How to Handle Conflict and Mediation Between the Au Pair and Host Family

Tijana 11/12/2023 2 Min. reading time

Au Pair in Australia: Au Pair in Australia:How to Handle Conflict and Mediation Between the Au Pair and Host Family

How to Handle Conflict and Mediation Between the Au Pair and Host Family

Just like everything else in life, things can sometimes go wrong and it’s okay! It happens. You just need to address them quickly. How you deal with them greatly depends on how serious the situation is. There are those that are not that big of a deal, and there are those that really need your attention. 

For example, your Au Pair forgot that she was sterilizing the milk bottles because she was too busy playing with the baby. The bottles ended up getting melted from the boiling water. Your initial reaction would obviously be, “Oh my god, you could’ve burned down the whole house and put the child’s safety at risk.” Your Au Pair would normally feel sorry and terrified but so are you. How will you handle this situation without getting her feelings hurt?

Here are two major tips we want to share when it comes to easing conflicts and mediating with your Au Pair when situations like the above happen.

1. Focus on the problem, not the Au Pair

If you find that the Au Pair is forgetful or loses focus easily because they’re feeling overwhelmed with the new changes in their environment, try to address the problem right away. Let her know that you understand their feelings and that you’re there to help resolve the things they find difficult to do. It’s especially helpful when you use the “we” language when talking with the Au Pair. “We need to find a way to avoid any misunderstandings or mistakes around the house.” You can also say, “We both have a lot of things to figure out. Don’t worry we will work on this together.”

2. Give the Au Pair the benefit of the doubt

For example, your Au Pair was a few minutes late when picking up the kids from school. There could be thousands of possible reasons why they were late. Maybe they stopped by the grocery store to pick some of the things you asked to pick up and the line was long, the dog got out of the house, an emergency phone call from her family came, and so many other explanations. Some of these explanations may be true, some may not. But make it a habit to give your Au Pair the benefit of the doubt. Try not to take things personally as best as you can when easing conflicts and mediating with your Au Pair.

You as a host family and your Au Pair are both human beings that’s why it’s completely normal to feel frustrated, annoyed, or mildly irritated. We all have our bad days. But if you truly want to build a great relationship with your Au Pair, start by learning how to deal with conflicts in the most gentle, patient, and kind way possible.