Parents often struggle to navigate child care for teenagers, and teenagers are often resistant to the idea of needing a “babysitter.” While teenagers are more independent than infants and young school-aged children, many parents find that their teens benefit from having another responsible adult in the home.
Hosting an au pair is an excellent child care assistance option for families with teenagers – here’s why:
1. Au pairs can make great mentors for teenagers
Au pairs can make wonderful mentors and positive role models for teenagers in particular. Because au pairs are between the ages of 18 and 26, they often fill the role of “big sibling” to older host children. Au pairs can help create a fun, safe space for teenagers to chat, vent or relax.
One of our host families from Maryland recently reflected on how their au pair Pauline helped their teenagers cope with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic:
“When the older three kids were at school, Pauline was always great at finding various activities to keep Jo (our 3 y/o daughter) engaged and learning. But with all of the kids home together all day, this experience has really shown us how much she can mentor and help lead our three pre-teen/teenagers through this difficult experience. In some ways, Jo could not be happier to have everyone around all of the time now, but it has been Pauline’s ability to help the three older kids to cope with the mental challenges, uneasiness, and stress of the unknown that has really impressed us with Pauline.”
2. Know your teenager is safe in case of an emergency
No parent likes the thought of their child alone during an emergency situation, regardless of their child’s age. While teenagers may consider themselves independent, having another trusted adult in your home can help ease your mind that your teen is safe. Au pairs can provide supervision, help enforce your house rules and support your teenager during emergencies and unforeseen circumstances.
3. Gain an extra set of hands with your family’s busy schedule
During the teenager years, many parents feel like they are endlessly needing to drive their teen somewhere. Au pairs can help drive your teenager to and from school, extracurricular activities and social events. Whether your teenager needs a ride to soccer practice, the mall or their friend’s house, au pair child care assistance can help simplify your family’s schedule.
4. Cultural exchange benefits the whole family
The heart of the au pair program is the beautiful experience of cultural exchange between host families and their au pairs. Hosting an au pair is an unique opportunity for your family to learn more about another culture while sharing your own culture with your au pair. Your whole family, including teenagers, can benefit from a greater understanding of another culture. The cultural exposure and education that hosting an au pair provides will help prepare your teenager for their future as a global citizen – and perhaps even inspire them to seek out intercultural opportunities!
5. Au pairs can help supervise homework and studying
Au pairs can help supervise your teenager’s afterschool routine and encourage them to complete their homework and study for exams. While au pairs are not full-fledged tutors, they can provide assistance and guidance with homework and help your teenager stay organized and focused.
Whether your child is 15 months old or 15 years old, Au Pair in America has a program to meet your family’s child care needs.
Ready to enrich your children’s lives through cultural exchange?