English: common sense
German: gesunder menschenverstand
French: bon sens
Spanish: sentido común
Italian: buon senso
Your common sense is your natural ability to make good judgments and to behave in a practical and sensible way. Common sense is a big part of what makes a match successful. It’s often the little things that make the difference between a happy placement and a rocky one, and taking those small things into consideration will make you a better Au Pair and/or Host Family.
Some helpful tips for good common sense are:
- Think Before You Act/Speak
Consider all the possible outcomes and make your decision with everyone’s best interests in mind. If you’re expectations are not being met, think about how to find a solution and move forward instead of venting your frustrations.
Often times common sense is inhibited by ignorance. For example: cheese is much cheaper in Germany than in Canada, but if you’ve never purchased cheese in Canada you wouldn’t necessarily know that, and if nobody tells you – you’re unlikely to make the discovery on your own. Au Pairs are here to learn about Canada; host families, this is your opportunity to teach them. If you notice small tidbits are putting strain on your placement, open a dialogue and discuss them. If your Au Pair is putting all of the cheese you got as a special treat on their sandwich, speak up! In contrast, if you’re an Au Pair and you don’t understand why your host family is unhappy that you’re making a cheese sandwich, ask them why! It’s the best way to learn.
Take the time to look at the situation from the other person’s point of view. If you are able to consider where they are coming from or why they like to do things a certain way, you will be better prepared to make good decisions.