In a recent article for Children’s Mental Health Network, Nina Sichel, co-editor of Writing Out of Limbo: International Childhoods, Global Nomads and Third Culture Kids (2011), talks about ‘TCK grief’, an often silent grief that may be experienced by even the most resilient expat child. Although an international relocation undoubtedly brings opportunities for developmental growth, Sichel stresses the importance of being sensitive to the losses (big or small) faced by TCKs in transition in order to help them grow into well-adjusted, happy adults.
True stories and activities to help
third culture kids during transition
By Maryam Afnan Ahmad, Cherie Emigh, Ulrike Gemmer,
Bárbara Menezes, Kathryn Tonges & Lucinda Willshire
In this cross-border collaboration, six authors – all authorised instructors of Dr Thomas Gordnon’s Parent Effectiveness Training (PET) and mothers of TCKs – have created an activity-based book that aims to assist younger children adjust to international relocations. ‘‘We loved the idea of working on this project together as we could bring variety to the stories from both our own and our children’s rich and diverse cultural experiences and heritage,” says co-author and certified PET instructor Kathryn Tonges.
Slurping Soup and Other Confusions is aimed specifically at three- to 12-year-old TCKs, whether they are adapting to a new environment, working out where they belong, adjusting to their new home life and cultural differences, or dealing with ongoing friendship changes. The authors were inspired to write the book after struggling to find good resources for this age group.
“Slurping Soup is a must-have resource for parents, teachers and children dealing with transition. This interactive tool will assist elementary-aged children in understanding and coping with the challenges and emotions that go along with international relocations.” – Tina Quick, author of The Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition & founder of International Family Transitions: www.internationalfamilytransitions.com
Each of the 23 real-life stories from TCKs is followed by a theme-related activity, such as brainstorming, problem solving, party planning, family trees, feeling finder and a ‘weirdometer’. “We realized how important books and activities are to help kids understand and work through their own problems,” says co-author Ulrike Gemmer, whose own childhood included a series of relocations.
“While relocating from China to Switzerland, Slurping Soup and Other Confusions became the book to discuss our family transition challenges…” – Jasmine Keel, senior learning & development consultant, mother of three TCKs (aged 10, 8 and 1)
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Maryam Afnan Ahmad, from Pakistan, teaches, trains and consults in personal development. She has a daughter and son who have lived in Pakistan, China and USA. Cherie Emigh is an anthropologist and teacher from the United States. She has three children who have lived both in China and the USA. Ulrike Gemmer is an event manager from Germany. She grew up as a third culture kid in Jamaica, Somalia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Zambia. She has four children who have lived in Germany, Italy and China. Bárbara Menezes is an educational psychology counsellor from Brazil. She is a mother of two children who have lived in the UK, Chile and China. Kathryn Tonges is an Australian National Instructor for Dr. Thomas Gordon’s Parent Effectiveness Training (PET). She has lectured in children’s services for 20 years and coordinated a family support programme. She has two sons and lives in China. Lucinda Willshire is a social work counsellor working with expat adults and children in Asia and Africa for 15 years. She is from Australia and has four children who have lived in Malawi, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia and China.
Publication date: 10th March 2013
Publisher: Summertime Publishing
ISBN (paperback) 978-1-909193-22-2
For interviews with the author and to arrange review copies, extracts and articles, please contact the authors via Ulrike Gemmer at email@example.com. For publisher queries, contact Jo Parfitt at firstname.lastname@example.org.