“…in America, children are the boss!”
I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve heard that from au pairs. Many arrive in the U.S. “knowing” that American children are spoiled, allowed to do as they please and “bribed” (with candy) when having a temper tantrum. Little by little they come to understand that the American way of offering options to children is in support of freedom, ie, teaching freedom of choice beginning at a young age (choices are controlled and age-appropriate). In addition, children are learning to make decisions and understand consequences.
Often, au pairs not only learn to understand the American approach to child rearing, they learn to embrace it. They often tell me that they plan to incorporate parts of the American style of childrearing into their own methods of working with children.