Au Pair Problems


Hi - We have a 2, 5, 7 and 8 year old. Three months ago we had a 25 yr old girl come live with us as an au pair. She helps with the children here and there and watches them when we have adult commitments - which is maybe a few times a month. Our children generally behave for us - we use the tickets system. However, she really struggles with the older 3. We went to my husband's law partner's birthday party last Saturday evening. The 3 older ones ran around and goofed off when they were told to get ready for bed and she struggled to manage them. As a consequence we put them in a quiet/boring/no toys room for 2 hrs/day for 3 consecutive days following the offense for the 7 & 8 yr old - 2 hr/day for 2 days for the 5 yr old. The last day of the 2 hr consequence for the oldest 2 was today. I ran upstairs this evening to change clothes to attend a mandatory 2x a semester parent meeting at the older two kids' Christian school. When I was changing I could hear that she had told the 2 yr old "no" to something and I heard my 7 yr old say "Everett yes yes yes".....I went down got her told her to put her pjs on and as a result she was going directly to bed. However, while I was at the school parent meeting the 5 and 7 yr old did a tad of goofing off and delayed getting in bed - testing boundaries. What consequence would you recommend for them? I struggle because although she has read The Well-Behaved Child she often struggles with confidence in managing the kids, sometimes picks too many battles that I think could easily be ignored, and sometimes overreacts to their childlike antics. However, I 100% expected they would have behaved while I was at the school parent meeting because they are genuinely upset at the previous consequence and it was so fresh. Surely they didn't already forget.

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