One thinks of an Au Pair stay as exciting, one of a kind and a pleasant experience. Everyone has high expectations and wishes for the perfect family who will welcome them as a family member with open arms.
Of course, the reality is not always the case. Very often problems arise due to bad or insufficient communication. It is usually possible for the au pair and the family to resolve their conflicts and put the pieces back together. However, it can also be difficult to come to a solution that you both agree on.
We have put together some tips that should help you and your host family come to an agreement that you will both be able to live with.
- The best problems are those that do not exist. In order to avoid having any problems you should agree on what exactly your activities and duties will be and what a typical day will look like before your au pair stay. You should also discuss things such as excursions, holidays and sickness. Ideally you should have all this information in written form to be on the safe side.
- When a problem arises, an au pair agency may be able to help you. Contact persons at au pair agencies have a lot of experience with au pairs and host families and are able to represent both sides.
- Speaking to other au pairs, friends or your family can be helpful. They can provide added support and comfort you if needs be.
- One should always remain objective and address concrete situations when one has problems. This is the easiest way to solve problems.
- It is also important to deal with problems as soon as possible. However, you should not deal with problems in passing either. A good possibility is to sit together regularly and to give each other general feedback, positive feedback should also be mentioned.
- A good way of solving problems is to come to a comprise that both parties can live with. To do so, it is of course very important to know what you think and believe in and to represent this. Ideally, you should put some thought into the talk beforehand.
- Even though it may sometimes be difficult, accusations don’t help anyone. They make the situation worse, this doesn’t help anyone.
- When one is confronted with accusations / blame it is important to remain calm, to ask for concrete examples in which something went wrong. Afterwards you should talk about the situation and what can be done better then next time.
- Doing activities together and spending time together can help to create a bond between you and your host family that could be helpful in difficult situations. The better you know each other and the closer you are, the easier it will be able to solve any conflicts.
- When nothing else will help, you should think about changing your family. This is of course a big step and should always be the last option. However, if you are really not a good match for each other, this is probably the right step to take. If you go for this option you should be fair to your family and give them enough time to find a replacement.
31. October 2011 | Posted In: Allgemein