Here’s The Global Mom Show introduction to the podcast interview:
“What does Slurping Soup have to do with being an expat? Well, it’s one of those confusing cultural differences that expats face everyday, wherever they live. Expat life can be wonderful, but it can also be challenging–especially for children. But having the right outlook and attitude can certainly help one adjust to a new place and new people. And, having some real tools at your fingertips can be helpful as well. My guest today, Maryam Afnan Ahmad discovered the need for such tools when she was living in Beijing with her family several years ago. Her children both dealt with challenges differently, and she knew that being able to pinpoint their true feelings would help them understand the problems they might be experiencing. She attended a Parent Effectiveness Training course with other expat moms, and together, the six of them decided to write a book.Slurping Soup and Other Confusions is their story and activity book for kids in transition, and it helps children identify what they are experiencing and find ways to handle their confusion.
In our conversation, Maryam and I talk about her family’s experience as expats from Pakistan living in both Beijing and the U.S. Her family loves to travel, loves airports, and she loves seeing how her kids have transformed into open-minded people, willing to try new things (including different foods) and meet new people. Maryam and her family have really enjoyed their travels and life abroad, and she offers insight into why. She believes certain strengths help families adjust more easily: curiosity, with holding judgement, not having expectations from people, and flexibility to deal with whatever comes their way are a few of the strengths she talks about.
In addition to being a writer, Maryam is on the board of the Families in Global Transition (FIGT) Organization, which she explains more about in our talk. The annual conference they hold took place in Amsterdam this year, and Maryam shares about some of the great talks she heard while there.”
Read more about The Global Mom Show and other links to this podcast.