This story is for you to read to your child as you prepare together for moving to live in another country.
(Words I love to hear or see whenever I review a book) – Julia Simens, 2014
Min’s Book written with the help of four child psychologists is a great one for your family to get. There are several things I like about it. They really do try to make Min’s Move exciting and unscary (and lifelike).
Dr. Anandhi Narasimha, M.D. talks about how important transitional objects are such as a stuffed animal that can make a child feel happy and safe. This reminds me of the new book out by Valerie Besanceney, her book “B at Home: Emma moves again” is all about a young child and her bear.
Dr. Hani Talebi, PHD. talks about having two or three smaller farewell get-togethers so it gives your children a more organic sense of closure and lets your child say, do and feel what he/she needs. This makes me think of the upcoming FIGT conference where we will get to hear Doug Ota help us understand how to maintain our attachment system. He believes this is the key to surviving and thriving on the front lines of work in transitions. Doug Ota’s closing keynote will challenge us all to look at these most challenging of questions.
Dr. Shimi Kang, M.D. stated children should pack their own belongings and toys, as they will feel more in control of the moving process. Grant Simens at an early age realized how important this was for children. In his book, “Spirit of Saint Valentine: An Expat’s Tale of Love” his tips for moving for parents and children also lists this as important. Grant was in fifth grade when he wrote these wise words.
Dr. Lori Woodring, PHD. shares how important is to spend time learning about your new destination together… make it fun and age- appropriate…get a map and create a list of what they want to explore in their new neighborhood. You might want to also check out her book, “My Very Exciting, Sorta Scary, Big Move’, based on her own family’s move between London and the United States.
Another thing I love about Min’s move – is the fact they are moving because Mom has a new job in Hong Kong. As more and more families we used to call a “traditional” family is changing. It is important for our literature to showcase all the different configurations of family as well as why people move around the world. According to a new poll released from Internations (http://www.internations.org/expat-insider/2014/expat-types), there are generally ten different types of expats. I will be blogging about these ten types at jsimens.com in the near future.
Seen through the child’s eyes, important questions are raised in Minnie’s mind. How do you imagine smells and sounds you’ve never known before? I loved how as Min’s world expands. As her friends are playing cops and robbers, but due to Min’s move to Hong Kong, they have become dragons and pandas. Children are very resilient and often not given enough credit to how they handle the news they will be moving. Many parents I work with have at one time or another not shared with their children that a move would be happening. This shatters the child’s view that her/his parents are honest.
Minnie must have wonderful parents because she gets to have three different going away parties! It seems this family really does embrace the importance of saying goodbye. It is also wonderful how the book explains to children that they might have a combination of feelings about their upcoming move. Minnie feels nervous and sad and excited and hopeful, all at the same time. I also liked how the two siblings in the story had to count on each other as they moved around the world. So often the expat family is the only support you have as you move. Those connections to your siblings as you move around are a secure foundation.
The illustrations in Min’s move were done by the team at MoveHub. They are bright and very colorful. It is nice how they engage the younger readers to seek out some of the illustrations while the book is being read to them. You can purchase Min’s Move at http://www.movehub.com/buy-mins-move