So your Au Pair has arrived and now you have a stranger in your house, a slightly nervous stranger who’s wondering how to fit in.
To have the ultimate Family and Au Pair experience it is important that the host parents develop a strong connection with their Au Pair. For an Au Pair arrangement to work well the Au Pair needs to become an integral, and comfortable, part of your family.
A way to bond and develop a great relationship with your Au Pair is to spend time with them doing fun activities. Typically, the host Mum provides most of the guidance, so focusing on the host Mum and Au Pair connection is normally the place to start.
Most activities outside the home end up costing money. Obviously, your Au Pair is going to be on a fairly tight budget, so make sure your Au Pair is clear that they are not expected to pay, that this activity is going to be your treat!
Go to a weekly activity together such as Yoga, Pilates or a Gym class. These can be a lot of fun, and let’s face it we all need an excuse to get out of the house and commit to more exercise.
While the Host Dad takes care of the children, you and your Au Pair can head off to see a movie at your local cinema, with lots of popcorn and chocolate off course!
Alternatively, you can also pick out a movie to watch at home and order some take away to enjoy a night in. Friday movie and Pizza night, yum.
If you both have an interest in cooking or baking then pick out a recipe together and cook up a storm! Pick out a traditional dish to introduce your Au Pair too.
Get your Au Pair to show you traditional dishes from their home, encourage them to call Mum for secret recipes.
Take your Au Pair out to breakfast or lunch at a nice spot in your area, or take the whole family to dinner at a local restaurant.
I find Italian works well, pizza for the kids, and something from the Secondi menu with a nice glass of wine for you.
Have a day out shopping, trying on new outfits. A wonderful surprise would be to buy your Au Pair something they liked… and a wonderful surprise would be to buy yourself lots of things that you liked.
You can surprise host Dad with how much money the two of you managed to save in the sales.
Go see a play or musical together, maybe even an Opera. Introducing your new little friend to shows can be a great way to pull yourself out of the family routine for a night.
Surprisingly a lot of big budget TV shows jump language barriers. Is there a show both you and your Au Pair obsess over? Game of Thrones anyone? Maybe binging on Prison Break?
Pick a weekly night that can be your TV indulgence evening and gossip about the latest episode.