When I recently wrote about building your family right, I neglected to mention a couple of other great guys who can help. George “Buster” Steere is your go-to guy for excavation jobs, and Barnes Concrete can handle all your concrete needs. Who is there for you? Could the answer be Go Au Pair?
Perhaps you thought your au pair was there for your kids. Naturally, he or she is an educational clearinghouse. Au pairs bring cultural exchange and teach tolerance and a love of diversity. Au pairs educate your child and prepare them for a global world view. However, they are also there to give you that extra eyes, ears, and yes, sometimes, brains! Your au pair may have an idea about how to solve one of your pet peeves about your child or your household. He or she has often had experience in many different homes, and therefore, has had some more experience, or at least exposure to different parenting styles and even different ways to organize your household.
You might be surprised how much your au pair can contribute to the overall strength of the foundation of your home. He or she can help the daily routines happen on time, even when you are busy! That is just the point I try to tell many Host Families considering au pair childcare for the first time. This is not just a babysitter. It is another responsible adult in the home, there to help your family run smoothly. Your au pair can help with morning and evening routines, when the house is at its busiest, allowing you time to get ready, and help your kids one at a time without being bombarded all at once with requests. Just ask my friend, Summer Blackhurst, who writes about just this thing in her blog!
Au pairs often have great suggestions for things like organizing your kitchen or closet, because they have seen how several other families use their space. She can help sort through your kids cloths and prepare a donation, one of the things we all could do if we could just find that extra few hours of time!
Given the experience that your au pair has with other families, it is likely he or she can suggest different parenting techniques or approaches to a task or behavior that you just haven’t the patience to follow through with every time. Your au pair can help back you up, whether you are in the room or not. If you communicate with your au pair the ways in which your family “works” successfully, you will be a happier match in the long run. Most families do a weekly meeting, which can be as simple as breakfast together on Saturday, or Tuesday (or any other) night coffee and dessert.
Think about it. Successful couples spend time, just as part of some daily routine, talking to each other about what is coming up in each person’s schedule, what is going on day-to-day. These are the things that make us a family. My husband and I talk every night about what each has on their agenda for the next day or so. You may not sit down with your au pair every night, but at first, that might be a very good idea. This will be a clear time for communication about issues with the kids or questions your au pair might have about your home or something in it. This will be the time for you to compliment about specifically what he or she is doing that is good and acceptable, as well as a time for you to gently correct him or her about something you may need them to do differently.
I look forward to your participation the best cultural childcare experience available. Your family deserves RI’s best value for live-in childcare, so apply online today, or give me a call if you still have questions. Your full time au pair can cost as little as $7.31 per hour for 45 hours of flexible, skilled childcare for all of your kids!
My name is Joan Lowell, LAR (Local Area Rep) for the Providence area. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-309-1925 for more information.