I imagine that every au pair has an idea of what her or his “ideal” host family should be like. The assortment of children, the family’s location, their personality, their basic household rules… all of this factors in.
But how much do you think it matters that the family be “American”-American, rather than German-American or Recently-American?
I admit I haven’t thought much about this before. I know that some host families look for au pairs of certain national origins, often so that the the au pairs can help the parents reinforce a language in addition to English. (Of course, some au pairs avoid this kind of situation because they want to work only in English.)
And, we think about unconventional family arrangements that might affect the au pair’s lifestyle (e.g., divorced parents with two households).
But this family of Eager Parents raised the question– could their own family’s culture be seen as not “American” enough?
We are considering getting an au pair, but need advice.
We are from Asia, and have been living in the US for over 10 yrs. We are citizens and can host an AP. However, knowing that it is designated as a cultural exchange, not sure how it would work.
We are a mix of the Asian and American culture and believe that it will be a truly enriching experience, only not in the typical way.
Does anyone have thoughts n the feasibility/success in this situation?
Thanks for your thoughts- Eager Parents
Personally, I think that this family shouldn’t worry, and should focus on communicating their personalities and family values, which in the end are more important (in my mind) to a great au pair relationships.
- What would you advise these parents to consider? What might they add to their family letter & to their interview plans?
- When they choose an au pair, what might they do to make sure their year is a success?
Image: Chinese Family from Haneen Krimly