Stage one – rise and euphoria
You have a dream: to go and live abroad, well, at least for 3-6-12 months. You have found a wonderful and safe Au-Pair education program. You are delighted. You took a deep breath and decided – I will definitely go abroad, this is my dream! You’re in an unreal elated mood, it’s so cool! So many perspectives, so much happiness!
Stage two – ice bucket challenge style
With this, you run to your parents, enthusiastically and emotionally talk about your plans and … you see how mom and dad confidently and uncompromisingly shake their heads: “No”. Just like a bucket of cold water, just not as fun as challenges.
Stage three – drama queen
Everything is lost! You frustratedly mourn your dreams and put them in a long closet for “sometime and later.” The whole world is against you. Nobody understands you. Cut! Curtain! End!
Like, you dreamed and enough, you descend from the sky into the harsh reality.
How do you really need to do it? New scenario “Safety, safety and more safety”.
You will be surprised, but you cannot convince your parents! Of course, they are worried about you and it seems to them that this dangerous territory “beyond the border”, where their child will be lost, or worse, will sink into oblivion.
Let’s rewrite the script and make a new one.
So, back to the moment when you told your parents about your desire to go on the Au-Pair program. You see their displeasure and rejection. The most sensible thing to do in this situation is to postpone the conversation, let your parents think for a bit, and you’ll be well prepared for the next one. This does not mean that you have to prepare a PowerPoint presentation (although you can get creative).
Tip # 1 – you need a plan!
It took a couple of days. You are actively preparing for your next productive conversation with your parents. Where to begin? From the plan!
Well, think for yourself: you come to mom and dad and say: “I’m going to live abroad.” What do your parents hear: “Dear, I am going to some strange country, to a strange family, for a long time. Good luck!”
Write a plan of your stay in the country. Please write down the exact information about what kind of Au-Pair program it is. Show them the Au-Pair website, au pair girls’ reviews, photos. Tell us that you want you to choose a family together. Suggest that you will give the host family phone numbers, addresses. Tell them that your new host family will register for you in their house, provide you with a private room, and you will become a real family member, with whom you will eat and relax.
Tip # 2 – show your parents the budget
One of the reasons why parents are often so categorical is their fear of the unknown that the child will spend all his pocket money in 3 weeks or end up in some kind of story. Show your parents that this won’t happen. Form your budget and your expenses. Consider everything: going to a cafe, walking with friends, movies, museums, trips. Don’t forget to tell and describe how you will save money.
Tip # 3 – Share the benefits
Be sure to describe why you want to become an Au-Pair. And reasons like “Well, mam, it’s so cool and clean there” – they won’t get a ride. Tell us about the possibilities of the Au-Pair program: free learning of a foreign language among native speakers; an unrealistically cool experience of living without parents, and this is an opportunity to become independent and responsible; self-development; the perspective of free education abroad. You will see all of Europe – 30 countries in a year!
Tip # 4 – Focus on perspective
Emphasize that the Au-Pair is not a young worker program. This is, first of all, an international educational program, which is already 50 years old! And at the end of this program, you will have an unrealistically cool perspective to go to study! Explain that with a European education, you will have the opportunity to build a great career, and with that – the future. You will have invaluable independent living experience and an edge over other students or staff.
Tip # 5 – Explain how you will change for the better
Here, the logical continuation of the previous fact is personal growth. Tell us how this program can help you become super self-reliant and responsible. You will make important decisions by yourself and solve important issues. You will no longer ask your parents for money, because you will have your own pocket funds from 260 to 500 euros per month (depending on the host country). Isn’t that the kind of daughter they want to see?
Tip # 6 – Tell us about miracle technology
A balm for the soul of your parents will be the understanding that their child, after boarding the plane, will not disappear, but will immediately contact them. Tell your parents that you will have a weekly Skype connection with your parents. And during the week you will write to them on Viber, WhatsApp, you will call them on Skype. And don’t take it as constant monitoring. For you, such communication will be an excellent cure for nostalgia, and your parents will sleep peacefully.
Tip # 7 – They Have What We Don’t Have
A good argument is the story that in this country you will be able to receive / learn what is not in Ukraine. You can remember the opportunity to study for free in good European universities, beautiful and clean roads, friendly faces, smiles around, friends from all over the world, and this is international connections for you, clean air, no corruption.
Tip # 8 – Safety First
Explain that you are not a headless child without fear and self-preservation. Tell them that you will not walk alone at night on suspicious streets. That you will always carry your passport with you and take care not to lose it. That you realize that too much alcohol or partying is a bad choice. Convince your parents that you are an adult and a serious person and that you need this program not to “come off” in full, but for experience and prospects.
In addition, there is the legal side of the coin. In your Au-Pair agency, you will be well prepared for life in another country, you will have an official contract with your host family, and you will have an Au-Pair visa. Not a tourist, not a guest, but a visa of a participant in an international cultural exchange program, which you will receive at the embassy by yourself. And most importantly, your agency will always be with you, which will support you throughout the year, provide you with information and legal support.
Tip # 9 – Make a Blog!
A great option for you, for your parents and for others is to make a blog for your Au-Pair-life. Start writing, posting photos. Your parents will be happy to read about their daughter’s adventures, and you will help others by talking about the Au-Pair program from the inside.
Tip # 10 – Tell me you need multiple perspectives
Explain to your parents that now you cannot decide what to do in life if you have not seen the world. This experience will broaden your horizons and make it clear what you really want and how to achieve it.
Do you want to be a successful girl? 🙂