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Preparing for the Arrival of Your Au Pair

Apr 25, 2008
Once you have decided on the advantages of hosting an au pair in your home, there are a number of things your family can do to prepare for the visit.

Decorate the Room

You will be providing a private bedroom for your guest. The bedroom must be adequately furnished with items such as a bed and a dresser. Extra amenities like a television or telephone are not required but can help your guest feel more at ease.

The furnishings should be in good condition. They don't have to be new but should be something above flea market rejects. Give the room a good cleaning and make it comfortable and inviting.

Decor doesn't have to be anything elaborate but a few items reflective of the au pair's culture can be a nice gesture. Don't worry about getting the details right; it's the thought that counts. Try to learn as much as you can about your guest to prepare the room with decorations and comforts that will make her feel right at home.

Study the Culture

The whole family should make an effort to learn about your au pair's country before arrival. An outing to the library gives access to a wealth of information on your visitor's culture and traditions. Keep an eye out for documentaries on television and find information on the web.

That doesn't mean turning it into homework. Everyone should find fun ways to learn. Encourage your children to make craft projects inspired by your visitor's home country. Rent movies. Eat at restaurants that serve food from that part of the world.

Prepare Your Family

Talk to your children about the guest coming to stay with you. Your children will take their lead from you so talk about this person as you would a visiting relative. Don't say "the au pair"; use his or her name. Explain that this visitor is coming to see America and will be staying in your home.

As the family engages in activities, imagine having another person around. We all get comfortable in our patterns and it can be disruptive to have them changed. Acclimating your family to things ahead of time will make the transition easier for everyone.

Think about local activities and cultural events that you can expose your new guest to. Make note of local festivals or events that would expose your guest to American culture. Local culture can be anything from a wine tasting to a 4th of July picnic to a tractor pull.

Everyone in the family should plan to spend time with the au pair to help the transition to American life. With everyone working together, your guest will soon be like one of the family and everyone will have a culturally enriching experience.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on Au
Pair
, visit http://www.euraupair.com.
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