Okay host moms- I’m coming out with a pretty specific "Don’t":
Don’t, I say DON’T, take your au pair on a vacation the first 3 months she is with you.
1. It sets up inaccurate expectations about how she will be treated (e.g., as a guest and tourist vs. as a ‘working’ member of the family).
2. It makes it look like you’re just another rich American family with lots of money to spend on entertainment. Can you say ‘deep pockets’?
3. Without the experience of ‘regular life’ to compare it to, it’s likely that your au pair won’t fully appreciate the vacation.
4. Taking her away from home this early interrupts your au pair’s ability to get settled in to her new home and establish her social life.
5. If you take your au pair on vacation this early in her stay, you lose the opportunity to have the vacation trip be kind of a reward for a great year.
6. Often, an au pair’s English is so rough when she first arrives that she feels a little estranged and tired — both problems will be exacerbated by traveling.
7. Vacations take you and your kids out of your family routines. Thus, it is hard for your au pair to learn how you like to do things, what your rules are, etc. (My kids watch more videos during a week of vacation travel than they do in 3 entire months at home. They also eat at Mc Donald’s, something we only do when we travel.)
8. On vacation, you and your kids may not behave "normally." You may give your au pair unrealistic or incorrect impressions who you are and of what being with you will be like.
9. You might waste spend a lot of money and effort taking on vacation an au pair who is either a bad fit or planning to ditch you as soon as she can anyway.
Your thoughts parents? I’m putting on my flame-proof gear. ….