Friday 10th August 2012
Expat Teens Talk, written by psychologist Lisa Pittman and educational therapist Diana Smit, provides an overview of expatriate life from the mouths of teenagers who have experienced life abroad. The book aims to address some of the common challenges that the 2 million expatriate teens living worldwide encounter. Topics include the challenges of moving, sex, drugs and alcohol, educational performance and the future.
While the book predominantly writes about expat life from a teenager’s perspective, the intended audience is not limited to this age group alone. Through learning first hand of some of the experiences and emotions that teenagers undergo when they move abroad, both parents and professionals who work with third generation kids can gain a deeper understanding into some of the issues that this group of individuals face.
Many expatriate parents may be unaware of some the emotional problems that there children can encounter as a result of a life on the road or away from loved family and friends. The teenage years are challenging for most people, but when this is coupled with an international move, the effects of adolescence can become heightened. The book seeks to give a voice to the teenagers who are affected by their parent’s decisions and to help them to express themselves.
The book features the stories, experiences and anecdotes of expatriate teenagers from all over the world before offering professional advice and solutions from their peers, parents and professionals. In many regards it can be perceived as a “self help” book that is aimed at helping children to express themselves and address the elements of their life that are causing them unhappiness. At the end of each chapter the reader is provided with an area in which they can record their own personal reflections and map out plans for the future.
One of the best elements of this book is that it can help struggling expatriate teens to recognize that they are not alone and they are not the only ones who are experiencing some of the feelings they encounter. No longer “the odd one out,” Expat Teens Talk can help teenagers to feel normal again.
Supporting the book is a comprehensive online blog called Expat Teens Talk. Within this online resource guest bloggers frequently share their own stories and experiences of life abroad. This is a great supplement to the book and gives teenagers somewhere to go to voice their questions, suggestions and worries.
This is a book that every expat parent should own.
Are you a teen and do you want to talk about your expat experience? Please complete this questionnaire so that you can help other teens in your position.