The “Fire Or Blood” Rule for Au Pairs With Work-At-Home Parents

by cv harquail January 20, 2014
do not disturb

I saw this photo on Twitter today and it cracked me up.        It reminded me of my own (vain? valiant?) attempts to teach my au pairs and now my tweenagers when it is and isn’t okay to interrupt me in my home office. (Remember this photo?) These days, I’ve shifted to a […]

10 comments Read the full article →

What is the right way to discipline your Au Pair?

by cv harquail January 4, 2013
dog in corner.jpg

“Go sit in the corner.” Over the holidays, someone told me that they’d heard about an au pair who was told by her host mom to “go sit in the corner” as punishment for doing something wrong with the kids. I was appalled. What did that host mom think she was doing, disciplining an au […]

125 comments Read the full article →

Texting: Taming the Au Pair Distraction

by cv harquail February 10, 2012

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 […]

33 comments Read the full article →

When should we send our Family Handbook to our incoming au pair?

by cv harquail January 6, 2011

As every reader of this blog knows, we are big fans of the concept of the Family Handbook. And by “we” I don’t mean the royal  moi, but all of us host parents (and even au pairs). It really helps to create a handbook to get your expectations and needs out into clear language, and […]

41 comments Read the full article →

Is Your Host Family Handbook Too Long?

by cv harquail June 21, 2010

Eleven Au Pairs and 12 revisions after first being written, our Host Family Handbook is now, officially, “long”. Excluding examples of kids’ and au pairs’ schedules, and excluding the basic information about emergency phone numbers and the like, our rules/guidelines section runs 16 pages, with almost 4500 words. Is that too long? Host Family Handbook: […]

43 comments Read the full article →

What exactly is a Host Family Handbook?

by cv harquail June 21, 2010
lana binders.jpg

We’ve got a lit of different terms floating around to describe the written information that we give our au pairs. We call them handbooks, manuals, guidelines, and rules. (And who knows what our au pairs call them!) For the purposes of our conversations here on AuPairMom, let’s try to lock down the terminology. A Host […]

43 comments Read the full article →

Are “crazy” Au Pair guidelines really all that crazy?

by cv harquail June 9, 2010

I laughed at the comment by Taking a Computer Lunch, on rules in her family handbook: My least favorite rule that I had to add – don’t burn candles and leave your room. Duh! As I look through our family handbook, there are some real doozies. My personal favorite is “In the evening, please do […]

217 comments Read the full article →

Why Safety Rules Matter

by cv harquail January 30, 2010
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

I get a lot of crap from people about the safety rules at our house. Apparently we’re a little strict. Probably our most prominent safety rules have to do with driving. For example, I don’t use my cellphone when I drive. I just don’t. I’m that person who waits ’till she gets where she’s going, […]

36 comments Read the full article →

Extending with your current Au Pair: A Bad Idea?

by cv harquail April 20, 2009

Our post about interviewing extension candidates reminds us of an earlier bit of advice that was a surprise to many of us host parents. My LCC gave me great advice. No matter how good the relationship is, NEVER extend with the same au pair. It almost never works out. She thinks that an au pair […]

2 comments Read the full article →