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New AuPair in house and 3 yo DD is not responding well...help!!!???

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
We recently had a new au pair come into the house to take care of the kids. She is mostly for our baby, who is 11 months, because our 3yo dd goes to preschool and my moms house during the day. But, she is being very sassy, saying she doesnt want the au pair, to get away, etc. She is throwing tantrums, and basically testing the boundaries. Usually, she is really well behaved. I usually tell her to put her "listening ears back on" and she is able to fix her own behavior...but now it seems like she has fallen apart. We have never had someone else living in our house...but I would have thought she would have been like this with the new baby coming into the house, not the au pair. And, to top it off, the au pair is very shy, so it seems like she may have a hard time being assertive with our dd. I dont want to start punishing her, because it seems that there is some emotional need that is not being met, it is because of the new situation, testing bounderies, etc. But, I cant let her get away with it because then the au pair will think it is ok for her to behave like that. Any suggestions???
post #2 of 10
I don't know but wanted to say my 3.5 yr old is really testing the boundaries lately too. It is really hard when they completely flip behaviors and make us have to adapt all over again. With my ds I am learning not to be afraid of his tantrums and to be more consistently firm with him. It would be even more important to be consistent with your dd if you are wanting the nanny to learn how to interact with her. Is she only acting out at your home or also at grandmas/preschool?
post #3 of 10
You could try pretend playing with her. Or you could use dolls to roll play. Sometimes kids will say what they are feeling through the dolls. I would try to get her to verbalize what's bugging her.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
She is only doing this at home, and it seems like only in front of the au pair. She has been her typical loving, sweet self at my moms and her preschool. But, tonight she was defiant, climbing out of bed, throwing herself all over the place during dinner, refusing to come to the table, wanting to do everything herself and when I would do it first (turn out the lights, push in the chair, for example) she had a complete meltdown. Im just unclear on how to respond, because I dont really believe in punishment, but I dont want the aupair to think that we are too permisive.

I think we will try to role play. I ask her if something is bothering her, but I cant get it out of her...she just starts talking giberish and has a meltdown.
thanks for the suggestions!
post #5 of 10
I think that the wanting to do things herself and throwing a meltdown when someone else does it for them is a part of them growing into persons. I recall my son starting to do it at about that age, at which point I started to ask him if he wanted to do things himself or if I should help. So for these issues I suggest circumventing the eruption by empowering her to do it herself, her way.

For her attitude I'd go for asking and discussing how she'd feel if someone did what she did to her in addition to roleplaying.
post #6 of 10
Is she afraid that the au pair is going to usurp your role? I know my almost-three-year-old gets really worried about anything that HE views as a threat to his and my attachment. Or, is she jealous of the au pair? Were you spending a lot of time with the au pair initially, maybe getting her used to her role and up to speed? I'm guessing what your 3-year-old needs is reassurance-- as well as being firm, of course, but whatever is causing the tantrums, it is some kind of insecurity.
post #7 of 10
Are you there when the Au Pair is there? I was a nanny to a 3 year old and a 1 year old, and it was always SOOOO much more difficult when the mom was home too. I always figured it must have been challenging for the 3 year old to figure out who was in charge, what everyone's roles were, etc. I remember being told to "go away" as well, which is such a challenge for the nanny when the mom is right there.

I have to say though, age 3-3 1/2 was the absolute WORST for my DD--she went from being this easy-going, loving kiddo to being an unbelievable chore to just be around. It didn't last long though, and I've got my sweet kiddo back.
post #8 of 10
You are expressing that you have not used punishment up to now, but you are considering changing your parenting choices because you do not want your au pair to think you are permissive.

Are you perhaps being harder on your child than before?
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by rzberrymom View Post
Are you there when the Au Pair is there? I was a nanny to a 3 year old and a 1 year old, and it was always SOOOO much more difficult when the mom was home too. I always figured it must have been challenging for the 3 year old to figure out who was in charge, what everyone's roles were, etc. I remember being told to "go away" as well, which is such a challenge for the nanny when the mom is right there.

I have to say though, age 3-3 1/2 was the absolute WORST for my DD--she went from being this easy-going, loving kiddo to being an unbelievable chore to just be around. It didn't last long though, and I've got my sweet kiddo back.
Same here. I think you should reassure the Au Pair that she can enforce some boundaries with your dd and tell her the approved ways to do this. You should also do a self check though and make sure your expectations are still appropriate for your daughters age. When my dd was three my expectations were way to high and her behavior was the worst it ever has been in her entire life. Lucky we both changed by the time she was four and were much happier together. I also think you should give it a month before doing anything drastically different. My dd is still not fun to be around when she is adjusting to a change at school and it takes about two weeks to a month for her to even out again. I find that she adjusts best when she has reassurance from me and I keep things the same as much as possible at home. I think it would be much worse if she had to adjust to something new at home.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by rzberrymom View Post
Are you there when the Au Pair is there? I was a nanny to a 3 year old and a 1 year old, and it was always SOOOO much more difficult when the mom was home too. I always figured it must have been challenging for the 3 year old to figure out who was in charge, what everyone's roles were, etc. I remember being told to "go away" as well, which is such a challenge for the nanny when the mom is right there.
I am a nanny, and agree with this 100%...I have totally been there!
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