her sole purpose of AP'ing is to meet all other AP's in a 50 mile radius...

DadInsteadofMum Tue 22-Sep-09 10:33:10

Try here

DadInsteadofMum Tue 22-Sep-09 10:33:32

or here

moseskoeln Tue 22-Sep-09 13:52:25

im an au-pair atm..
so obviously the other end of what you all are.
im in a foreign country (germany), so everything was new etc when i arrived.
i dont really have any rules/ guidlines here, and in a way i wish i had a few. the hours i work sole charge are way over that of an au-pair so i feel that when they are in the house i technically am not needed. however i dont just disappear of the second they walk through the door!
i spend time with x 19 months even when family in the house and at weekends if im in. i sometimes eat with family and sometimes not, but then again the schedule here is very flexible due to there jobs so thats the way it would be.
however i do appreciate my alone time whether im in my room or out.

just think if you worked 6am til 4pm at workplace, then lived at workplace and everytime you wanted to just chill or do something unwork related, you got called back to 'work' again... it would get a tad annoying after a while

so what im trying to say is remember that they are part of your family, but although they probably grow to love your children to, it is a job and they do have a life out of it...

regarding au pair never leaving living room..??? strange, as you state the world of facebook does wonders to meeting people

Minismama Tue 22-Sep-09 15:33:12

This might be useful to your au pair who doesn't go out

I have shown it to mine last night, with a "oh a friend told me about this website, lost of people your age and doing the same job are meeting up.."
Worth a go.

mrschigley Tue 22-Sep-09 17:49:19

Thanks so much everyone for your input, have shown AP the website and he did express mild interest (think pix of nice looking female APs helped) wink

DadInsteadofMum Tue 22-Sep-09 17:55:06

Any AP meet up he goes on he is going to be outnumbered 10:1 whilst this may be initmidating I would have thought there were clear advantages, can't understand why he is still in the house.

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