Helen Booth authors a feature article Transitioning for Children in the
magazine Expats in Uganda and consults with Lucinda Willshire who
shares her expertise and experience as an expat for 25 years, as a
social worker and as a co-author of Slurping Soup and Other Confusions:
true stories and activities to help third culture kids during transition.
Helen writes, When families are in global transition it is a complicated time, and challenges can occur at all stages of relocation. She explains the unique challenges that expats face and that each individual in a family will experience unique challenges at varying times.
Lucinda offers hope and insight when she states that,“Understanding that it is okay to feel unsettled for quite a long period of time can help expats feel ‘normal’ and bring a sense of relief”. She emphasises further that, “if you need professional support and help it is healthy, normal and constructive to seek it out.”
Often childrens’ thoughts and feelings can be overlooked in the stress of moving and relocating. Helen stresses that, Parents’ practical and emotional support to their children during this tumultuous time is vital. Where possible, make decisions together as a family. Parents should be open with children and acknowledge their feelings, particularly if a child is not in favor of the relocation. Don’t dismiss or diminish how significant this change is to your child. Younger children may not be fully aware of the broader issues but older children are very aware of the implications of moving, of what they are leaving behind and what lies ahead.
Helen introduces readers to our book, Slurping Soup and Other Confusions: true stories and activities to help third culture kids during transition. Lucinda elaborates that “the ideas in the book are based on the foundation that everyone’s needs are equally important and family members need to tune in to each other regularly to stay emotionally healthy.”
The article further identifies many practical tips for both parents and children and particularly settling children into school. Enjoy reading Helen Booth’s article: http://ugandaexpatsguide.com/transitioning-for-children/