How to Help Your Au Pair Be More Comfortable

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mother and daughter preparing a salad

When a family hires an au pair, there’s a lot to consider, but you might think the majority of the work is over once you get your new au pair into your home.

That’s not the case, however.

When you’re a mom and you hire an au pair, you want that person to be happy and comfortable so she can thrive and be a great fit for your kids and your family. Some issues can sideline an au pair’s success, such as homesickness, shyness, or simply feeling overwhelmed.

The following are some tips you can follow to help your au pair feel more comfortable in her new role.

Help Her with Logistics

If you’re new to having an au pair, you might not even think about how overwhelming it can be from a logistical standpoint when you arrive in a new country. As much as possible, help your au pair with the logistics as she gets comfortable in her new host country.

For example, your au pair might want to send money home to family members or to pay bills. To do so, she may need to set up a bank account and find a transfer service.

These are small things you can help her with to ensure she has what she needs so she can be more focused on taking care of the kids and adjusting, and less on how to take care of daily tasks.

Also, when your au pair arrives, take her on a tour of your city. You want to show her where things like parks, coffee shops, and shopping are located.

Help Your Au Pair Find Friends in the Area

There are typically other au pairs living in a city at any given time, and you should try and help your au pair connect with them. She can find friends to hang out with and explore the area when she’s not working, and some of the other au pairs might even be from her home country.

Create Written Expectations

Sometime a host family may want to be more casual with their au pair in an effort to help her feel comfortable, but that can ultimately end up moving things in the opposite direction. If your au pair doesn’t know exactly what’s expected of her, she may not be sure when it’s okay for her to go to her room, or when she’s expected to be working versus when she’s not.

You want to write down clear, written expectations and go over them with her. You’re not going to come off as rigid, but instead, you’ll increase your au pair’s comfort level because there won’t be so much gray area.

Plus, if you don’t write down expectations your au pair might end up doing something you don’t like, and it can breed frustration, but she won’t even know.

Look for Signs of Homesickness

Finally, you want to be proactive when it comes to helping your au pair adjust to her new life, and part of that is being sensitive to signs she could be experiencing homesickness or depression. If you can see those signs early on, you can speak with your au pair to determine ways you can help her rather than waiting until the problem grows.

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