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Would you hire a male au pair to look after your kids?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
One of my students, a 20-year-old Austrian male, is heading to the U.S. in a few months to work as an au pair for a year. He wants to improve his English, and experience life in the U.S.A.. The other kids are having a grand old time teasing him about it, and telling him nobody will want him because he's male, as they'll be afraid he's a pedophile (judging by the girls I've seen him with over the past three years, his appetites are "normal" and healthy).
I've helped him with his applications, and really think the guy has a lot to offer. He's grown up bilingual (German/Serbo-Croatian), speaks English reasonably well, and has a basic command of Spanish. He's dyslexic, though. He's a licensed car and motorcycle mechanic, has an international driver's license, advanced driver safety training, and advanced first aid training. He's into sports, dancing, and computers, is outgoing, funny, has excellent manners, and is a very good listener. He's been the state iniaca champion for a couple of years, and trains kids. When filling out the forms, he said (and I believe) that he would have no problem whatsoever with being placed with a single-parent family, gay or lesbian-headed family, or one of another race or religion. He says he's not experienced with infants or young toddlers, and would be nervous about dealing with special-needs children, or 4 or more kids at once, but otherwise he's game. Pets would be absolutely no obstacle, either, especially dogs and/or cats.
All the other teachers think like I do - he'll be just right for such a position, and will find friends and adapt quickly, so he has already gotten excellent letters of recommendation.
My question is: Would you automatically exclude him because he's a young male? This question is really worrying him.
post #2 of 24
I wouldn't. I would only exclude people that I thought weren't good with children.
post #3 of 24
No, I would not exclude him based on his gender. He'd get put through the same hoops as any other applicants, and if he met my expectations and looked like the best choice, he'd have the job. From what you say, he sounds as if he'd be a find.
post #4 of 24
I wouldn't. I would judge by the person's experience and personality. He sounds great.
post #5 of 24
I've never been able to afford an "au pair" but I've had male babysitters when my daughter was a child, and they were great, so I would NOT exclude him based upon gender, but I WOULD want to know his background and would want references.
post #6 of 24
I would not exclude him based on gender. I also would not be more cautious because he is male. I put all of my son's caregivers through rigorous questioning and background checks, male or female.
post #7 of 24
I agree with everyone else. Besides, a female au pair could be a sexual predator too. That sort of thing is not limited to men.
post #8 of 24
I had some miserable female babysitters when I was a child. No, they weren't sexual predators (although, as PurrPaws said, women most definitely can be), but they were abusive and rotten all the same. I've also had some excellent male babysitters. It's not about the gender: it's about the qualifications, the attitude and the relationship they form with my child.
post #9 of 24
Nah, if he's good looking I May need something to look at as the "hubby" that got me PG in the first place may be on the couch

Just Kidding!

Actually my SIL was an Au Pair, met my brother and the rest is history (ahem, they got married and live here). She said there were several other au pairs in the area, mostly women but a few men as well. Many she still keeps in touch with.

I think it's just in general all about "Can you take care of my kids responsibly?" If he can do that he's golden.
post #10 of 24
I probably wouldn't hire a male au pair to look after my kids (and I don't have any right now). I would meet him, and maybe he could convince my husband and I, but I doubt it. I really doubt my husband would go for it. But then, I probably wouldn't really trust ANYONE to care for my kids. My husband and I have given home schooling some serious thought. But again, I don't have any(yet ) so I can't really say for sure.
post #11 of 24
We had a male babysitter when we were kids and we loved him, he was a lot better (even now as an adult thinking back) than any of the female babysitters we had. So it wouldn't bother me at all... obviously they would be subject to the same reference checks etc as a woman would.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
One of my students, a 20-year-old Austrian male, is heading to the U.S. in a few months to work as an au pair for a year. He wants to improve his English, and experience life in the U.S.A.. The other kids are having a grand old time teasing him about it, and telling him nobody will want him because he's male, as they'll be afraid he's a pedophile (judging by the girls I've seen him with over the past three years, his appetites are "normal" and healthy).
I've helped him with his applications, and really think the guy has a lot to offer. He's grown up bilingual (German/Serbo-Croatian), speaks English reasonably well, and has a basic command of Spanish. He's dyslexic, though. He's a licensed car and motorcycle mechanic, has an international driver's license, advanced driver safety training, and advanced first aid training. He's into sports, dancing, and computers, is outgoing, funny, has excellent manners, and is a very good listener. He's been the state iniaca champion for a couple of years, and trains kids. When filling out the forms, he said (and I believe) that he would have no problem whatsoever with being placed with a single-parent family, gay or lesbian-headed family, or one of another race or religion. He says he's not experienced with infants or young toddlers, and would be nervous about dealing with special-needs children, or 4 or more kids at once, but otherwise he's game. Pets would be absolutely no obstacle, either, especially dogs and/or cats.
All the other teachers think like I do - he'll be just right for such a position, and will find friends and adapt quickly, so he has already gotten excellent letters of recommendation.
My question is: Would you automatically exclude him because he's a young male? This question is really worrying him.
I'm not going to vote because I just can't.

My own experiences have made me more cautious around men then is fair to them as a group. Having said that, I have relaxed more about it in recent times, and although (and I feel bigoted admitting this) this idea did cause my eyebrows to raise at the thought.

Nonetheless, he sounds like an incrediably capable young man, and especially if I had sons, and especially if any of them had similar learning difficulties to his own (not to teach, but to be a sort of general positive example "things will be ok, look at Name"), I think he would stand a strong chance of being my first choice on hearing his creditenials. In that sense, the fact that he is male may work to his advantage: he will stand out enough that people who are only looking at his details out of pruient curiousity may well end up extremely impressed.
post #13 of 24
To me it wouldn't matter, male or female, I would be very cautious in general.
post #14 of 24
I assume an au pair is a male nanny??? My concern would be with his disability and his command of Engliah. I had the chance to work with some students who are dyslexic (of course they are in 6th grade), They are great kids but it does make things more difficult. I know forgien grad assistants who aregreat with the written language, but can not speak it or orally understand the language. Try learned Trig, or Clac from a GA who can't understand you and vise versa. As with anyone, I would want to see how they get along with the kids. DOes he click with them right away, or do the kids shy away from him. Can he get the kids active or does he let them sit there. To me it wouldn't matter if it was a man or woman, as long as they get along and can work with the kids
post #15 of 24
I have had many friends who had Au Pairs and from my experience, the male ones were so much more approachable and outgoing!

Although the female Au Pairs were nice, they really didn't put themselves out to spend time with us and keep us entertained the way the male ones would! (taking us out, hiring films and making us many snacks whenever we would like them!)

I would certainly have no issue with employing your student, he sounds like he would be a fantastic addition to a family!
post #16 of 24
Absolutely a male au pair, especially if he's good looking! Oh, am I supposed to be married in this scenario?
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawnofsierra View Post
Absolutely a male au pair, especially if he's good looking! Oh, am I supposed to be married in this scenario?
Naughty Stephanie!
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawnofsierra View Post
Absolutely a male au pair, especially if he's good looking! Oh, am I supposed to be married in this scenario?
Stephanie stole my answer!

Seriously, it would be the qualifications I'd be concerned with.
post #19 of 24
If he's so well-qualified, gender isn't an issue. Would he like to take care of a 49 y/o grandma? I could use a live-in mechanic/litter box scooper/dog poop shoveler. Does he do windows and floors, too?
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by gemlady View Post

Seriously, it would be the qualifications I'd be concerned with.
And what kind of "qualifications" would those be?
post #21 of 24
I would consider it but At first thought it is weird
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
It's extremely difficult for young Europeans to get a work permit in the USA, which is why many take the au pair / summer camp counselor route. Those from Germany have to go through a government-approved agency based in Frankfurt, and it's a lengthy process, with a lot of red tape involved. They do have some say in where they're placed (my student has just been offered New Jersey or Florida, and has chosen the former, because of its proximity to NYC, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.; apparently a couple of families are interested in having him, primarily single moms with boys). They get free room and board, $159 pocket money, a $500 English course, two free weekends a month, with 1 1/2 days off during the other weeks, all in exchange for 45 hours a week caring for children and doing light household chores. The idea is that they'll be able to improve their English, learn about the culture and way of life, and perhaps teach the kids a bit of a foreign language, should the parent(s) so desire.
post #23 of 24
I wouldn't have a problem with it - whether it be male or female, I would be more so concenred with their background and references
post #24 of 24
I've worked in several nurseries- several of which had male employees- in my experience, they were just as good as the female employees were and the children loved them. They did their job responsibly and took excellent care of the children. So no, i wouldn't let gender determine if i let someone watch my future kids. I would do a thorough backgroud search, take recommendations, etc and make a fair judgement based on that and their experience.
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