Flexibility – An Important Value in Host Families

With T getting a role in the play comes a very important change in our home: a willingness to be flexible. All families considering hosting must keep in mind that you must be willing to be flexible when your student is living with you.

While we are crazy busy, we both understand the importance of making time for the new family member who can’t drive but wants to be involved. And the importance of flexibility and compromise.

T will have rehearsal one or two nights a week in the beginning. This on top of homework. He is also responsible for walking the dogs each day upon getting home from school. Since play practice goes until 5 or 6 and school is the top priority in our house, we have given him a pass from the dogs on rehearsal nights, just asking that he take them out quickly and feed them before helping make dinner.

The other compromise? Once or twice a week we have to schedule which of us will pick T up at school since there is no late bus.

Hosting is about facilitating a great year for your new family member, and being a good facilitator sometimes requires planning ahead. While Kris’ schedule is set, Nancy will need to plan ahead if rehearsal ends early or Kris has a late meeting.

How have you shown flexibility while hosting? What do you find a challenge to compromise on?

3 thoughts on “Flexibility – An Important Value in Host Families

  1. Hello there ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I guess we’re a little more used to juggling with your “own” time and that of a child/children than you guys. Even though we don’t have our own children living with us full time, there’s always something they’d like to do or has to be done for/with them when you had already a zillion things to do yourself, friends or other family. But being a host family is different for us also, because the child in question actually lives with you 24/7.

    Since last week Zoรฉ’s really into a Scouts group in a village nearby. We could’ve chosen any three groups in our own town, but we thought the one we chose really fits her best (there should be a post on that soon ;)). It turns out she indeed loves going there on Wednesday nights. But since we don’t want her to go by bike (it’s about 7 kilometres through a dark rural area), we have to taxi her. Of course she has to be there at 6 PM, which T can tell you ;), is a typical Dutch time for dinner (and I normally pick Harald up from the train station at quarter to, while I’ve just prepared supper). And the evenings end at around 10 PM, which is normally a time we’re in bed already.

    I wouldn’t necessarily describe it as a compromise I guess, because we actually “promoted” this particular Scouts group for several reasons. But it’s indeed something we still have to get used to. We really want the exchange to be a superb experience as much as possible and I suppose the consequence is doing things a little different than you’re used to in some cases (but not too may ;)).

    I’d think tho that in our case maybe we’d accept less “extraordinary” activities if our student would be staying for a year. And I’d expect a year student if they really wanted something that was less regular or further away to find their own way in getting there safely. Depending on their age and gender I’d think that would be reasonable. All in all I think maybe we’re spoiling our first exchange student a little too much ๐Ÿ˜‰ . Food for thought! Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ .

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