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Summer Blackhurst - Au Pair ExpertAbout the Author

Summer Blackhurst is the Press Coordinator and Au Pair Expert for Go Au Pair. Summer has extensive experience in working with the Host Families and Au Pairs and has interviewed more than one hundred families and Au Pairs to find out what really matters.

She has been writing for newspapers, magazines, and blogs for more than 15 years and has worked in the childcare field for 20 years. Summer is a believer in the cultural immersion process and speaks Spanish fluently after having lived in Argentina for a year and a half. She specializes in Host Family / Au Pair Relationships, childcare, parenting and cultural exchange.

Tipping in the U.S. versus in other places

What is your guess? Does your Au Pair tip in their home country?  Do they know how much to tip in the U.S.?  It is so interesting to see how different something as simple as tipping is so distinct throughout the world. GoBankingRates lists some of the tipping differences across continents....Continue to Full Article
Posted: 5/19/2015 8:00:38 AM by Summer Blackhurst

Host Mom Heart-to-Heart #2: Parenting Perspectives

Do you think that as a young adult, living in a foreign country for a year and taking care of someone else’s children may have had an effect on your perspectives and perceptions of parenting?  For me, I know it would have had some definite bearing on my future decisions, and so I asked my Au Pair to sit down and discuss her evolution with me....Continue to Full Article
Posted: 5/19/2015 8:00:16 AM by Cyndi Frick

Host Mom Heart-to-Heart #1: Expectations Versus Reality

Without life experience, having accurate expectations are hard to really comprehend.  I mean, I could NEVER have known fully what it would be like to become a parent (a mother of two boys no less) until I became one!  Similarly, Au Pairs cannot know what an Au Pair experience will be like, what a change in culture and country will be like, what living with another family for a year will be like until they experience it.
...Continue to Full Article

Posted: 5/12/2015 8:00:22 AM by Cyndi Frick

Something Special about Cheetos to Au Pairs

I’m doing it. I’m really doing it. I’m up late at night researching Cheetos and after all my research I can’t pretend to be an expert on Cheetos - but I have to clear up my confusion! I have heard it said more than once from Host Moms that their Au Pairs quickly grow an affinity for Cheetos after they arrive. What is it about Cheetos that has our Au Pairs filling their return home suitcases with puffed corn meal saturated in cheese-flavored powder?...Continue to Full Article
Posted: 5/11/2015 8:00:37 AM by Summer Blackhurst

Interviewing Au Pairs - Tips and Tricks: How to Read Between the Lines

During a recent conversation with another Host Mother who was in the midst of interviewing for her second Au Pair, it came to my attention we as Host Parents may need a little bit of help and advice when it comes to interviewing for a candidate who essentially will be an employee but will also a part of our families (imagine how harmonious life would be if you could have conducted interviews for every member of your family!)  For those Host Families who conduct interviews as a part of their jobs, they have an advantage, but interviewing for an Au Pair is still a slightly different animal since that person doesn’t just go home at the end of the day, she cohabitates with you regardless of how her work day went....Continue to Full Article
Posted: 5/6/2015 8:00:35 AM by Cyndi Frick

Bilingualism a great asset for Au Pairs and Host Families

Is speaking two languages really just confusing the mind or is it unleashing a whole new level of brain elasticity or creativity? I haven’t had time to think about bilingualism lately but then a really great article on Elite Daily popped up and I couldn’t resist writing about it. It cites a handful of studies about how being bilingual makes you smarter, more creative, faster, and more in tune with the human heart....Continue to Full Article
Posted: 5/1/2015 8:00:26 AM by Summer Blackhurst

Switching Au Pair Agencies: Why I Chose Go Au Pair Over My Current Agency

I’m sure it will come as a small shock to you that I have been with a different agency for my first Au Pair Hosting experience.  However, hosting is still hosting, regardless of which agency you are doing it with, and my experiences as a first time Host Family are 100% true.  When we decided to embark on another year of hosting an Au Pair after our first year is done in September, my husband and I decided it was time for an agency change....Continue to Full Article
Posted: 4/30/2015 8:00:30 AM by Cyndi Frick

Helping Your Au Pair Learn Life Lessons during Her Year

In my last blog, I talked about how a Host Family can influence the personality or outlook of an Au Pair over the course of a year.  To that end, if your Au Pair is on the younger side of the spectrum and is experiencing life away from home for the first time, she may also encounter problems and realities she has yet to deal with like money management, responsibility, conflict resolution and effective communication, and the reality of parenting....Continue to Full Article
Posted: 4/28/2015 8:00:33 AM by Cyndi Frick
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