Dear AuPairMom Readers–
I need your advice for summarizing host parent wisdom.
Next Tuesday night, I’m scheduled to give a talk at The Modern Village, a parenting workshop series, about being an effective Host Parent.
Back when I agreed to give the talk, I was sure I’d have a lot of ideas to share with the participants. Now as the time draws nearer, I’m overwhelmed by ideas. I need some help selecting the “most important” strategies from all the wisdom that gets shared in our AuPairMom community.
Will you help me figure out where to focus?
The talk is titled “5 Key Strategies and 1 Secret Insight for Building Strong Relationships with Au Pairs“. The idea is that while the workshop will focus on Au Pairs, the insights will be relevant and useful for parents with babysitters and nannies too.
When you think about the advice you’d give to new host parents, what are the top two or three strategies you’d recommend? They could be things like these, which I literally just pulled out of the air:
- Understand the balance between employee & family member. Start with ’employee’ expectations and grow into a family member relationship.
- Write a handbook. Make sure s/he reads it. Make sure you follow it.
- Be firm in your principles, and flexible about the tactics.
- Start by being explicit, and relax as your caregiver shows s/he understands what you need.
- Build systems that help to maintain themselves (e.g., a log book, a morning routine, a list on the diaper bag, a weekly schedule)
- Help your caregiver build a strong relationship with your kids, by (giving her /him meaningful work, not getting in the way, not correcting her in front of them, giving her some training in your model of discipline)
(p.s. The “1 Secret Insight” I already have down– and I’m not going to mention it here in case any of the attendees look at the blog beforehand. Gotta keep the surprise.)
(p.p.s I’ll be sure to post a summary of the talk next week. )
How has being an au pair Host Parent changed you?
Realizing you aren’t ready to be Au Pair host parents? And you have an Au Pair?
A Good Au Pair Relationship Requires Your Emotional Investment
Share One Bit of Advice for a New Host Parent