Our Au Pair Generously Let Her Boyfriend Drive Our Car — Now what?

by cv harquail July 19, 2017
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Generosity in a host parent – au pair relationship is critical. Our inclination to give, to forgive, to cut someone else a break, is what creates important flexibility in a relationship.  That’s why we say strong relationships always have a little ‘give’. One of the biggest questions for Host Parents and Au Pairs alike is how […]

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How Should an Au Pair Explain Visible Scars to Host Kids?

by cv harquail July 8, 2017
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Each of us bears scars from life events that have challenged us. Some of these scars are hidden, and allow us to keep their origins private.  Other scars are in plain sight, and their visibility raises the possibility that at some point, we won’t be able to keep their origins to ourselves. I have a […]

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Finding an Infant Qualified Au Pair Who Can Manage Twins

by cv harquail July 5, 2017
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NowWeAreThree HostMom thought she had the whole family ready for twins, with her mom coming to stay for an entire year to help with childcare (what a mom!).  Sadly, her father got unexpectedly sick, so her mom can no longer come. This mom’s got to find a new childcare plan. What questions would you ask, and what […]

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Explaining “America” to Your Au Pair

by cv harquail June 30, 2017
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4th of July is one of my favorite holidays… all about family, community and abstract patriotic notions. 4th of July is also the holiday when I am most likely to embarrass my children– apparently, as they get older, it is no longer cool to have a mom who dresses up in red, white & blue […]

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Mom of Au Pair Asks: How Can I Offer Support from Afar?

by cv harquail June 27, 2017
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For the first time ever, we’ve heard from the mom of a brand new Au Pair.   Her daughter is running into problems with her Host Family, and the au pair’s Mom wants to know– how can she help? I’ve wanted to ignore the possibility that an pair’s parents would be offering her real-time advice on […]

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Help A Brand-New Au Pair Get Better At Her Job

by cv harquail June 24, 2017
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It’s not easy to settle in, whether you’re the new Au Pair or the First Time Host Mom. The American college student who sent this email hasn’t had the benefit of a formal Au Pair orientation, and I suspect that her host mom hasn’t had the benefit of a local counselor or group of moms […]

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Au Pair Education Requirement: Any new strategies for meeting this?

by cv harquail June 23, 2017
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School’s Out For Summer! You could feel the excitement from each and every kid that streamed out of Edgemont School yesterday, as they brought armloads of art projects and long-forgotten sweaters out to their parents and caregivers at pickup.  And lordy don’t I know that feeling… there is no greater pleasure than hitting the “post” […]

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When All Your Host Kid Wants Is The Former Au Pair

by cv harquail June 9, 2017
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Au Pair transitions can be rough on kids. Some kids wonder if an Au Pair’s departure is their fault. Others get upset when their ‘totally best friend’ departs for her next adventure. Even though we have ways to explain this all to our kids, sometimes the kids have a hard time letting go of their […]

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Her Au Pair Takes Too Many Showers: Is this really the problem?

by cv harquail June 1, 2017
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Too many showers?  That’s so much better than the alternative. Really, who wants to tell their au pair that they need to wash more often? But we know, it’s these seemingly small things that can (1) be annoying and (2) tip us off to some deeper issues that should be addressed.   SoggyHostMom’s problem? “How […]

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Au Pair Robbed at Gun Point: How to help her recover?

by cv harquail May 24, 2017
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She’s safely home. And really upset. Sure, the worst didn’t happen. But it doesn’t matter. The Au Pair still had the experience of being dramatically unsafe, even though she’d done all the right things. The Au Pair still has to drive the car, go out in the evenings, be the responsible adult, and continue being confident […]

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