Help: My Au Pair is Blogging about My Family!

by cv harquail on January 11, 2009

It’s s Web 2.0 nightmare no Au Pair Host Parent is ready for — your au pair is blogging about your kids, your family, your discipline strategies, and who knows what all else. And the picture is not altogether flattering. What do you do?

Here’s how md describes her challenge and her request for advice:pandorasbox.jpg (JPEG Image, 350x263 pixels)_1231704977628

Our au pair seems to be a great fit with our family – really personable, great driver, good with the kids.

We just discovered her blog which gave us some concern. She writes in it daily, about the details of her day, including what is happening with the children. She has expressed how hard it is dealing with them and at times that they are brats. I was upset to hear the comments about the kids and her views on how we discipline our children.

We haven’t told her that we’ve been reading it but it is public knowledge. I don’t know whether to monitor it for awhile to see if we should rematch or just take it as a channel for her to vent her feelings (which we all sometimes feel about our jobs). Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Wow– despite the fact that we want our out pairs to be able to vent to their friends and maybe get some advice, nobody wants criticism of them or their kids displayed on a blog page for anyone to see. It’s an invasion of the privacy of your family, and it is also really unfair to your children.

I’m assuming that your au pair’s name is somewhere in the blog, so anyone who knows her can find it. And, since clusters and communities are smaller than you think, even if she was not using your children’s or family’s names, there are probably enough context clues that anyone motivated to figure out who she’s writing about can and will identify you.

I have worried about for my own family and for myself about our privacy, and this is something that I address explicitly in our family guidelines:

Please respect our privacy and don’t talk about our family business with other people.
We will also respect your privacy in this regard, and not discuss your personal life with others.

But obviously, this guideline is not specific enough … but what to do now?

Here are some of the things that really bother me about the situation….  First the list, and then a little more about each issue: megaphone-girl.jpg (JPEG Image, 849x566 pixels)_1231704747030

  1. The blog is criticizing your children
  2. The blog is criticizing you
  3. A public blog violates your privacy
  4. A public blog exposes your family’s business and makes you vulnerable to people you know and people you don’t know
  5. Talking about you to other people, before talking about any issues with you directly, is bad for your relationship.
  6. How do you tell her you’ve read her blog?
  7. Explaining how you found her blog
  8. Setting some boundaries for the future — what she can write, what you can read

(1 & 2.) With regard to criticizing or venting about you and your family, I’m thinking that this is within her rights — as long as this venting is PRIVATE conversation between her and her friends, and as long as those friends are in some other community far far away.

You wouldn’t ask her to censor her letters or emails home. HOWEVER — because her blog is currently public, she should not (I think) be writing in much detail about your kids and family. This issue here is not that she has criticisms, but that she is not controlling who can hear them, and what level of detail anyone gets.

She should be able to criticize you, in private, to a SMALL circle of close confidants.

(3 & 4) The violation here is that the criticisms are public. It might be socially unsafe for your kids to be exposed this way (if they are old enough that other kids might be online) because it exposes them personally. It certainly will hurt their feelings if they ever read it. Plus, it might be unsafe for your family physically if someone were to learn something about you that they could take advantage of.

You can and should set limits about what family and ‘job’ information can be made public. You can expect to have these limits honored by your au pair.

Just in the same way as she can tell her mom or sisters whatever she wants about her life, but not tell all the details to other au pairs in your cluster. (Remember, these au pairs live with with host parents you probably know. Heck, they probably ride the train with you).

Your au pair should not be blogging about you and your kids in any way that lets others know details about your family life.girl listening_2.jpg (JPEG Image, 283x424 pixels)_1231704817803

5. There is a bad relationship dynamic going on here– that she is criticizing you more or less behind your back, without bringing the issue to you first. This is a violation of a critical tenet of good relationships, and doing this destroys trust. (Check out Steve Covey on this one, with his idea about "honoring the absent".)

If your au pair has trouble with your kids behavior, or with your parenting practices, she should talk with you about it directly. You should make it easy for her to have this conversation with you, you should listen carefully, and take it from there.

(6 & 7) Despite the fact that blogs are public, I’m betting that your au pair was not expecting you to read her blog. Yes, blogs are not the same as diaries– blogs are out there, available to all, and easy to discover. It’s not like you’re searching her drawers and then prying the lock off her diary. And yet —

The simple fact that you found her blog, even if she did not intend you to find it, demonstrates that her blog is TOO public.

8. Your au pair needs at the very least to change her URL and set her blog up with a password so that only a select few people with advance permission can read it. Made private this way, it becomes more like letters to a private email list than like a free newspaper available an any Starbuck’s.

While it’s not your fault that you’ve seen her blog, it’s gonna be hard to tell her that you have. How did you find it? Is that something to be embarrassed about, does it say something about you that might be hard to discuss, or did she just leave her blog up or bookmarked on the family computer…?

I’m not going to criticize you for reading her blog, as long as you don’t keep reading it without telling her. Sure, give yourself a few days to figure out how to respond, but don’t just keep reading so that you have a backchannel into her perspective. Just because it’s on a blog, and because she’s writing it, doesn’t mean it’s an accurate representation of how she feels in the main. Some might be posturing, some might be venting, some might be honest, whatever.

Now, check out what Calif mom suggests ! She’s got some good questions and ideas:
Google Image Result for http:::4.bp.blogspot.com:_D8LYzQ9KYu8:SLMqmYS1c4I:AAAAAAAAANM:T-Rs3274rmA:s400:Dear+Diary.jpg_1231704636055

Wow. I’m curious — how did you find her blog?

You must feel like you are reading her diary, and yet, it’s a blog and inherently public. Clearly, this is going to eat away at you, so you have to make a decision about how you are going to deal with it, even if that decision is that you are going to ignore it.

You can 1) stop reading it and pretend it doesn’t exist or 2) mention that you read it and ask her to please safeguard the kids’ identity, because you don’t want them to be hurt by this when they are older. Or 3) mention that you have read it, and then see what she says and let her reaction guide your conversation.

This could either be a way to grow closer to your AP or it could divide you. I am pretty sure that things cannot be the same now, because you are not in the same emotional place you were before. Your feelings have been hurt, and you feel your family’s privacy has been violated. Maybe that’s the place to start your conversation with her.

You should look at how you feel about her overall, and decide whether you want to continue the relationship or not before you talk to her about it. I think it could be a good opportunity, but so much depends on her reaction to it, and you can’t control that at all. And you may not be able to predict her reaction, either, so you might want to think about possible outcomes before having this conversation.

Okay host parents (and au pairs) — let’s hear from you. What else does md need to think about? What else might she try?

{ 24 comments }

njdad January 11, 2009 at 8:50 pm

I would be very upset by this violation of my family’s privacy and trust. Would you tolerate this type of behavior from any other type of employee or service provider? No way. God forbid our cleaning lady starts blogging about what she finds in our house.

Frankly, I would be upset even if she were blogging and saying only NICE things about my family and posting happy pictures of my kids with her.

What is this au pair thinking? People in this age group are notoriously revealing about themselves on Facebook and MySpace, but blogging about YOUR family, that’s another story.

I wouldn’t dance around the issue or worry about how you found out about it–it’s on the web for everyone to see. I would immediately sit down with the au pair, tell her how upsetting this is, and tell her to stop immediately or leave.

I also think that this issue should be raised with the Au Pair agency. It’s an example of where the technology is ahead of the “rules” so to speak, but the Au Pair policy should explicitly prohibit this kind of activity, which could put a family at risk.

Anonymous January 11, 2009 at 10:36 pm

I would be very upset about this! Not only is it a violation of your family’s privacy, but also a safety issue if anyone in cyberspace can access it. It’s bad enough we have enough crazy people out there preying on children!!!! Just one more way for some psycho to know your family business!! I understand our au pair’s need to vent, just like we do, but putting it out there for the whole world to see is just purely inconsiderate and irresponsible. Maybe she needs to take a class on Internet Safety!

I would let her know how you came to see it and have a talk with her about it. Even if she is only saying positive things about your family, her life here, etc., it still raises a safety concern!

If she was not open to changing it to a “private” site AND honoring your request to keep your family business private , I would definitely express the concern to your Area Director and your agency.

Marguerite January 11, 2009 at 10:40 pm

This is an area where I think your LLC could be very helpful. Even if there is no official policy, the counselor could point out to the aupair that this sort of activity cannot possibly strengthen a relationship.
The counselor could add it to her agenda when she has an orientation with newly arriving aupairs.
What does everyone think about Facebook ?

Edina Stone January 11, 2009 at 11:54 pm

Wow – the internet can really get young people in trouble these days!

I can understand your au pair’s stress and the fact she may be suffering from cultural shock (or worse) but she should talk these issues out instead of airing her (and your family’s) dirty laundry on the world wide web.

She should really know better, and if she doesn’t have the judgment to “know better” I would challenge her ability to care for your children.

That being said, what she is doing is a violation of her contract with you and the agency she signed up with. There are confidentiality agreements (or there should be – check this out) between au pair and family (the same would apply between your au pair and your famiily the other way around).

You need to contact the agency at once and insist they stop this blog – I would also ask her counselor to assess the au pair’s psychological well-being. If she is not happy and is so angry, should she be in charge of your children?

Unfortunately, once the trust and confidence is broken between au pair and host family, there is really no way to repair it. Her blogging about your family, in such negative terms, is a major trust violation!

I wish you the best!

Jen January 12, 2009 at 12:19 am

I was very interested to find this topic as it is one that I plan to address at my next cluster meeting as an LCC. I recently started a facebook groups for both my families and au pairs- I started to see a lot of pictures of the APs and kids and wondered how the families felt. I think there is a fine line of what is appropriate- first and foremost I think if an au pair is going to post any pictures of the host family they MUST have permission to do so from the family. I also think that au pairs need to be advised on safety of the internet and this should be part of a host families house rules. I do think that an au pair has the right to blog about whatever she wants to- BUT the host family also has the right to say that the au pair is not allowed to post in a public forum anything that identifys the family(names, places, pictures etc). I look forward to seeing how others are handling this in their homes and clusters!

Amy January 12, 2009 at 4:33 am

As an LCC, during a host family interview I highly encourage host families to make ‘internet rules’ as a portion of their household handbook. In this day and age there are so many things on the internet to utilize that it is just second nature to this generation of au pairs. And yes, they are young adults, but many are away from home for the very first time and do not necessarily take into consideration that their actions would/could affect the host family they live with.

As a host family you have every right to set up these internet rules and what you feel would be ok for them to do/not do with family information and pictures.

For this situation, I’d also play devil’s advocate and question if the au pair really realizes how public her blog really is?? She could have been told by a friend, “hey there is this really great way you can journal online and have this great online site for your adventure in the U.S.”… but does she really realize that it would pop up to those who googled her name? It’s worth wondering about…..

In my opinion, it really does not matter how you came across her blog. It’s your family she’s talking about, and in a public forum is really not ok for her to do. I’d encourage you to mention to her that you saw her blog and that you all should have a little talk about things. During your talk, I would discuss some of the things she says. Yes, it may be her way of expressing herself, but maybe she’s struggle with things that you could hear about from her and come up with ways to make it better. It could be a very stregthening experience for both of you.

During that conversation, I’d ask her to either (a) password entry her blog if she feels it is a private journal she is keeping, and/or (b) delete all information about your family and refrain from putting anything else out there about you and your children.

I would also add, that if you personally have felt up until this point that she is a great au pair and she has connected well with your family, then maybe the benefit of the doubt that she did not realize how public she was being may be the case?

Talya January 12, 2009 at 12:24 pm

If your au pair is a good fit with your family, I wouldn’t call the agency requesting a replacement just yet. It is important to think through this, open up dialog with your au pair, and keep the big picture in perspective. Just as Amy mentioned, it is likely that someone told the au pair that blogging is a great way to journal her experience. She probably just thinks that she’s found a great outlet to vocalize all that she is dealing with. If it really bothers you, then it needs to be addressed.

That said, I would be curious to know how easy was this blog to find, and if any names or personal information is on it that would give away who the host family is. If Joe Blow could read it and know exactly who you are, then there might be a problem. But if the information is anonymous and the au pair is seen to be blogging about an unnamed host family, does it really matter that she occasionally mentions that the kids act like brats? Every child does, and every au pair deals with it, whether they mention it or not.

I’d be willing to bet that once the au pair knows that you have read her blog, she’ll do a better job keeping any family details/problems quiet. Discretion is needed on the part of the au pair, but do keep in mind that she also needs a place to vent. The World Wide Web can be scary, but if she’s talking in generic language and no one knows who she’s talking about, there may be little to fear. Again, it’s important to keep a level head – bring this to the au pair’s attention and discuss it, if necessary.

Au Pair January 12, 2009 at 7:14 pm

I think that when an au pair writes negative things on her blog, is when she has just got off duty, feeling like a bomb ready to explode any second. Might be cause the kid just said something really really upsetting or annoying – which, I have to say, happens when the kid is not feeling to well itself.
I did write a blog about my life in the Us. Just because my friends and family wanted to read it. I don’t have time always to email everyone about everything – a blog is easy and they can read whenever they want.
When I felt really upset I had to get it out, and to be honest I felt so much better after. It felt like everything just dissapeared and I was ready for the next morning.
Everyone can get upset and say things they dont really mean, especially a young au pair, I promise you.
I was writing in my own language, for my friends and my family, not for my LCC or the other aupairs in the cluster.
It is also a way to tell other people how it is to live and work in the Us. I had so many friends thinking about going away as an au pair, who acutally ended up in the Us, so they could follow my blog and get a sort of view of how it is like.
I also want to remember you host families that your aupair probably writes more nice things about you than mean things.

But of course I agree with you all that it should be private, no needs for names.
And I should probably had been a bit more private than I was, but at the mean time, all my friends and family knows I love my host family a lot and I would looooooooove to go back to them again!!!

And also…. Whos family is perfect?

Edina Stone January 12, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Talya makes some excellent points here and as a former au pair herself, she knows and understands the “other side.” She is an expert in the au pair industry (author of an au pair book and owner of a website business on au pairing) and therefore I would consider her opinion/suggestions right on the mark.

Talk to your au pair, make sure there is nothing brewing between the two of you. Most conflicts arise because of the children and between au pair and host mom. Host moms who work full time feel so conflicted leaving their little ones at home and sometimes they just want to make them happy so they will do and say what the children want to hear, but not necessarily what they should be told. This might leave the au pair in a position that makes her the ‘heavy hitter’ when it comes to discipline.

Many times just the smallest slight or misunderstanding can blow up into a big mess. Talya is right, if she is a good fit with your family and you like her (you haven’t asked her to leave your home), sit down and talk to her calmly and ask if there is anything bothering her.

Good au pairs are a treasure and if you don’t want to lose her, try to fix the problem and things should work out going forward.

I always shared this simple rule with host parents: “If your au pair is happy, your children will be happy, if your children are happy, you will be happy.”

I can relate to the au pair’s comments about feeling like you are about to “blow” – many au pairs describe this feeling after 10 hours with small children. I often felt the same after a full day with my own little ones! Bless them.

Good luck! Very interesting and challenging issue.

Note: I would stop the blog immediately – the au pair cannot continue to violate your family’s privacy.

Edina

Maya January 12, 2009 at 8:57 pm

I want to offer a different view on this topic.

I am sure I am not the only host parent writing about my au pair in my personal public blog, so what rights of privacy do au pairs have with respect to host families writing/talking/venting/praising their au pairs. Discuss. :)

Calif mom January 12, 2009 at 9:32 pm

I understand where Edina’s rule is coming from, but I think that it puts the kids in the driver’s seat. The advice I got when my first was born has stayed with me for years. It came from a wise grandfather who was also chair of OB at a large medical center: there is no “best” or “perfect” childcare arrangement. Any will work if Mom is comfortable. But if Mom is uncomfortable, the kids pick up on it, and soon no one is happy. Children are adaptable to a wide variety of situations and can survive a lot more than we think.

And Maya, I think we should be careful of blogging about our APs out of mutual respect. Publicly praise and privately correct, right, cvh? I do think your AP should be told that you blog and that you are protecting her privacy and security. If people are open about all of this, it’ not an issue — it’s the privacy thing that gets cages rattled.

I’m sensing it’s time to blow up our AP guidelines and create some mutual understanding around here, even though all is going well.

I’m wondering why people don’t use facebook for this venting and staying in touch, rather than a blog…. it serves the purpose much better, and is easier to limit access. But I never diss my AP there, either! : )

Rayann January 13, 2009 at 8:20 pm

Really interesting topic, especially for our household because we all (host mom, host dad, au pair) actively Facebook and Blog. I can understand the concern about the AP criticizing on a public blog when names and identifying information about the host family is used. In my opinion, the blog either needs to be set to a private/subscription blog, or all identifying names/info (including pictures) needs to be left out. I don’t have a problem with the au pair venting as long as it isn’t about her hating my children or something…but to be honest, some days *I* think my kids are brats, so I certainly can’t fault the AP if she thinks so, too!

We all Facebook a lot, and I think it’s a better forum since it is typically limited (depending on settings) to only be viewed by one’s “friends”. Host Dad, AP and I are all on each other’s Facebook lists, and I love the communication it gives us during the day. We often exchange wall posts with each other about various things, and it’s fun for us to get to know some of her friends (from her home country and locally) because we’re all connected in this little online community together. But I think the big difference is that it’s mutually acceptable for all of us…and it works for all of us.

I knew our AP was on Facebook shortly after she arrived because she was accessing the site from our family computer – but I didn’t immediately add her, I just told her that Host Dad and I were on there, and she was welcome to add us or not – her choice. And if she had chosen to not allow us in to that little corner of her life, that would have been fine by me.

Like so many things, I think it all comes down to communication. Talk to your AP, share your concerns, don’t criticize, just talk…I think that goes so far towards maintaining and improving a good relationship.

MD January 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm

MD follow-up: So after thinking over the issue for the last few days and reading the great feedback here, I had a really good conversation with our au pair. After reading the blog’s content, I went through the stages of hurt feelings, anger and then perspective.

Our au pair is a “friend” on facebook and the blog link was posted there. I had never even considered addressing blogging as an issue before being faced with it. Working in the technology industry, I know that with this age generation, social networking and blogging is more the norm than the exception with myspace, facebook and other blog sites. The tone of blogs is usually a very open communication style filled with pictures and video. On the positive side, blogs are a great communication channel to reach out to family and friends who are far away without picking up the phone. When I was an au pair myself, it was before computers and I had to do it with pen/paper.

That said, we sat down and had a good conversation on the blog last night. She felt really awful and I felt guilty for taking a few days to think about sharing the information. I ackowledged that her feelings that she shared in the blog are normal – there will be ups and downs on a daily basis with kids. My kids aren’t perfect and neither are we. I recognized that we both need to work on our communication together to make sure that I’m helping her as much as I can to deal with issues as they come up.

She said and (I believe) that she was happy with our family and that she realized that the blog weighed more heavily on the complaining side vs. the good times. I believe her intent was to share her experiences with her friends and that she had not considered the privacy implications.

I feel that she should keep her blog because it links her so strongly to friends and family. I asked her however, to not post any information that would provide information on our identity. I also asked her to do a gut check – if the kids were to read this 5 years from now, how would they feel? If the answer is not good – don’t post it. Send it in email.

I’m so glad I had the conversation and the insight because now we can address openly any issues. Thanks for the feedback and encourage your au pair organizations to address this in their training.

Edina Stone January 15, 2009 at 11:03 pm

Dear MD – so happy it was resolved and good for you for taking the time to have this conversation with your au pair. You handled it very well.

Best,

Edina

Dawn January 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Wow, sounds like a great resolution! Good for you for using this as an opportunity to IMPROVE your relationship/communication rather than letting it come between you!

I ahve my au pair as a “friend” on Facebook as well — I wonder how common that is? Our current au pair leaves in about a month and I’ve been emailing a lot with our incoming au pair, but I’ve been on the fence about whether to ask her if she’s on Facebook and if she wants to add me as a friend. On the one hand, it’s a great way for her to see a lot more pictures of the kids and get more of a glimpse into our everyday life than she gets via email. On the other hand, I don’t want her to be “put off” by some of the goofy things my friends and I post on each other’s pages, before she knows me in person, LOL! (Any suggestions?)

Maya January 16, 2009 at 9:44 pm

I forgot to come her and give you all an update.

I hat a talk with my au pair about bloging and internet privacy. I asked her that if she has a blog or journal on line where she talkes about our family to please not use our names and any ID info.

Also, I told her that I have a blog where I can occasionally mention her as an au pair only. I told her that I also used to write about my old au pair who was aware of my blog and as such, I told my current au pair that she can check out my blog and let me know if she is not comfortable with it. I send her the link to my blog, but she never said anything about afterwards.

So, all in all, everything is out in the open in the house and all is well.

Calif mom January 31, 2009 at 2:06 am

Glad to hear this worked out! What a chance to model open communication! Pat yourself on the back for doing the hard–but right– thing. I really do think hosting APs is going to be good training for having teenagers. : )

I was thinking about your situation when I stumbled on the facebook page of an AP who is in our neighborhood. When a status update during the day was “only three more hours to go!” and then “Boy am I glad to be done with work for the day!” I had pangs. Her hosts are not on facebook. And she’s a second-year, and I know she loves her family. And of course we all have days like this, but seeing that post (which we all could make some days) made me more aware about how whining/complaining comes across on the web.

That a-ha inspired me to come check out comments and see what happened with the AP who was blogging about her host family.

So now, my question is how (and whether) to work this into conversation with our AP, who does not have an English language facebook page that I have found, or a blog, or anything like that. I do need to update our family handbook anyway, because for one thing the kids are a lot older now and doing different things. Shame on me, I didn’t update it when she joined us in August. I am about to return to work, so maybe that can be my excuse for presenting new guidelines and maybe setting up some new systems? Or is going to feel to her like I’m unhappy with her performance (a couple things need help, like reinforcing her morning start time).

After cvh’s great post about New Year’s being a good time to start all things anew, I tried to establish weekly ‘family meetings’ on Sunday evenings, but so far they have never worked out (usually because my family is out doing various activities). I feel that we need to jump-start our conversations about how things are going BEFORE anything starts to slide. We’re at that almost-6-months stage where APs can start to slip. But nothing is really going overtly wrong, so I don’t want to send the wrong signal to her by suddenly suggesting meetings or handing her a new handbook.

Background: I’m a delegator by nature, definitely not a micro-manager, and this is something I’m terrible at in the workplace, too. I much prefer working with my employees who just get stuff done to the ones I have to actively manage. I am a strategist, not a detail maven. But I also see how learning how to be a bit of a more active manager at home will build skills I can use at work, and vice versa.

I’ve also experienced the slide and ultimate departure of APs who get into that slump, so I’m nervous. But I have no reason to think that’s happening this time, just want to strengthen what we do have.

Any ideas?

thanks, everyone!

RaiulBaztepo March 29, 2009 at 3:13 am

Hello!
Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
See you!
Your, Raiul Baztepo

Au pair March 29, 2009 at 4:16 am

It´s very common for au pairs to be excited about the travel and the daily life in USA and feel the need of showing it to the world. Also it´s very common to have bad and good days at work and want these things to be shared, specially when you are far from home and family.
The first thing I was concerned when I created my blog was my host family´s privacy. I have decided I would NOT post any picture or host family´s names on it without their permission. One of the rules for Au PAir Program is to consider host family´s privacy. I am very carefull about it.

I think the bedt Raiul can do is TALK to her au pair and tell the truth; I have read your blog and I think it´s not cool that you expose our family. I am sure your au pair will understand and be carefull about it. Also donpt get too personal about what she wrote. Lots of girl just had a busy day and need to complain about little things just to feel better.

New AuPair January 6, 2010 at 10:57 am

I have a blog, but I never write anything about my family! I write about the things I do in my off time, weekends or new adventures I have. Maybe you could suggest she use her blog for that! I think having a blog is great, if you use it in the right way. The blog I use can even be turned into a published book so that you can always have your entries and memories for years to come!!!

PA aupair mom January 6, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Our current AP has a blog and she blogs about her time in the USA and also about life with our family. She asked my permission before she started. Her posts are always appropriate and don’t give out any information that is too specific. I love reading the blog and so do my extended family members and her family members. She posts it in English and Swedish so everyone can read and enjoy it!

Emma January 6, 2010 at 1:37 pm

I have one also, but I asked my HF’s permission first, and set it to private/invitation-only to protect my HF’s privacy, and let my HM have an invite so she could see that I wasn’t posting anything inappropriate. It’s mostly just so my family and friends can see what I’m doing and the pics I’m taking anyway.

Aupair January 10, 2010 at 1:04 pm

I have a blog about my family too and while I criticise, there is nothing maliscious. As long as privacy is upheld I don’t see the problem. Apart from wounded pride

Sela July 27, 2011 at 8:56 pm

It’s really interesting to see all the opinions on this issue.
I’m an AP (an American in Australia) and I personally see no issue with blogging about such an adventure and momentous time in your life. APing isn’t just a job, it’s a LIFE, and as such it needs to be treated a little differently.
However, I see no problems with a few guidelines. As for my blog, I am sure to go under a pseudonym, and I refer to my HF by pseudonyms (I’ve seen other APs simply use a first or last letter, such as “five year old M” or “P, the host mum”), and I am not so specific in my whereabouts (I usually JUST use “Australia”). And OF COURSE I don’t badmouth the family on the blog. I try to keep it upbeat and positive. I can guarantee you (I’ve checked) that if you were to Google my name, it would not come up. Granted, many of my friends and family have the blog address.
I’ve even had a bit of fun with it, keeping with a “Merry Ol’ Land of Oz” theme (because Australia is often nicknamed “Oz”), and I call APing “The Yellow Brick Road”, my HKs “munchkins” (HK1 is “Lullaby League”, HK2 is “Lollipop Guild”), HM is “Glenda”, HD is “Wizard”, homesickness is “Wicked Witch”, etc etc.

That’s just my opinion. My HF knows about my blog, and they read it and love it!

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