Having a new person in the family who will take care of your children is stressful. How the adaptation will go and the extent of this stress depends on many factors – the age of your children, how well you can prepare them for the arrival of a new person in the family, how you will act and prepare for this event.
1. Predictability and repeatability are important for a child
Their feeling of reliability and stability depends on it. If something doesn’t go the way they are used to, it will bother them and give them anxiety. In behavior, this will be expressed in the form of whims, rudeness, resistance, difficulties with falling asleep, impaired appetite, hysteria.
2. Plan in advance a free 2-3 days for the arrival date of your au-pair
To make it easier for a child to adapt with the advent of an au-pair in the family, you need to spend the first 2-3 days with your au-pair and the child.
At first let your au-pair just be around as a guest, observe and remember. Please, do not ask au-pair to perform any childcare tasks.
3. Tell your child, in a language they understand, how their day will go without mom/dad
Explain to your child why you need to go to work. Why do mom and dad need help, why do you delegate child care, and not your own work. In the child’s picture of the world, everything should be the other way around. They are the closest and dearest, why they are given to a stranger. Why, if mom has so much work and she gets tired, she doesn’t hand over a part of the work in order to have more time to communicate with the closest and dearest person.
Tell your child positively and in detail who is coming to you, who an au-pair is, why an au-pair will live with you, why she, and not you, will now take care of the child.
Tell your child about your feelings, for example: “I really want to be with you, but I have to go back to work, because … Au-pair Mariia will come soon, she will play with you, cook your favorite pancakes, walk outside, read your favorite fairy tale”.
It is necessary to speak with a child of any age, even if it seems to you that they do not yet understand what you are saying. They will understand the main thing – your intonations, emotions that you transmit through care.