Tag Archives: positive

Host Family Hints to Help Your Au Pair Match Flourish

Host parents have many responsibilities and are often very busy. Maintaining a good relationship with your au pair is essential and can prevent many potential issues. Below are a few simple things you can do to help your au pair match flourish.

Communication – Make time every couple of weeks for a check-in conversation. This provides your au pair a time to bring up questions or concerns which she may be hesitant to bring up when she sees how busy you are daily. It’s also a good time for discussing any concerns you have as well as planning for upcoming events or schedule changes.

I cannot emphasize enough how important these check-in conversations are, even after an au pair has been with a host family for months and into the extension year. Having these regular conversations says to your au pair that you care about how she is feeling and how things are going. It is an investment in keeping a match healthy and successful.

Treat Your Au Pair Like a Family Member – Au pairs who feel appreciated and included as a member of their host family tend to see their host children as family members and feel very invested in their happiness and success.

Stay on Top of Payments –  Au pairs can feel very uncomfortable if they need to ask for their weekly stipend payment. This can also make them feel their work is not appreciated or you are unconcerned about their needs. Add a recurring weekly event on your calendar, use payment apps or automatic bank transfers to schedule your au pair’s stipend payment, and give yourself one less thing to remember.

The same is true for their transportation costs to cluster meetings and classes. Au pairs let their host family know about the expenses but some host parents don’t always follow through and reimburse them. Here’s a blog post with information and tips on how to handle transportation costs.

Photo: Shared by an APIA Host Family

Teaching Responsibility – Chores


When I had the cluster holiday party at my house in December, a few au pairs commented on the chore and behavior charts I have posted in my family room. With four kids, I find it can be difficult to keep track of who has done what and who had gained or lost various priveleges. So, over the years, I have used various charts to keep everything on track.  I have also created charts for host families and au pairs dealing with behavior the children may be having.

I uploaded a few of these charts in case some of you may find them helpful.

Having chores teaches children that they are an important part of the family and their efforts count. This teaches responsibilty and promotes positive self-esteem.
Blank Chore Chart
Chore Chart with Basic Chores

Encouraging Positive Behavior


Here are two more charts-

Behavior Chart (to give positive reinforcement to help decrease negative behavior)
Many times the reason children act out is for attention. If you can find ways to recognize and reward positive behavior, that will often help reduce the negative behavior.  Using stickers or stamps on a chart like this one, is a simple way to do this.  With a chart like this, it is best to keep the focus on positive behavior, therefore I do not recommend taking away any stickers they have earned (as a punishment.)

Ladder of Success (to keep track of who has earned or lost what privileges)
I keep this on a bulletin board in my family room. Each child has a different colored thumb tack that I move that up or down based on their behavior. The ladder style chart is based on an idea of the Dilley Family (famous parents of sextuplets.) I figured if it worked for them with six kids, it might work for me- and it has for many years.   You can make your own substituting the kinds of activities your kids enjoy. I realize that I made this before my daughter was born, because there are no Barbie’s or perler beads on there (which are some of her favorites.) Looks like I might need to update mine.

If you have any tools to help keep your family organized and learning positive behaviors, please share them with me.