Let’s Talk about the Family Manual!

Let’s talk about the Handbook! I think having a personal Household Handbook… what’s another word for handbook… manual, instructions, directions, guide, almanac? I love the word almanac, but let’s go with Family Manual. From now on we will call it a Family Manual… our Happiness Manual. The guide to making this year great. You get the picture, right?

This is the one thing that I truly love! I think it’s the best way to get all of the important information down in one place. I think that some families shy away from doing a manual because they want the au pair to feel like part of the family and not like an employee. And yes, obviously, we don’t hand out a guide to our husbands, wives, kids, etc. (although that might not be a bad idea…) but as an au pair, they need to learn everything you have taken years to instill in your family!

Communication is key those first few weeks and because there is a lot of learn about each other, a MANUAL is the best way to achieve success! In the next few months, I will try to break down each section of my personal Family Manual so that you can use it as an example in some of the key topics I think every Manual should include the following:


Health & Safety Guidelines

Personal and Car Safety

EpiPen Instructions

General House Rules

Au Pair Duties & Schedule for the Children

How to Handle Homesickness

Activities to do with Children

Feeding Time at the Zoo

Discipline & The Children

Household Duties

Family Car Policy

Au Pair Meetings

Off Duty & Free Time

Pay and Vacation Schedule

Curfew Guidelines

10 Practical Skills to Master as an Au Pair

Education Courses for your Au Pair

Cultural Exchange

Privacy and your Room

Telephone, Technology, and Television

Visitors and Guests

Sick Days


Our Little Road Test

Getting a Texas Driver’s License

Getting a Social Security Number

Keep checking back to see other posts on our Happiness Manual as we progress through some of the best pieces. Trust me, it’s worth the 30 second read! These topics are in no particular order, so if you see a title that isn’t linked yet, don’t stress, it will be coming soon! 🙂 My Family Manual is about 62 pages long… and certainly there is a lot more information there than the average Family Manual, but I like details. That’s where I live, is in the details. If you would like my personal copy, don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

Thanks for reading! xo, pooja



** This is part of a series on creating a Family Manual for a successful year of hosting an au pair. For more posts by Pooja Palimar like this one, please visit the Family Manual tab to the right.





Tuesday, 15 January 2019 10:56 PM


  1. Jennifer Blumberg says:

    Hi Pooja- I would like to request a copy of your family manual (and would obviously amend it to my area/rules/needs and or wants. Thank for the great advice. It is much appreciated, as this is a very overwhelming process for us first time host parents/HMs. Your values and rules are very similar to how we raise our children. ‘thanks in advance!!

    Jennifer Blumberg

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