Halloween is a favorite holiday of… just about everyone.
I think it has become a quintessential American experience that every Au Pair should get involved in. But how should they get involved? Handing out candy at the house? Taking your kids out to trick or treat? Helping to make costumes? Or getting involved in the increasingly crazy young-adults-in-trashy-costumes scene?
Here’s a request from OB Host Mom:
My Au Pair just asked me if we NEED her this weekend (Halloween weekend) because she has been invited to go to Santa Barbara for the weekend.
I don’t know if everyone is aware, but Isla Vista/UCSB is a massive, drunken party over Halloween that can attract 30K people to the area. I know, because when I was 20, I took the long ride there to visit my BFF and spent a lot of it enjoying the “scene (hangovers and all)”.
The truth is we don’t NEED her this weekend. We asked her if she wanted to join us at the school carnival on Sat and invited her to go Trick or Treating with us on Sun … mostly to enjoy the kids and the holiday together. But I had encouraged her to go out in the evenings to check out the local activities and check out the crazy costumes one sees around town.
Here’s my dilemma:
My parental instinct is to say “you really shouldn’t go because it’s unsafe, there will be tons of underage drinking (she’s only 19), and the guys there were scumbags (albeit 20 years ago) who will really try to take advantage of you girls which increases the risk of something bad happening).”
The side of me that wants her to enjoy her time here as a young adult says “that’s a great opportunity (she does have an apartment to stay at with other AP’s — another host family has a place there), go for it, but be very careful of slimy guys and make sure you are back healthy to work on Monday”.
The family side of me thinks “But, Halloween is part of the ‘cultural exchange’ we like to have with our AP’s and you’ll miss Trick or Treating with us (least solid argument)”.
Given that Halloween is on the weekend this year, I suspect it will take much longer than the usual time to get from our town to SB, they might not arrive until after midnight on Friday, but the parties will probably still be in full force at that time. She promises they will take cabs around and be aware of drunk drivers to stay away from.
What other advice do you have for OB Mom?
9 Ways to Celebrate Halloween with your Au Pair
In Loco Parentis? Your Parental Responsibilities when your AP’s behavior challenges your values
Image: Drink != fly Some rights reserved by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³