"Home is where the heart is", and now more than ever that saying rings true. When au pairs decide to embark on a year-long journey to a new family in a new country they know they'll face challenges, but sometimes the unexpected can happen. Making sure that your au pair feels comfortable at home is critical to keep spirits high during difficult times. This is a great chance for you and your au pair to bond together while you support them during a difficult period. Check out our tried-and-true methods that can help to comfort your au pair.
- Cook your au pair's favorite food. They call it comfort food for a reason!Preparing and eating familiar recipes can give your au pair a great feeling of comfort during trying times. Plus, it can be a fun weekend activity for the whole family to learn a new recipe and create great memories together.
- Watch your favorite shows together.Many of our au pairs have told us how much they love watching American movies and tv shows while simultaneously sharpening their English skills. Load up Netflix, pop some homemade popcorn, and turn off lights with an "Enjoy the show!". This way, your au pair can feel like doing they're doing a fun activity with their host family while watching a fun movie on the big screen altogether!
- Inquire about your au pair's natural family. Au pairs can become very anxious with constantly changing situations.Ask your au pair about their family and ask if they would like to do a joint Skype call or Zoom call if they are comfortable with that. Talking about their natural family and home can bring up fun and positive memories, and you'll get to know your au pair on a deeper level.
- Respect your au pair's time-off.As a live-in caregiver, au pairs are working and living in the same place which is at home. Due to stay-at-home orders, your au pair's social interactions are temporarily limited when they would otherwise be connecting with friends. It's important that your au pair gets the chance to refresh, so encourage them to set up a scheduled time in their off-hours to undertake an activity that will help them productively de-stress or unwind, like FaceTiming with friends, yoga, or reading.
- Help them explore a new hobby.Trying out a new skill or hobby is a great stress-reliever and distraction when times are tough. Recommend that your au pair researches free online classes, or even watch video tutorials that teach you everything from sketching to coding!If your au pair stays motivated and is able to learn new things, it's also a great model for your children to explore new activities or just simply do something fun together with their au pair.