Our expert says:
An au pair or caregiver can be a useful supplement to the parents, but can hardly be expected to replace them --- where are the parents when their child is being disrespectful, violent, and swearing ? What are their rules and codes of conduct ( and codes of penalties for such bad behaviour ) ?
Children are never truly innocent, you're right that this view is generally a projection by adults of their fantasies and wishes for childhood. Children do whatever is satisfying to them, and whatever they can get away with. COnsider asking to see a personal counsellor to sort out the impact this is having on you, and with your own counsellor you can also plan a rational set of steps towards instituting discipline among the brats.
It is not dishonest to refrain from displaying your disappointment or hurt to the brats, which, as you recognize, gives them power. They need to know you as calm and in charge.
And as Zexeon suggests, maybe this is not a line of work that really suits you --- aren't their calmer alternatives ?
Old Fashuoned is just slightly askew --- for instance, Communication is always vital --- and OF's disagreement isn't actually about whether to communicate, but what to communicate. SImilarly explaining, so the rules are clear and unambiguous. Reasoning is the component that too often goes wrong. Learning that life has rules and consequences of one's choices and actions is an essential lesson, and not open to reasoning or negotiation.
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