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Living and eating with au pair

Living and eating with the host family

Everything you need to know about living and eating with the au pair you find here.
Read more about “Living with au pair” here.

Eating habits:

Just like everybody else, your au pair grew up with certain eating habits. Maybe your au pair’s behavior at the table will be different from what you are expecting. The more different the culture of the au pair is from yours, the greater the differences in eating habits. You should pay close attention to exactly how the eating habits of you and your au pair are different.

Explain to the au pair what is common in your country and tell the au pair what behavior you expect at the family table. Be considerate about it; you don’t want to insult your au pair.

The au pair hardly eats anything

Find out how your  au pair likes the food  in your country. Watch your au pair’s eating habits and if you notice that the au pair eats very little or hardly anything at all, you should mention this. Ask your au pair what they like to eat and have the au pair come with you the next time you buy groceries to help you shop.

Many  host families eat  at least one meal together every day. Tell your au pair if you want them to join you. Write down the time of the meal in the house rules for the au pair. If you want your au pair to help you set the table or clean up afterwards, mention this in the house rules and talk about it with the au pair.

Eating together gives you a chance to talk

If your au pair can’t speak your language very well yet, eating together is the perfect opportunity to practice. We recommend that every family member talks about their day and the most important events of the day.

Make sure your au pair does the same. This will not only help to improve the au pair’s language skills and get your au pair ready for the language classes but will also generate trust between you and the au pair.

Living with the au pair

There are some clear-cut regulations about the  living situation of an au pair . Au pairs should have their own room with a window, a lock and heating. If it’s possible, it’s better if the au pair has their own bathroom too. Make sure that the au pair room is comfortable and that the au pair likes spending time in it. Some host families complain that they don’t have any privacy any more because the au pair is always around. If you ask the au pairs, it usually turns out that they have neither a TV nor a radio or computer with internet access in their room. If you don’t provide anything for the au pair, it makes sense that the au pair will join you on your living room couch to watch TV every evening.

You could suggest to the au pair to put up some pictures or souvenirs in the au pair room to make it more comfortable. Make sure that the au pair enjoys being in the au pair room. Also, explain to your children that the au pair room is off-limits because the au pair needs space to relax.

Do you have any special  house rules?  Make sure to explain them to your au pair. If, for example, you always lock the door at night at a certain time or if you expect family members to be back home by a certain time during the week, let the au pair know! Also, while talking about the new living situation with the au pair, make sure to mention if there are any rules about receiving visitors at your house.