Expat Book Review: Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child, Julia Simens

Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child: practical tips and storytelling techniques that will strengthen the global family, Julia Simens

I was excited to be asked to read and review Julia Simens book, having raised three global nomads. I guess I wanted to see where we’d gone wrong and where we should have gone right.

In our defence, at the time our family headed off overseas more than 15 years ago there was little out there in the way of resources to help families deal with the inevitable emotions of change and loss associated with international relocation.

It was only after we moved that the internet came into existence – can anyone imagine life without that resource tool now? Most of the ground breaking books about international relocation of families had yet to be written.

What surprised me about Simens book was how much we had managed to get right working on instinct and emotional intelligence alone. It also outlined how much we got wrong.

Although the book is aimed mostly at children up to 8-years-old, it will be of interest to anyone who works with global children of any age. I learned an awful lot despite my youngest child coming up to senior year in High School.

Simens has spent over 20 years as a psychologist specialising in family therapy and international relocation, survived seven international moves and raised two global nomads along the way. Professionally and personally she has experienced the unique problems children face relocating globally.

She has used this knowledge to formulate a programme helping families to become emotionally resilient in coping with international relocation. It provides a practical framework and work book, which parents can use alongside their children, helping them recognise and understand complex, frightening and intense emotions.

To children who successfully navigate a lifetime of change, the world is a garden of exotic gifts, a house of treasure to explore and take in. Transferred from place to place, young and porous, global nomad children collect and absorb experiences. Their personalities become amalgams of those cultures they internalize and claim as their own. Perched for a while in a new environment, they experience each move as an occasion for growth, a chance to blossom in new ways… ‘ Unrooted Childhoods – Memories of Growing Up Global

Simens has used real stories and quotes from global children, and includes family case histories to illustrate her work – the book is worth reading for that alone.

This is a book I’d heartily recommend to any global family with younger children – wish it had been available 15 years ago.

Click Here For Amazon Link  

Forward by Doug Ota.

Published by Summertime

ISBN 978-1-904881-34-6

About wordgeyser

Our anglo/american family used to live in four countries (USA, Canada, UK and the Netherlands) on two continents, separated by distance, time zones, circumstance and cultures. It has been a scary, enriching, challenging place to be. The only things guaranteed to get us through were a sense of humour and the amazing people met along the way. . . This year everything changed with a move for us from the Netherlands, – and a move along with us for our son and his wife from the UK – to Houston, Texas, the same city as our daughter. With our youngest in Vancouver, Canada, we are now all living on the same continent. How this happened, and more importantly why, will be the subject of this ongoing blog...
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2 Responses to Expat Book Review: Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child, Julia Simens

  1. Pingback: Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child « Expat Bookshop

  2. MA Dmochowski says:

    Somehow, I automatically think that you did more right then wrong, Jane. We were expats for only 2 years although my husband was a global nomad growing up. And starting out with teenagers is a different story then 8 and younger. I have the book on my “to read” list. Thanks for the info.

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