I Have Been An Au Pair For A Family With 5 Adoptive Children

I am 21 years old girl from Uppsala in Sweden. I've  been an Au Pair for three different families, starting off in Germany and then moving towards the Netherlands. In my first time as an Au Pair I worked in a family with five adoptive children. Please, read an interview to find out more!


How did you come up with the idea of working as an Au Pair?

I came up with the idea when graduation started to come closer, and I was not sure what I wanted to study yet. I thought it could be a nice break between studies, and a very nice way to explore another culture and another country.


What was your reaction when you find out that you had to work with 5 adopted children? What were you afraid?

At first I thought it could be a bit too much, and it kind of scared me off for a little but at the same time I love challenges, and I saw what a big challenge this would be for me! I realized how much it would give me to work with children in all those different ages, and with all those different backgrounds so I decided to go for it anyway


Did you get some previous preparation to work for this family?

I did not get any preparation. This was for a family in Germany, and I had never had a German class so I took a few of those just to pick up the basics of the language and to make it easier when getting there.


Could you tell us a little bit more about your hostkids?

The oldest kid was a 14 year old boy. He loved watching movies, playing football with his friends and taking care of his younger ‘siblings’.

The second oldest kid was a girl of 12 years. She loved to be out playing with friends and did not spend unnecessary time at home.

The next two kids were siblings of 6 (boy) and 4 (girl) years. The boy loved the oldest boy in the family, and play football. The girl loved pottery and playing with dolls. She also spent hours in the playground.

And the little one was a baby girl of 4 months old.


What was your first impression of your new host family? Were your hostkids optimistic about having another person at home?

The first impression I got when I arrived was that it was a messy family with all the kids, but also very loving and accepting. 4 yo girl and 14 yo boy were very enthusiastic when I came there and also very helpful towards me, helping me a lot with the language barrier and finding my way around. The 6 yo boy ignored me totally (however, I got to know later that this was not personally but because I was a girl) and 12 yo girl was not at all happy about seeing me there either. The absolute youngest kid was a baby of 4 months, and she did not seem to mind having me there, and also not to be alone with me


What did your day look like? What were your duties?

I got up at 6 to wake the children up and prepare them for school and day-care centers. They got picked up at 7.30 and from then and to 3pm I only had the baby and the family’s dog to care for, I also did a wee bit of cleaning during this time. When the children came back home we often went to the playground where there were something do to for all the children, and we came home around dinner time again. I helped to prepare them for bed and read them a good-night story with my broken German.


What was the relation between the parents and the kids?

The oldest had been living with them his whole life, and therefore they got along very good. The second oldest had only lived there for a couple of months when I arrived and they had therefore not had the time to build a very good relation between them yet, she put up with a lot of fights and you clearly noticed she did not want to be there, but when I left they were joking and having a lot of fun together. It was nice to see that change! The siblings had been with them for two years when I arrived, and they had really gotten a good connection with the parents and the rest of the family. All in all this felt like a normal family, and I am not sure I would have noticed that they were not if they would not have told me.


Was it difficult to look after children with different backgrounds?

It sure was a challenge, as they all needed different things from me. A few of the children had been through some very hard things, and this was hard for me to remember to keep in mind in the beginning. Of course I would need to remember this when being around them. I however got used to it quickly, and within a couple of weeks I came along pretty good with most of them.


How did you benefit from being Au pair for this particular family?

This was my first host family and I grew a lot as a person during this time, but it is already some time ago and therefore hard to recall exactly how I benefitted from this family. I know I learned the importance of looking at each child individually and work with them from their own needs.


Could you give us a piece of advice for Au pairs who consider working with adopted children?

If you are a person who loves challenges I think it would be a very good idea! It also depends on how big the family is, how they dynamic is amongst themselves and what the kids have been through before, but I would really recommend it! You can learn a lot from it

AuPairGarden AuPairGarden
1 Response May 21, 2012

Hi can you share more about your experiences? I'm very interested of the the AU Pair program.. I really really appreciate it if you can share it with me. Thank you in advance :)