J Simens.com

Sneak Peek –

Quotes on Back of Book:

“The definitive guide on the emotional effects of raising your children as global nomads and how to deal with the psychological effects of constant change, this book should be required reading for all expatriate families and international teachers and will become a valuable resource for my work with the employees of international corporations.”

Fiona Robertson-Crebo, MA Specialist in International and Intercultural Communications

“Having worked with students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds for more than 25 years, I believe that emotional literacy is a common language shared by all. Being able to read the emotions of others and express your own emotions enables you to interact positively and solve problems constructively. Having worked closely with Julia in a large international school, I have seen firsthand how her programs have helped shape the lives of many expat and local students and their families.”

Jacinta Webb Education Consultant (English Language Learners) Brisbane, Australia

“Finally the book I’ve been longing to reach for as a reference tool in my own practice and as a parent! Working with internationally mobile families, I see every day how important it is for our children and teens to have emotional resilience. A comprehensive guide to the often complex emotions children face as expat kids. It shows how the adult in their lives can help children to express their feelings in constructive ways so that they become emotionally healthy, happy, and resilient.”

Rebecca Grappo, M.ED Certified Educational Planner, Founder RNG International Educational Consultants, LLC

Radio Interview about Julia and Emotional Resilience and the Expat Book. Listen to it here!


foreword by Doug Ota

You might deserve a compliment.
But there’s a problem: the person or persons who might pay you that
compliment one day are simply too young to do so now.

So let me try to do so on their behalf.

The fact that you are reading or are considering reading this
book launches you into a different category of parent. You may be
about to embark on a practical journey that is likely to change your
child’s or children’s future development in a potentially profound
way. Why?

Because you might be about to equip yourself with the skills to do
a better job with that most important of human tasks: the raising
of children who understand themselves. The ability to understand
one’s self resides at the foundation of being able to truly understand
anybody else including one’s own children. And this can only
mean that you are about to unpack a gift that your child or children
will benefit from. And their children. And so on.

I am fully aware that these are large claims. But think about it: how
many hours did you go to school to earn your high school diploma?
Or to earn your first college degree? Or to study to become an
engineer, or an artist, or a lawyer, doctor, or diplomat?

And yet how many hours do most parents spend getting trained to
become  a ‘parent’?

This, then, is a book that can contribute to the climate in families’
living rooms, as well as that between nations.

Few parenting books that I have ever encountered have ever broken
the skill of understanding feelings into such easily digestible and
imminently practical steps that any parent can apply. No book
has ever done so with the special issues of an expatriate or mobile
population in mind.

Julia’s book does both, and does so beautifully.

Julia has taken her own expatriate experiences as a mother of her
two children, Jacqueline and Grant, and woven them together into
a story about emotions that tours the world and leaves the reader
feeling whole. Her soothing, maternal voice massages the reader,
page after page, bedside after bedside, linking new homes in new
countries into a coherent whole that feels quintessentially centered.

The reader is placed in a most privileged and intimate position:
being able to listen to the bedside stories of a mother to her child.
And in the repetition of those stories, month after month, in new
bedroom after new bedroom, Julia shows the reader rather than
merely ‘telling us’ what safe human attachment sounds like. Her
voice becomes her children’s portable home.

And so it is perhaps only fitting that I, as a man, get an opportunity
to compliment that voice and to make an appeal to the other half of
Julia’s potential readers, i.e. the fathers of the world. Gentlemen,
this is not only a book for mothers. Every human born into this world
has the same emotional equipment, instilled through millions of
years of evolution and refinement. Men, too, must find their voice
in modeling for their children how they understand that equipment
and their resultant feelings. This is not only a woman’s work. A
home, after all, has more than one entrance.

Around the world, in every presentation after presentation that I
have given and in parenting group after parenting group that I have
led, the answer is usually simple: none. Apart from the way their
own parents raised them, the vast majority of parents never get any
specific training for a job that is arguably as challenging if not
at times far more challenging than engineering, law, medicine, or
diplomacy. In fact, kids are expert at finding exactly those areas of
their parents’ training that were somehow left undone, generally
because of issues of their own upbringing. And kids hone in on those
areas like hawks. (The theory I often share in my own consulting
room on why kids do this is simple: kids want ‘whole’ parents, and
they push on these unfinished areas in an existential quest to push
their parents to get completed.)

So reading any good book on parenting places the reader, in my
definition at least, in the elite. Your choice of Julia Simens’ book
places you in a special category of that elite.

Why? Because Julia takes you to the heart of what this most
important of human tasks, namely parenting, is all about: emotions.
This is no soft or emotional claim. Nor is this is a soft book.
Consider it the ‘basic training’ that most parents skip. If a child is
ever going to understand him or herself, he or she is going to have
to master the signals that his or her own body transmits, signals that
warn him or her that ‘something is up’. This sounds easy, but it is
not. In fact, in addition to the compliment I paid you on your child
or children’s behalf, let me also issue a warning: ‘understanding
ourselves’ is a skill that verges on art, and one that only a minority
of the human population ever truly masters. Not understanding
ourselves lies at the root of not being able to understand the other,
and not being able to understand the other resides at the root of all
human conflict.

Enjoy the journey of reading Julia’s book. Someday your children
will thank you.

Drs. Douglas W. Ota
NIP Child Psychologist
March, 2011
The Hague, Netherlands


For interviews with the author and to arrange review copies, extracts and articles please contact the publisher at
or by calling
0031 6 4847 3779
The publisher is based in The Netherlands

You can order the book at: Amazon

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