What to tell your host family if things aren’t working out

You’ve been with your host family for a few weeks, and it’s been a nightmare. The kids don’t listen to you; the parents aren’t really helping by telling them to behave, and on top of that, you’re missing home. After talking to your friends and family, you have decided that things just aren’t working out and that you want to leave. It doesn’t matter if you’re going back to your home country or giving it another try with a different family: you first have to talk to your current host family.

So what do you tell the host family?

  • If you see your host parents in the morning, tell them that you’d like to talk to them when the kids are in bed. This way, you will be able to have a normal conversation without getting interrupted.
  • Tell them, calmly, that you don’t think things are working out and that you don’t want to be their au pair anymore. Calmly explain why.
  • Don’t insult the kids or complain about the things that have lead to you making this decision. The host parents might not have realised you felt this way and you’re still living in their house.
  • Offer to help the family out for a few more weeks until they’ve found a replacement. Set a time limit, though: if you don’t, they won’t have a reason to look for someone else.

The most important thing is that you just stay calm. If the host parents really didn’t realise how bad it’s been for you, they might change things to try and get you to change your mind. If you’re sure you won’t change your mind, make sure they know that (book your tickets home or tell them about this new family that you found).



  1. tizzysays
    21 October 2018 / 10:29 pm

    This is some great advice. I could imagine that this kind of work is really hard, especially if you are in another country and away from your loved ones.

  2. Megan
    18 October 2018 / 10:16 pm

    Great advice, I think it’s got to be a nerve-racking thing to go through! Thanks for sharing.

  3. 18 October 2018 / 9:23 am

    I can only imagine what a difficult situation this would be to be in, its great that someone offers advice on how to deal with these situations!

  4. 17 October 2018 / 8:52 am

    Such a hard situation! Great tips 💗

  5. Geraline Batarra
    17 October 2018 / 6:23 am

    I think this is the hardest thing that I could say to a person it’s either from work or in personal lives and I do agree that we need to be honest and true to ourselves so if it’s only the best way do it.

  6. 17 October 2018 / 4:03 am

    This is great advice. We have to be honest and direct if we feel we aren’t in ideal situations or something isn’t working for us. It all starts with communication and in a situation like this it needs to be working for both parties or it is time to move on.

  7. ashleynicolerice
    16 October 2018 / 10:34 pm

    I hadn’t even thought that this could happen but it makes total sense. Be honest. If it doesn’t work out that is okay. 🙂

  8. vivirewellness
    16 October 2018 / 9:51 pm

    Honesty is always best. I think same rules apply when you quit and other job, give them enough time to find someone to replace you, leave in good terms.

  9. Christa
    16 October 2018 / 7:11 pm

    This can be a such a difficult conversation! I think it’s really smart to schedule it for a time when the children are sleeping.

  10. 16 October 2018 / 3:50 pm

    I have been in a similar situation as a nanny when I was younger and it is an extremely awkward, delicate situation. But if there are issues in the household you are working for (especially if you do also happen to live there) it is better to address them sooner rather than later to figure out some kind of resolution.

  11. 16 October 2018 / 10:21 am

    saying things are not working out is probably the hardest ever in any field. think it’s even worse when you live under the same roof. Great tips!

  12. 16 October 2018 / 10:03 am

    these are very good tips you have here. don’t stay just because. you have every right to leave if you feel trapped and not happy anymore. communication is key so that your host can adjust to what you want or if not, then you can find another one.

  13. 16 October 2018 / 5:28 am

    This is really hard situation though. you have to do what is best for you. and Honesty is the best policy .

  14. godlimkirstagmailcom
    16 October 2018 / 12:54 am

    I couldn’t imagine dealing with that. As well as living in their house?! Oy vey!

  15. 15 October 2018 / 11:46 pm

    I imagine it’s very hard to leave a host family like that. But if you are miserable, you have to do what is best for you. As long as you’re honest, they should understand the situation.

  16. Ellie Plummer
    15 October 2018 / 9:21 pm

    Honesty is the best policy and it’s not fair on you if it’s not working for you. It must be hard to be in this situation though.

  17. 15 October 2018 / 6:16 pm

    I completely agree with this, if you can’t cope then it is best to be honest than suffer through 🙂

  18. 15 October 2018 / 2:02 pm

    What a hard time it shood be for someone in that conditions but, if it’s impossible to continue, i realy agree that the best is to tell the true and, just do what is the best for us.

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