It’s so important for your au pair to develop friendships here in the US. Your au pair needs friends to create a social life and to strike out beyond your home and family for some of her or his own adventures. Once our au pairs have foud a friend or two (or three) they have all seemed to settle in for the year.
A good friend can have a terrific influence on an au pair — helping your au pair explore, being a companion, sharing culture, playing the wingman. Every friend brings something different into your au pair’s life.
Your au pair’s friends can also be a mystery. Your au pair might not introduce friends to you, or you might just see them dashing up and down the stairs and then out the door, leaving behold only wafts of intense perfume.
A host parent wrote, wondering how other families’ au pairs do with making friends. She asked:
- Do your AP’s make friends with other AP’s or Americans?
- If your AP has both American friends and AP friends, how much time does s/he spend with each group?
- Have you met or spent time with their friends?
- Do they get an American boyfriend here? If so, how long into their year??
We have never met ANY of the AP or American friends of either of our two au pairs.
Our first AP had 1 other AP friend. Got an American boyfriend in 1 month and fell in love. Our second AP knows some other AP’s but is not really friends with them. She spends minimal time with other AP’s. She got an American boyfriend in 1 month and spends most of her time with the Americans.
It seems as though as soon as the boyfriend/American friends come along things go downhill for our au pair-host parent relationship. I’m not sure if it’s just the timing in the year or if the Americans encourage the au pairs to push the rules. I’d love to hear about other host families’ experiences with au pair friends and what worked for them.
Parents, any great stories about au pairs and friends? Let’s hear!