Hosting an au pair can be a daunting experience for some families. If you are a family that values your privacy, having another person that is essentially a complete stranger living in your home as a part of your family may sound less than ideal. But the benefits of having an au pair often outweigh this aspect of the au pair hosting experience. So how do you set effective boundaries when hosting an au pair and ensure that everyone knows where they stand?
Explain Your Routines
One of the easiest ways to help your au pair settle into your family, and for you to settle into your life with a new person in your home, is to clearly set out what your family routines and expectations are. The sooner your au pair knows what is expected of them, as well as what they can expect from you, the sooner they will be able to get to grips with and follow your routines.
Explain any important rules you have in your family as soon as you can. For example if the children are only allowed a set amount of screen time at a particular time of day, make this clear and ensure they know it is non-negotiable. Children need to be able to follow the same routines and rules with their au pair as they do with you, otherwise it can become confusing as to who lets them do what.
If you are planning on limiting the use of technology in your home, explain this right from the outset. Most families wouldn’t want their au pair on the phone or computer all day, instead of looking after the children or completing other duties. Make sure the au pair is able to keep in touch with their friends and family within reason but without it impacting on their life with your family.
Encourage New Friendships
A happy au pair is a good au pair, so make sure they are happy! Encourage them to make new friends and get out and about during their ‘off duty’ hours. There are usually supportive groups in most areas for au pairs to meet each other and form new friendships, and having friends is a great way to help your au pair feel comfortable in their new home town.
Smart Au Pairs are a well-known au pair agency who can help you find your perfect au pair and ensure they settle into life with your family with ease. Get in touch with them today to start your search
Author: Amanda, Smart Au Pairs UK