As a new mom, six times over, I received my fair share of unwanted advice, everything from breakfast foods to breastfeeding to sibling rivalry. I am, however, very good at the take-it-or-leave-it method. If it a piece of useful advice I may use, I will keep it. If it just seems out there or something I would not do, I leave it. When I read Host Mom Cyndi Frick’s latest post, I have to admit she caught me off guard. Read it now: Third Party Advice and What To Do With It
I thought, from her title, Cyndi was going to talk about unwanted comments from family and friends about hosting an au pair. I have heard from some Host Families that their extended family did not understand the au pair program or why the family would choose to have a stranger from another country come stay with them to care for the children. Many Host Families take these comments in stride, just as we parents do with the unwanted advice from strangers in the grocery store.
This is not, however, where Cyndi’s article was going. She was actually advising Host Families to accept or not accept their au pair’s advice. I was not expecting that, but let me weigh in on au pair advice. I do agree with Cyndi when she says she and her husband are ultimately in charge of parenting decisions, and when she says that you should give some weight to what your au pair says, since she does spend upwards of 45 hours each week caring for your precious little ones.
I disagree, but do understand the sentiment, when she says she hesitates to listen to a 19 year old who has no children of her own and half of my life experience and education. But, if we went through life with this attitude, we would turn away many wonderful, skilled and intelligent people. Au pairs do receive training, which is more than can be said for parenting. We all have heard it said that parenting is the toughest job in the world and there is no manual. That being said, your au pair may have more support than you! Go Au Pair offers unlimited ideas, activities and advice for your au pair. Just visit her Facebook page, say hi, and get involved. The Au Par Sis can suggest games for game night, charts for behavior issues, recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, books to read, and exercises to keep you fit! She has many videos to view on topics from homesickness to cultural difference driving in America.
So overall, I agree with Cyndi, who also has a take it or leave it policy on advice, but let’s try to do the best we can do by our kids. After all, that is part of the reason you decided to give your family a cultural childcare experience with Go Au Pair in the first place! Two minds can be better than one, especially when it comes to solving kiddo problems! Your au pair (remember the meaning of this French term is on an equal par with) is a member of your parenting team; be fair to him or her and give their ideas a try! Keep the ideas coming!
Contact me, Joan Lowell, your Local Area Representative in the RI area. Contact me at 401.309.1925 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I would like to help your family have a cultural childcare experience in 2015!