What’s the Best Way to Instruct Your Au Pair?

by cv harquail August 28, 2015

“Blah blah blah blah blah.” There must be hundreds of Au Pairs out there who can appreciate this FarSide cartoon by Gary Larsen.** A Host Parent’s constant instruction can quickly become just background noise. Possibly interesting, possibly important, but rarely punctuated by anything that grabs your attention. And we Host Parents have SO much to say, […]

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Teach Your Au Pair with Examples of Things Done Wrong– by Other People.

by cv harquail August 14, 2015

When teaching an Au Pair, it’s better to show than to tell.   Whenever you can, point out when something is being done well or done right by your Au Pair, by your spouse, or by someone else. “I love that this nanny is putting the kids into the car from the curb, and not out […]

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Paying Stipends When Au Pairs Overlap

by cv harquail May 29, 2012
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When your departing au pair has finished training your new au pair, and they are both in your house but only one of them is working, do you (still) need to pay your departing au pair? If your outgoing au pair still has a week or two on her contract, you must still pay her, […]

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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 […]

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Can you train an Au Pair to be conscious of safety?

by cv harquail October 7, 2010

Hi AuPairMom, I can’t believe I’m sending this email, but I am at my wit’s end and don’t quite know where else to turn. I’ve been lurking on your blog for about 3 months, ever since we decided that an au pair situation would be a good one for us (we’re first timers). Here’s a […]

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5 Tips to Help Your Au Pair Prepare Healthy Meals for Kids

by cv harquail September 29, 2010

Sometimes, I get really envious of host families whose au pairs know how to cook. I mean really know how to cook– au pairs who will suggest meals, create something new out of a chicken breast, and clip a recipe from People Magazine. We have never had an au pair who is an accomplished cook, […]

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After the Honeymoon: Seasons of the Au Pair Year

by cv harquail August 13, 2010
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A host mom who prefers to remain anonymous  shares her reflections, and helpful questions, about that delicate stage in your Au Pair- Host Family relationships…. those days when it only begins to dawn on you that, with this terrific au pair as well as any other, there will always be challenges… After the Honeymoon… The […]

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Share with your Au Pair your system for ‘disciplining’ your kids

by cv harquail August 10, 2010

Usually I shy away from offering or requesting parenting advice on this blog… I know what has worked for my family and I also know that every family’s systems have to fit within its own values, norms and culture. So, when it comes to questions of “how should my Au Pair discipline my kids” I […]

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Orienting an Au Pair when Host Mom can’t be there

by cv harquail June 26, 2010

Dear AuPairMom, I have organized an au pair to come and help us for a month at the end of June. (This came through a work contact and I have spoken on the phone with the au pair and her mom) . My problem now is that I need to travel to the UK for […]

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R.T.F.M. Making sure your Au Pair Reads the Family Manual

by cv harquail September 17, 2009

Long before there was OMG, ROTFLMAO and WTF, there was RTFM. R ead T he F (your favorite F word here. We use “family”) M anual We put a lot of work into those family manuals and handbooks, and we expect them to be useful to our Au Pairs. However, before the Au Pairs find […]

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