The Book

Peers, Parents and Professionals offer support, advice and solutions in response to Expat Life challenges as shared by Expat Teens

This book is for Expat Teens, Expat Parents, and Professionals working with Expat Teens in Expat communities: International school teachers, international school counsellors, international school principals, and outside professionals (i.e. doctors and psychologists).
The idea for this book developed when Diana and Lisa’s searches for a book directed to the needs of Expat Teens proved impossible. To date, the majority of Expat-Expatriate/ Third Culture Kids/Global Nomad publications are directed to Parents and Professionals. There is no resource (book, manual, or self-help guide) that we could find that was specifically targeted to the needs and different challenges that Expat Teens face throughout their lives (in particular, their adolescent years) that enables them to learn more and understand that most of what they are going through and what they feel as a result of constant change in their lives is ‘normal’ and shared by many other Expat Teens worldwide.
We decided that the most valid way to fill this void of available resources was to create one ourselves. As Professionals in our respective fields, we are in contact with Expat Teens daily. As a result of the sensitive nature of our professional relationships with Expat Teens, we often find ourselves in the role of ‘confidant’ and learn a lot about the challenges Expat Teens are confronted with every time they move from one country to the next, which generally results in many changes, such as schools and social groups.
Instead of providing the ‘Dr. Lisa Pittman and Diana Smit point of view’, we went to the ’experts’ on a broader scale. We had feedback sessions with diverse groups of Expat Teens, Expat Parents and Expat Professionals. The model we came up with reflects these three voices, providing a broad perspective of solutions, advice and support.
We realised early on when embarking upon this project that many Expat Teens struggle to confide in their peers (this is especially difficult when you just move and do not yet have a new established peer group). Many Expat Teens do not have an open communicative relationship with their own parents and are reluctant to talk openly and share what they are going through as a result. We also, most importantly, realised that most Expat Teens do not know the role of Professionals - Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Counsellors - and therefore do not necessarily access them when needed. In addition, most Expat Teens do not know who the Professionals are in their respective Expat communities. If they do, they often do not have the financial means to access their services for support, independent of their parents. We have, therefore, decided that it was critically important to include all three perspectives in our feedback. Expat Teens need to hear what these three very important groups have to say in support of their shared stories.
We look forwards to sharing the end result, our book "Expat Teens Talk". We will be sure to let you know via our blog when it will be available,which we hope is by the end of 2011.