Book review: Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child
“Not understanding ourselves lies at the root of not being able to understand the other, and not being able to understand the other at the root of all human conflict” Doug Ota
I first found the book Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child: Practical Storytelling Techniques That Will Strengthen the Global Family at the ABC in the Hague when I was living there in 2014. At the time I was looking for resources to help my three year old daughter deal with all the changes associated with moving to a new country and learning a new language. I found it very useful, especially for communication purposes within our family.
The book has a strong theoretical component, aiming to be a “comprehensive guide to the often complex emotions expat kids face.” It gives parents the tools to help kids express their inner emotional world during a big transition like an international move. On the other hand, it’s also a very practical workbook, encouraging families to work through their emotions with various storytelling techniques. The stories presented make for great discussions, though I felt some trouble adjusting them to my daughter’s age group, as she was quite young at the time.
It was only a couple of years later, when I was selected for the 2016 PPWR, that I found out the author, Julia Simens, was an active member of FIGT and part of the board. I was hoping to meet her during the 2016 conference, but it was so busy there I didn’t have the chance. Maybe it will be possible at this years’ conference! In the meantime, I highly recommend this book if you are moving around a lot with kids in tow. Emotional resilience is definitely an essential skill for balanced and well adjusted mobile families!