This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
Timo is a male au pair and he explained why it is so hard to become an au pair as a boy and why getting a bro pair is absolutely great for a host family.
Timo, is a nice 19 year old guy, full of energy and the will to explore the world. When he had finished school he decided that he wants to see the world and get some more experience in child care. For many years he had been a caregiver at camps for kids and wanted to go abroad, so the au pair program seemed to be the right decision for him.
“Nobody was excited about my idea to go abroad for a year, but some of my friends, who have been in another country for some time before, motivated me and told me not to miss that chance!”
Timo found a lot of information on the au pair program. When he read that a participation at the program would be possible for him as a guy too, he decided that he wanted to go to the USA. He bought a book about the au pair program and searched for agencies on the internet.
He started the application process, got his references together and once his documents were sent to the American agency he had to wait. Unfortunately for many families getting a male au pair is not an option. A lot of people have prejudices about men that like to take care of children. Parents are even scared of having a bro pair, although there might be no reason not to trust this person in particular. For Timo it seemed to be easy to find a family, since he was contacted by families who asked specifically for a male au pair.
Being a male au pair
For Timo it is not plausible at all why for some agencies a male au pair has to show proof of more hours of experience in child care than young women. “I don’t really get it. What about the equal rights everyone is always talking about? Men can take equally good care of children as women. I do not see any problem with it. It was good for me that I could find an agency that treats male and female au pairs the same way.”
For him there is nothing that makes a difference between him and female au pairs.
“Everybody can fail or feel desperate in some situations and everybody deals with it in their own way. It doesn’t depend on the gender but on the situation and the individual how someone handles a situation.”
But he knows that because he is a man he has to handle some situations a different way: “Thanks to media reports, that surely have their eligibility, men have kind of a bad image when it comes to child care. This doesn’t make the job easier at all. Children have their moments in which they want to be close to you, but you as a man can’t just provide the kid with closeness as women do without render oneself liable to prosecution. If parents have a wrong idea of men in child care even a kid sitting on someone’s lap can be a tragedy. As a man you have to learn how to be objective and show some sensitiveness.” The 19 year old does not think that gender can say anything about knowledge and competences. Although women had the maternal instinct, it doesn’t have to lead to a good raising of a child.
His arguments seem plausible. He knows what he is talking about. He seems like a great candidate for every family to take care of their children.
“Especially in times of modern families, men play an important role. If there are less and less male caregivers in schools and kindergartens, children are missing male attachment figures. This would be especially important though, since there are many families without a man in their household.”
Living with a host family
For his host family Timo was the first male au pair. When his host mum told her kids that the next au pair would be a man they haven’t been too sure about the new situation, but with each skype call the kids seemed to like the idea better. Today they include him in family actions, they go on hikes and are very active. The parents talk to him about everything that matters. They really have understood how important it is to communicate. After having two nannies and two au pairs they are in training and know how to treat a new family member.
Especially for families with only boys a male au pair is a great option. They might connect better to a young man than to a young woman. Maybe he is good at soccer, maybe he will even play playstation with him. A male au pair is something every host family should think about.
To find your bro pair today, you can register on AuPair.com.