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10 Important Qualities to Look for in an Au Pair

It is becoming more and more commonplace to enlist the services of an au pair simply because so many mums have joined the workforce. Whether they are professionals expanding their careers or simply working to bring a little extra income to a stretched family budget, the results are the same. There just never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done that needs doing. If this is your first time looking for an au pair, you might not know where to turn or how to choose the right one who will fit well with your family. When asked, most mums find the following qualities vital in an au pair. This should help you on your quest.

1) Love of Children

Of course the very first quality that an au pair should have is a love for children. You can spot right away if she is just paying lip service to her fondness for little people. If you feel this particular au pair doesn't really have the fondness for children she says she does, keep looking.

2) Patience

An au pair should be patient because those little angels can be downright devils from time to time. If she lacks patience your children will try her beyond her limits to cope. This is never a good thing for your au pair or your children.

3) Honesty

If you can’t trust an au pair alone in your home, how can you trust her with your most prized possessions, your children? At the first sign of dishonesty, you should seriously consider finding someone else for the job. You certainly don’t want your children being exposed to anyone who is less than honest.

4) Clear-cut Values

An au pair should have clear-cut values and should know right from wrong. Since this person will be spending more waking hours with your children than you will, it is imperative that she model a high sense of values for them to learn by.

5) Calm Under Pressure

When children are in the mix, there is always bound to be some new excitement going on. One child fell and skinned her knee whilst the neighbor down the way socked your little boy in the tummy for some unknown reason. If your au pair is excitable, it will make the situation much more difficult for your little ones to handle.

6) Considerate

An au pair should be considerate of others and should be able to impart this personality trait on young children. If you have trouble finding just the right person, you can find a great number to choose from online at sites dedicated to au pairs. It is easy to find an au pair with with the qualifications you are looking for since there are so many to choose from.

7) Energetic

Keeping up with children requires a great deal of energy. When searching for just the right person for the job, make sure she has enough energy to run after them day after day.

8) Structured

In order to function in this confusing world we live in, children need structure. The au pair you choose should be extremely structured so that your children will feel safe in her presence.

9) Firm

There may be times when your children will need to be scolded. An au pair should be firm but gentle at the same time. Children do well when given rules to live by and if they break the rules they should be punished, but gently. An au pair should be able to ‘stick to her guns’ but in a non-threatening manner.

10) Good Listener

And finally, an au pair should be a good listener. Children love to talk and if an au pair is astute, she will even hear things the child isn't saying. If something is troubling your child and you are not at home, it is up to her to get to the bottom of the problem and sometimes the only way to do that is to ‘read between the lines.’

So there you have the 10 qualities you should look for when choosing an au pair. Your children deserve the very best so make sure that’s exactly what you have. It may take a bit longer to choose just the right person, but you should settle for nothing less.


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