If you have ever cared for children, you know that they take things quite literally. For example, when I told my three year old son it was raining cats and dogs, he was like, “Really?” Of course, I meant it was raining really hard. The same can be true when you host an au pair to meet your childcare needs. All au pairs speak English, rated from 1 to 5, with 5 being fairly fluent. As you might know, however, the English language is full of idioms and expressions which can confound English-learners.
This idea came to me as I read an article by fellow-blogger Summer Blackhurst: Live and Let Learn
In it, she graciously reminds Host Families everywhere that they will get more flies with honey. Well, she doesn’t use that expression, but essentially, that is her message, and I totally agree! If you constantly bombard your children or your au pair with negative messages about them, their performance and their behavior, you are not likely to foster a great relationship. If you can express areas that need improvement or basic expectations within the household with respect and positivity, you are much more likely to get the desired response, which is better performance or behavior.
I do have a hard time thinking of au pairs as teenagers, since they are brave souls willing to leave home and hearth to spend a year exploring the American culture with their American Host Family. However, some are as young as 18, so Host Families must try to remain patient as this young person may be adjusting to his or her first full-time, demanding and responsible job! That is not to say au pairs are not prepared, it is just an awful lot to adjust to a new home, family, neighborhood, town, language and culture all while learning a new job at the same time! Our au pairs pass an intensive screening process in order to be made available to you on our website. Visit us online and register today!
That being said, thank you very much to the wonderful and generous Host Parents in my cluster, and you know who you are (SG, JG, GG, MS, among others!) my name is Joan Lowell, your LAR in the Providence, RI area. Call or message me with your comments or questions about au pair childcare for your family.