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Adaptation period – the unknowns!

“Adaptation period” – the unknowns!

Close your eyes for a minute:

Imagine putting yourself in your Au Pair’s shoes – a new country, a new culture, a new family, a new home, new or different ways of doing things, a language that you likely don’t speak very well, a lot of responsibility ahead of you.

Now, open your eyes and imagine how would all that make you feel?

Would you feel nervous, excited, homesick, happy, sad, energetic, tired?

That is exactly how our Au Pairs feel when they arrive in our homes.

We, as host families, need to be aware of all the above and try to be understanding and patient. Of course, this applies to our Au Pairs too as they also adapt to our way of doing things, our way of caring for and educating our children, our different ways of living.

The adaptation period in our family always starts with a week of full on training: what we expect from our Au Pair, our family routines, a walk around the local area to make our Au Pair feel more at home, meal prep and healthy eating, our children’s likes and dislikes, how to go about homework, our way of educating our children and the boundaries we have set (no jumping on couches or beds, please!).

The second week it is all about settling in and “getting stuck in”. Generally, if all goes according to plan, from the third week onward the host family and the Au Pair will have found their feet and will be familiar with each other.

Then, your Au Pair will start to become more independent and reliable which will give you the peace of mind you were looking for when your family decided to host an Au Pair.