You have chosen your Au Pair – congratulations! All the details are discussed and the new family member’s arrival is at hand. How to help an Au Pair adapt in a new place and circumstances as a Host Family? We prepared some useful tips for you!
Prepare a Welcome Souvenir
Who doesn’t like gifts? It’s great if you find some time and prepare a gift for your Au Pair with your children. It may be a nice gesture that will remain with the Au Pair after the program is completed – for example, a photo frame (where you can add your family’s photos with the Au Pair later), a child’s drawing, a bracelet, a hairpin etc. Show your imagination, express your feelings and joy of adding an Au Pair to your family – and the adaptation will be much easier!
Organise a welcome party
Prepare yourselves to spend your first evening with your new family member. Start cooking dinner together: show the Au Pair how your kitchen is arranged and where everything is located. During the cooking process you can share special recipes that your family members especially like. After dinner, play a game that will liberate you – for example, Charades. Nothing brings you closer than having fun together! The Au Pair’s adaption will go smoother than you expect.
Take a tour
You can also entrust this to your children! Let them take the Au Pair by the hand and take her/him to all corners of your house, explain where the parents’ bedroom, the shower and the toilet is, and where the dirty laundry belongs etc. Kids will be pleased to take on the role of an adult, and the Au Pair will be able to relax more and become friends with the children. Besides, this can support the adaption process into the who family.
Communicate in your native language
The Au Pair program is primarily a multicultural exchange, and its important goal is to immerse the participant in the culture of another country. The Au Pair is interested in everything about your culture and language – and he/she chose you as his/her Host Family! Therefore, do not hesitate to communicate in your native language and show patiente. Even if this might be stressful for the Au Pair in the process of learning a language, the new family member will be able to maintain a conversation, and you can be proud for being a support in the progress!
Introduce the Au Pair to the whole family
By introducing the Au Pair to the grandparents, uncles, aunts, close friends etc. you can support him/her in the adaption process from the start. Tell the new member your family history, funny stories from the past and how the parents grew up as children. Share special family traditions, e.g. for Christmas and Ramadan or show him/her important places and sites. It will help the candidate not only to get closer to you, but also to better understand your culture. Also, he/she can better recognize your family as a new “surrogate family”.