Who’s incharge?

Au pairs and host parents are most often together with the children at the most stressful times of the day – the morning and at the end of the day.  Getting through the stressful times of the day is best done with a consistent approach.  Planning ahead about division of labor and delegation of responsibility, as well as developing routines that both the au pair and the parents will adhere to, is essential.

Another particularly challenging time of day is when the transition is made from parent to au pair or from au pair to parent.  Focusing the transition on a particular activity and consistently following that procedure may ease the confusion for the children. for example, Mommy will help you get dressed; then you will go downstairs and the au pair will give you breakfast while Mommy gets ready for her day; or the au pair will give you a bath, and when you are done, she will say goodnight and Daddy will read you a story.

The children will benefit when the au pair and the parents remember to work cooperativley, keep communication open and exercise authority when necessary.

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