Ana Maria, our transition Au Pair from Colombia

It’s time for a new interview!

Ana Maria has already been in the US for 10 months, but she just joined our cluster a few weeks ago as a transition au pair like Yoselin. For her first months she lived in Washington State, now she’s at home in New Jersey. Ana answered my questions to introduced herself to our cluster – like Jenny, Yoselin and Nicole did before.

I decided to come to the US as an au pair, because I think it’s the best way to get in touch with the culture and language of another country.

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She discribes herself as a person with inner strength, patience and loyalty.

In my free time I like to travel, play soccer, exercise or just listen to music. I also enjoy to be together with my family and friends and share the time during a movie, festivals or a nice evening.

One of her biggest wishes is peace for her country.

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A place, I would love to visit is Paris, France.

I think everything happens for a reason,  YES, because you have to learn something or teach someone, help or being helped. Life is perfect!

 

Thanks Ana for answering the questions! I had already the chance to meet you and it was a pleasure. I think we’ll have a great time together here in the US. Enjoy your au pair adventure!

Go Au Pair’s Family Day Conference in the NJ area

Time flies very fast, and  October is here.  On Sunday, October 13, 2013 we are meeting for a Family Day Conference at  Grounds for Sculpture.  We will meet at the Rat’s restaurant entrance of the Ground for sculpture, which is located at 16 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, New Jersey 08619.

There is a pretty oval court yard outside the Rat’s restaurant .  The oval court yard of the Rat’s restaurant is located outside the park. Here is the photo of the place where we will meet.Rat's restaurants

According to Wikipedia, Grounds for Sculpture “is a 35-acre (140,000 m2sculpture park and museum located in Hamilton Township, Mercer County, New JerseyUnited States, on the former site of the New Jersey State Fairgrounds.

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Founded in 1992 by John Seward Johnson II, the venue was intended to be dedicated to promoting an understanding of and appreciation for contemporary sculpture by organizing exhibitions, publishing catalogues, and offering a variety of educational programs and special community events.”

This year we are going to 9th Annual Guild for Early Music that will held at  Grounds for Sculpture from 12:30 till 5:30pm. The Guild for Early Music features Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Early American music sung and played by our finest regional ensembles and concludes with a “petting zoo” of historical instruments for you to touch and play.Grounds for sculpture

The event is free with park admission. According to  Grounds for Sculpture announcement, “this year’s theme, “Journeys,” features a medieval instrument demo, a youth orchestral prelude, and performances on harpsichord, viola da gamba, recorder, harp, flute, Baroque strings, sackbut, cornetto, percussion, and more, and includes themed “Journeys” sculpture tours of the park.” 
That will be a great  music performance of the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Early American eras before 18 century and also  an opportunity to meet Host Families,  Au Pairs  in the area and a Local Area Representative.  It is an opportunity to share their experiences and get to know each other better, gain cultural and social experiences and make new friends from different cultures.

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The Family Day Conference is required by the Department of State and Host Families are obligated to attend at least one while hosting an Au Pair. It is also a favorite activity for my Au Pairs and Host Families.  Attending the Family Day Conference is valuable and  fun experience. Host Families and Au Pairs leave the event with unforgettable memories.
 The prospective Host Families can learn about the Au Pair program first hand. Au Pairs from Go Au Pair and their friends, Au Pairs from other agencies are welcome too!  Please check  other our activities.

Ground for Sculpture

Please bring friends -everyone is welcome to join us! See you in the park!

Keeping kids active and healthy with the Au Pair help.

Here are some ideas what Au pair can do with the host family kids at home instead of watching TV, playing video games or surfing on the computer. You can see summer activities at Go Au Pair blog for amazing list of summer activities.

Summer time brings a lot of opportunities to be active and play outside. And school is out!!!

Here are many activities that Au Pairs can do with the kids outside.

Go to feed fish or birds.kids_feeding_birds

Go camping at at the back yard.
Watch a sunset; watch the sunrise with  kids.
Blow bubbles.
Play hopscotch, hide & seek or freeze-tag.kids playing

Shoot hoops with friends and Au Pair. Play a round of H.O.R.S.E.
Create sidewalk art with chalk.
Au Pair runVisit a park, ride a bike.
Play a game, throw a ball.

Go to the walking trip with picnic.

For more ideas please go to Au Pair Sis pinterest.

Keeping kids active and learning new things.

It is said  that most important lessons in life not learned in classroom:-), but outside of it.

Learning outside a classroom is usually a lot of fun.  Au Pairs have a great opportunity to teach the host family kids about the environment and the local area.

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Here are some learning activities that can help kids learn a new thing when being active.

Learn names of trees and flowers around with a guide book.
Go bird watching and learn the names of local birds.
Take a hike and learn to use a compass.

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Make a trip to the local fire station.
Watch the night sky through the binocular and learn the name of the stars.
Construct a kite and fly it.

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Construct a miniature boat and float it on water.
Investigate the yard with a magnifying glass and learn things that could not see before.
Plant a garden and work in your garden.Au pair kid in the garden

Screen Time, how to limit it with the Au Pair’s help.

Being very busy,  many parents use screen time (TV, computer, video games), as a babysitter. The Au Pair program provides the parents  with a unique opportunity to raise their kids active and healthy with the Au Pairs’ help.

Most Au Pairs are sporty, young and energetic, and follow a healthy lifestyle. Many Au Pairs are teachers and coaches, and they can teach kids a lot of new things. They serve as an example for the children keeping kids active and healthy.

Here are some ideas what an Au Pair can do with the kids instead of watching TV, playing video games or surfing on computer. For more ideas please go to Au Pair Sis pinterest.

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If the weather is rainy or bad, the Au Pair can definitely do many activities with host family kids at home:

Build a fort in the living room and camp out one night.
Make puppets out of old clean socks and have a puppet show.
Research your family history and draw a family tree.
Invent a new game and teach it to your friends and family.Au Pair
Create a collage out of pictures from old magazines.
Play board games with family and friends.
Make a friendship bracelet or a photo frame.picnic Bake cakes or cookies and invite friends for a tea party.
Write a letter to your grandparents. Make a special card

Healthy Active Living Tips- 5, 2, 1, 0 rule.

Everyone deserves the opportunity to live a healthy life. For most people, adopting healthy behaviors requires a lot of effort. Making healthy lifestyle changes is easier said than done. Even when people are strongly motivated, adopting a new healthy routine can be very difficult. This changes are not easy for kids also. Au Pairs can lead kids to a healthy and active living.healthy food

I’ve recently found an interesting article on healthychildren.org- Healthy Active Living for Families. The author suggests that to lead a healthy active life, families can strive to reach these goals

5 fruits and vegetables a day,
2 hours or less of screen time (TV, computer, video games) per day,
1 hour of physical activity a day, and
0 limit sugar-sweetened drinks.

Au Pair-cooking-with-kids

Au Pairs definitely can be role models, set a good example, cook healthy meals together with the host family kids, keep kids active and learn new things and  limit all sweetened drinks replacing them with water.

kids-garden

Au Pairs can plan many family activities and engage  host families kids in fun activities that do not center on television.  For more ideas please go to Au Pair Sis pinterest.

Here are several posts about different activities I am going to post soon.

Screen Time, how to limit it with an Au Pair.

Keeping kids active and learning new things.

Keeping kids active and healthy with the Au Pair help.

Related articles

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my dear Au Pairs, Host Families and readers!

Au Pairs happy Valentines

My warm and special wishes for a bright and delightful Valentine’s Day. May this Valentine’s Day be filled with love, understanding, and happiness as you journey through life with those you hold dear.

Au Pairs valentine day.

Dear Au Pairs, taking care of children all day is hard work, so spending time together with other Au Pairs in usa, sharing common Au Pair program experience and cultural differences are very important. I wish you many new au pair friends, people you always can say I love you!

If you don’t know how to say it to your  friend aupair on her language, here is how to say I Love You in 100 Languages

I Love You aupairs

In this movie the kids show and explain how to make ribbon Hershey kiss roses. The Au Pair from China  Ying taught her Host Family’s  kids a way to make a present for their mom on Valentine’s Day.

“To do” list with your Au Pair.

Erin, Go Au Pair blog's guestErin Owen, Mom of 2 boys, Author, Speaker, and an Eastern-Inspired Performance Breakthrough Coach contributes 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. Today Erin speaks about “to do” list with your au pair’s vision and interests so there is mutual benefit and enjoyment for your family and the Au Pair .

Over the years of managing child care providers, I’ve learned to watch what they enjoy doing well—and voluntarily do on their own—so that I can make the greatest use of their time.

I’ve also learned to ask: “how do you want to grow and develop? what do you enjoy? what makes you happiest?”

Based on what I’ve learned about Mrs. Kuang – the primary nanny who has been with our family since my oldest son was just 3 months old (and the other date night babysitters who have become part of our family over the years), What else have you asked your childcare provider to do for you that she genuinely enjoyed and excelled at?kids Erin , coach

Keeping the communication channels open by asking questions and listening mindfully is critical. If you find yourself making assumptions about what your childcare provider does or does not want to do, I invite you to let those ideas go until you listen to what she has to say.

And, Mrs. Kuang and the others have conveyed to me how proud they feel to have helped with special projects and contributed to our family in new and different ways that also help them use and develop other skills and strengths. This has deepened our connection and made it easier to ask the next time for extra help.

What ideas do you have to initiate such a conversation and learn more about your Au Pair’s hopes and dreams?

What would you like to ask her to do for you that she might genuinely enjoy and excel at?to do au pair list

I invite you to align your “to do” list with your Au Pair’s vision and interests so there is mutual benefit and enjoyment, and you’ll all be happier and richer for it!

Cultural Differences

The  Au Pair comes from around the world and both, Au Pair and Host family, will see cultural differences. Some customs and traditions may seem strange at the beginning. flags

Things that make us different include culture, language, traditions,  eating habits, etiquette and etc. The Au Pair program is cultural childcare, and cultural differences  enriches  host family children’s horizons by introducing them to a foreign culture. Knowing cultural differences can help Host Families better understand their Au Pair’s behaviors and needs.

Au pairs

For Au Pairs the Au Pair program is an opportunity to learn  language and explore a new culture.   Au Pairs enjoy the experience of a lifetime living with a Host Family, speaking English, being able to study in an American University, experiencing a new culture in the USA and learning about cultural differences.

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Host Families and Au Pairs should avoid making  generalizations and assumptions about cultures or stereotypes people. No one expects that Host Families and Au Pairs will like all cultural differences they met, but Host Family should respect the Au Pair’s culture and Au pairs should respect theirs.Au Pair sis

Au Pair Sis , a new online Go Au Pair resource,  can help Au Pairs to learn more about cultural differences. All their questions Au Pairs should message Au Pair Sis on Facebook or email aupairsis@goaupair.com.

Keep your Au Pair happy.

Erin, Go Au Pair blog's guest

Erin Owen, Mom of 2 boys, Author, Speaker, and an Eastern-Inspired Performance Breakthrough Coach started a series of posts ” How to be a parent and a professional without losing your mind” on  Go Au Pair’s blog. Today Erin will talk about how to keep your Au Pair happy, so you both can get more out of life!

When life is so full, and you feel like you’re barely keeping it together, it can be hard to remember your bigger dreams and vision. Each one of us dreams of having time to do what we love.Erin, Coach at YourPerformanceBreakthroug

The same goes for your childcare provider- Au Pair.

One of the greatest gifts to you and your aupair this holiday season can be to learn more about her dreams and strengths.

Not only does this say loud and clear: “you are important and I want to know more about you”…

…but also, it gives you important insight into what she wants out of life, what she wants to learn, what she likes to do, and ways in which she hopes to grow and develop as a whole person.

It also helps you better understand what you can invite her to help out with  in a way that makes her smile and frees you up to do more of what you love.happy-au-pair

Just as it’s much easier to swim with the current, so too is it easier to delegate to someone who genuinely wants to learn more about and do what you’re asking her to do.

importantHere are a few questions you can ask your Au Pair:

  • What are her longer-term hopes and dreams?
  • What does she enjoy doing?
  • What does she want to learn more about?
  • What activities would give her the chance to share a new skill or something fun and interesting with your child/ren?

“You are important and I want to know more about you”

Learn more about your Au Pair dreams and strengths. Make her smile to do more of what she loves. Keep your Au Pair happy!

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