Different countries, different parenting style – Did my Au Pair go too far?


As a Host Family you enjoy the freedom of choosing an Au Pair from a whole different part of the world. At the same time this means someone with a different cultural background and other moral values is going to be part of your family. In many cases a Host Family is not aware in which way the parenting styles in different countries can still tremendously differ from each other.

All of a sudden a shocking realization: the Au Pair is rather aggressive towards the children, they possibly experienced physical harm, the voice raises to an intimidating volume. Did my Au Pair go too far? How much freedom can I allow my Au Pair?

What are you supposed to do?

Especially in the initial phase it is important to introduce the parenting method of the Host Family to the Au Pair. The Au Pair will spend more time educating the children than the Family itself hence it is fundamental to present the basics. In particular when moral values and cultural backgrounds differ completely.

Furthermore, it is essential to take your time as Host Family and explain your own culture to your new Au Pair. Most of the time, the parenting styles of the Au Pair are taken from experiences of their own childhood or school etc. Therefore, it is of high priority to give the Au Pair an insight of the Host Families principles. In the end, the method of parenting of the Host Family is the one that counts.

On the other hand, different parenting methods imply new ideas for Host Families and some freedom of parenting should be given. But it should be an individual decision of every family and should not violate their own fundamental beliefs. Physical harm against children must not be practiced.

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