Parenting secrets from a coach.

I would like to introduce today our special guest blogger Erin Owen, Mom of 2 boys age 6 and 2, Author, Speaker, and an Eastern-Inspired Performance Breakthrough Coach.

Erin will contribute a series of posts ” How to be a parent and a professional without losing your mind.”  I want to thank Erin for sharing parenting secrets with Go Au Pair’s blog readers. My hope is that Erin’s contributions will provide help for busy parents through offering advice from a coach, parent and the author of the book.

As a parent, you  have read parenting articles, books or perhaps tried parenting courses. Parenting secrets from a coach are different because Erin shares Eastern-inspired ideas about time management and being present on this blog . These advice come from expert and author of the book Recharge, Refuel, and Re-energize: The Conscious Entrepreneur’s Guide to Taking Back Control of Your Time and Energy. You can download the first free chapter of the book.

How to be a parent and a professional without losing your mind?

Does this scene sound somewhat familiar? You’re trying to get a meal put together for your family while not tripping over the dog, answering two different questions from different directions, trying to assess from your childcare provider what happened over the course of the day, and – oh yah, your head is spinning from the long list of things you did not have time to get done at work today.

Maybe there are some slight variations based on your current life, but you get the idea. With a full-time working husband, two young boys who demand my full attention, a dog, a business of my own to run, a team of house-related helpers to manage (the nanny, the dog walker, the house cleaner, the handyman, etc, etc), a family to feed, and more, I live this reality every day.

How is it possible to be a parent and a professional without losing your mind? Quite honestly, it’s a work in progress for me. But, I have learned a number of simple strategies over the years that have helped me tremendously. And I’d like to share some with you on this Go Au Pair blog from time to time.

The first idea I’d like to share with you in my next post has its roots in an ancient Eastern concept called mindfulness.

Be Present.

Whether you are checking your child’s homework or answering a phone call or washing a dish or checking the mail or reading a bedtime story. Be present.

Au Pairs for families with multiple children

Au Pairs for families with multiple children is the best option to get the childcare for less money and much more.

Since 1980 the multiple birth rate had doubled. Many host parents realize the financial benefits of choosing an Au Pair for their multiple childcare needs. Hiring an Au Pair are more cost effective when compared to both daycare for several children and nanny care.

Au Pairs are young and motivated.  Many Au Pairs are professional teachers and daycare nannies and have experience working with groups of children. As a young adult with the energy to engage in age-appropriate active play, they are able to stimulate creativity.  They are enthusiastic about taking care of the children and give them the personal attention that they need.

Au Pair brings flexibility and convenience of live-in provider to the family. In addition, the Au Pair assists the family with some household duties.  In a big family parents often need an additional pair of hands to help with multiples.

There are just so many great aspects to this form of childcare; it truly is the perfect fit for many families with multiple children. The cost of an Au Pair is approximately $7.50 per hour regardless of how many children the family has.  Choosing an Au Pair provides the family with multiple children with affordable  live-in childcare.

The Host Family and Au Pair calendar.

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate” -Oprah Winfrey

Holidays are over, but we can always find something to cheer to. Every day is a day to be celebrated!

The Au Pair program is a cultural and educational exchange program. Go Au Pair recruits Au Pairs from over 60 different countries. Go Au Pair offers a priceless cultural experience for host family, for the children, for an Au Pair, and for a life time. The cultural exchange component of the program can be educational, enriching and rewarding for the whole family.

In every culture, there are special times to celebrate some holidays. An Au Pair can share information of her country’s holidays, educate about customs and traditions, teach the children songs and dances.

An Au Pair celebrates holidays that are either unique to her country, or are unique in how they are celebrated. Parents give the Au Pair the opportunity to experience our holidays and they also can use the opportunity to celebrate new holidays and learn more about her country.

For the most part, holidays are set by someone else. You may find interesting to celebrate your family events and accomplishments.

If you are  ready to create your own holidays,  here is a calendar page for January 2012.  I want to share your fun excuses to celebrate every day in January.

The lines are open! Make your own family’s calendar and celebrate the holidays, events and accomplishments together with the Au Pairs.

How to find the best Au Pair.

The Host Mom from Go Au Pair agency, who recently considered hosting an Au Pair, said to me: “I found the best Au Pair, she is an excellent match for us. We really love our Au Pair, she couldn’t be better.  She is loving , enthusiastic, motivated and provides excellent childcare for my children and I am very happy with my choice”

But how to find the best Au Pair for the family?
I asked the host mom, who is lucky to have many great Au Pairs year after year said, “The key is a good match”.

First, my host mom suggested that Host Families should make a list of important qualities, values, and personality traits that would fit in with their family.

Second, my host mom suggested that during the interviewing process, to ask specific questions and give her scenarios to see how the Au Pair responds. A good idea is sending her Family Handbook and asking questions prior to matching.

In addition, she said that  good communication skills, openness to learning new things, and having a positive attitude are a must qualities of good Au Pairs.

Also she said that once the Au Pair arrives, it is important to be patient with her while she learns the family.

And last but not least is building a good relationship with your Au Pair. Host family should make the Au Pair feel that she is a part of their family, feel comfortable and happy in the house.

Please watch the movie and find more information about the program.

Thinking about international adoption? An Au Pair may help.

There are millions of orphaned children who are waiting for adoption in numerous countries throughout the world. Millions of children around the world are growing up in orphanages. For example,  an estimated 750,000 children live “without parental care” in Russia.

Russia sent 1,586 children to the United States in 2009, the third-largest sending country (after China and Ethiopia). Despite economic reforms that have taken place since the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, many families in former Soviet nations struggle to survive.

Adopting is one of the decent acts a family can do.  The family chooses to take care of a baby that is not theirs and they will love the child like their own. There may be many reasons why some people may choose to adopt, rather than have their own. As long as someone is willing to give their love to a child, it doesn’t matter what the reason is.

This beautiful new song celebrating ADOPTION as a life choice was written by critically acclaimed songwriter-Bob Halligan Jr.

There are millions of children around the world who need a loving family to take them home…..

If you are thinking about international adoption, an Au Pair may help to bring the child to your home and  help you to  understand a new child’s culture and to communicate in child’s  language.  An Au Pair can help a host family in her traveling by speaking the language, knowing the culture, and easing the stress of the whole international adoption process.

Is changing Au Pairs bad for my kids?

From an Au Pair mom.

(Anna T., a host mother and an author of articles about hosting an au pair: How to hire an au pairHow to save money on an au pair programHow to welcome your new au pair.)

Is changing caregivers every year bad for my children?

Children need constants in their life. Caring parents and the family environment provide such permanence. Most forms of childcare naturally expose children to changing caregivers often – in school, every year there is a new teacher; in an institutional daycare, every year, in a new age group, there is a new teacher.
Creating and maintaining relationships with many loving adults can be an enriching experience for children.

If a host family desires more continuity of care, they can match with an au pair who plans to extend her stay after the first year. Au pair program offers options of extension for 6, 9 or 12 months; so it is possible to host the same au pair for up to two years. Another way to provide more continuity for children is to host au pairs from the same country, exposing them to the same culture and second language.

I have found that there are advantages to having a new au pair every year. As children grow, their needs change, and so do my requirements of a caregiver. When my children are young, I need someone loving and affectionate, and driving skills are not very important. With school aged children, I need a caregiver who is more authoritative, organized, whose English and education are good enough to help them with homework, and an experienced driver. Au pair program provides a natural way to select the best kind of au pair for the stage of your children’s growth.

An important and unique facet of the au pair program, is that it creates lasting relationships for your children around the world. When an au pair leaves, she doesn’t really leave your family – your family gains another member in a different country. With each new au pair, the children are exposed to a different culture. They can travel to visit their au pairs in their home countries, and their lives become enriched in a myriad of ways.

Adoptive parents or considering international adoption?

Just like there is Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, there is also a day dedicated to children: “International Children’s Day”. International Children’s Day is observed on June 1st to celebrate children.

Children’s Day is celebrated by children all over the world. In many places, kids’ parties and other events for children and their families take place. Often, parents also give their children a present for Children’s Day.

According to the United Nations, every child should have a right to

Pearl Buck

Image via Wikipedia

education, good health, a fair standard of living. Unfortunately, not all children in the world live comfortably. Many live in poverty, many are being treated unfairly, and many are orphans. That is why Children’s Day also serves to raise awareness for children and their rights.

American citizens represent the majority of international adoptive parents, followed by Europeans and those from other more developed nations. Today China is the leading country for international adoptions by Americans.

In 1949, outraged that existing adoption services considered Asian and mixed-race children unadoptable, Pearl S. Buck, a famous American writer, established Welcome House, Inc., located in Bucks County, PA,  the first international, interracial adoption agency. Buck not only pioneered foreign adoption in the United States, but also personally raised a dozen children. Her years of courageous philanthropy led to an entirely new community of Amerasian children adopted into the United States. In nearly five decades of work, Welcome House has placed over five thousand children in loving families.

Today,  Pearl S. Buck International, the author’s foundation, provides children around the world with the opportunity to grow in a loving permanent family. They provide not only the highest standard of adoption services, but also ongoing support for adopted children and their families, community education, advocacy, and humanitarian assistance.

In my cluster I have several families with  adoptive children who love our Au Pair program because they are able to take advantage of hiring an Au Pair from their children’s birth country, who besides being an excellent caregiver and friend to them is able to also teach the kids their native language and culture.

If you have adoptive children or are thinking about international adoption Go Au Pair would love to offer a substantial discount to adoptive families of $1,000. It is Go Au Pair‘s  way to land a hand to the families.  To celebrate the International Children’s day , our cluster of Au Pairs  from Go Au Pairs agency are going to volunteer in  Pearl S. Buck International  picnic on June 12t, 2011.

We can’t change the world around, but we may change the world around  live of the one child or even many together.

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