communication

Do You Have Regular Weekly Meetings With Your Au Pair?

by cv harquail January 5, 2014
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Some Host Parents swear by the Weekly Meeting as The. One. Thing. (along with the Handbook, of course) that keeps the relationship running smoothly. Weekly meetings have a lot to recommend them. Meetings that are: Regular Planned in advance Agenda driven Happen outside of the day to day rush or parent/au pair transition time — […]

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Texting: Taming the Au Pair Distraction

by cv harquail February 10, 2012
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Who’s got an au pair who texts a lot?  Sometimes at inappropriate times, and often without any understanding of how this behavior distracts them? Raise your hands. Okay, you can all put down your hands. It annoys me hugely that people have bad manners when it comes to texting. In our family, we have rules […]

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Where oh where is my soon-to-arrive Au Pair?

by cv harquail June 25, 2010
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You’ve found her/him, you’ve matched, you’ve sent follow up information, exchanged a few happy emails, and then all of a sudden… … Your au pair goes quiet. Time to panic? Dear Au Pair Mom, We are excited about our soon-to-arrive au pair. She seems great, but I am starting to worry. I haven’t heard anything […]

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Our Au Pair is not the cheerful girl we expected. Now what?

by cv harquail February 15, 2010
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We’re 1 month into our first au pair and not sure if it’s going to be ok or not. Just to clarify we’re based outside the US so our au pair has not come to us through an agency, in fact she is American. We have 3 kids, all under 6 and there is no […]

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Not Listening? Not Understanding? Not working out… help!

by cv harquail June 27, 2009
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This mom has an interesting twist on a common challenge: the language barrier. In this case, her AP speaks clearly…she just doesn’t seem to understand…or listen.. or care. it’s not clear. Can you offer her any advice? Our new au pair, from Brazil, arrived two weeks ago after our Swedish au pair decided our family […]

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Choosing an Au Pair: Using email to reach out to a candidate

by cv harquail May 14, 2009
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Once you’ve found a candidate that interests you and you have her contact information, you need to establish contact reach out to her.  I’ve found that an email is a great way to start the conversation. (If she does not haves an email address, go to the phone pronto.) An email can "warm up" a […]

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Advice wanted… best medium & process for communicating expectations?

by cv harquail April 5, 2009
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Calif Mom needs some ideas for upgrading her communication system with her au pair. My AP joined us last summer and is going to extend (yay!). I have been wanting to fine tune some expectations ahead of signing those papers, and have been taking notes on specific things I would like her to start doing […]

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