How To Overcome New Family Challenges As An Au Pair

It’s only natural to have a few concerns when you are about to start working for as an au pair for a new family. Challenges of all shapes and sizes are bound to crop up and what defines you as a professional au pair, is not the challenges themselves, but how you handle them. If you find that your new host family and tasks aren’t what you expected, take the time to overcome the challenges meticulously. It’s all about strategy and ensuring that your real clients, the children, come first.

Here are some pointers from a leading au pair agency in Johannesburg:

If you are worried about unexpected challenges posed by a new family, take the time to consider the following tips – they could just be the difference between a happy work experience and giving up on a new host family too soon (which means that you all miss out on a great opportunity!):

  • Being prepared is essential: Make sure that you request a schedule of the expected daily routine, before you arrive for your first day of work. Taking the children’s ages into account and knowing what their routine is, will help you to strategise and come up with innovative ways to handle potential challenges that could arise.
  • Communicate if you have concerns: If you find that the new family are expecting you to carry out tasks that are not in your job description, speak to them about it immediately. If you are nervous to speak to them directly, make sure that you advise your managing au pair agency about the situation. Keep in mind that all au pair positions come with a bit of give and take. Your new family might expect you to do a bit of baby sitting or cleaning here and there, but they could also very well offer you some extra pocket money or perks along the way. Try to be reasonable and accommodating in your response to additional duties. Before you react, ask yourself if the family is being over demanding or if they are just including you as a member of their family. If the situation is extreme, under no circumstances should you let it go on for too long. Such problems can be effectively handled if they are addressed early on and in the correct manner.
  • Agreeing on discipline: In some instances you might find the children difficult to care for. Whether they are badly behaved or need discipline – make sure that you consult with the parents about the right course of action. By advising them on the child’s behaviour, you can come up with appropriate discipline measures that you can take together. These will essentially be measures that the parents are completely comfortable with. This will safeguard you from potential problems and will also ensure that you don’t suffer long-term frustration being in a situation you don’t feel equipped to handle.

Of course these are just a few tips on how to handle challenges that some au pairs face when starting to work for a new family. If you have different challenges that you need to overcome, please feel free to contact us for some tips, advice and guidance.

For more information on finding the perfect family to work for – or the perfect au pair to work for you – contact us at Au Pair Extraordinaire today.