J Simens.com

I didn’t mean to touch the chewed gum. . . yuck!

The larger your child’s emotional vocabulary, the finer discriminations he or she can make between each of their separate feelings and the better they can communicate with others about these feelings.

Expat Family : Supporting changes around the world

Many of my friends are International school teachers and they celebrate 100 days of school.  I have put two things I hold dear to my heart, kids and emotions.  Here are my favorite 100 emotions that we can learn!

 Emotions – Jsimens 100 days

 

world heart

 

If you are a parent raising your child abroad, it is important that you know about “Transition Education”

 

The first researchers we had on this subject were Unseem and Langford. They said we need to provide children with the knowledge and skills to successfully manage transitions while affirming and celebrating their unique experiences and backgrounds.

Most children are affected by transition in some way during their lives.

If they do not move, it is likely that at some point a friends, relative, or classmate will move. The children left behind will also experience adjustments.

History of Transition Education

Useem  said in 1976 – She found children growing up outside their home country shared unique characteristics. She was concerned that few educators were aware of this.

Mary Langford in 1998 shared the same concern and conducted research among international schools. She asked – “What is it that educators understand about global nomads and what are international schools doing to accommodate their needs?”

This was the first study on the field of transistion. – Educators thought international schools have a role in meeting the needs of these children. It logically follows that schools everywhere have a responsibility to meet the needs of their mobile population. Debra Rader in 1998 made a model of transition education.

The common experience of international mobility – for kids they can lose their sense of security, feel disoriented when their routine is changed and all that is familiar is taken away. It is important to balance past experiences and focusing on helping them adjust to the new place. As educators and parents we must “see” and “know the child” and where they have been or their history. This affirms their sense of self and gives them a sense of security that will help them settle into the new place.

Moving back – Children often have certain expectations of “Home” and are disappointed when these expectations are not met. They think they are going to feel completely comfortable and have a sense of belonging – yet things have changed. Some kids even want time to stand still while they were gone…it does not. But most important is – many children moving to their passport country are not really moving back – but in fact it might be the first time they are going to be living there. “Home” in this case, is actually their parent’s home. Their version of “home” is were they have been growing up.

The process of transition – remember parents and children respond differently to these stages and may move through them at different rates. The attitudes of parents are often reflected in the attitudes of their children.

Problem solving skills –children who move are adjusting to a wide range of new circumstances and well-developed life skills are a tremendous asset.

Friendships and relationships – leaving and making friends is the greatest concern for both adults and children who move.

Personal and cultural identity – easily seen, words, behavior, food we eat, clothes, festivals we celebrate – these things make up our culture. Children are influenced by the cultures of baby-sitters, teachers, friends, neighbors and other people who are significant in their lives.

Two of my favorite books that every school counselor and global parent needs to read.

New Kid in School” Using literature to help children in transition By Debra Rader and Linda Harris Sittig – view it here.

Belonging Everywhere and Nowhere: Insights into Counseling the Globally Mobile  by Lois J. Bushong, MS. – view it here.

These would be perfect valentine day gift for your international school teacher, counselor or parent.  Don’t forget my favorite valentine day book for expats written by my son when he was 11 years old.

Spirit of Saint Valentine - Grant Simens

A friend made this for me and I am still laughing. Hope you have a wonderful celebration with those that you love.