Why is this such an important book to give to a child raised abroad?
More and more, children living abroad have parents from at least two cultures or nationalities.
What you may not realize as a parent is that your child doesn’t have yet a sophisticated language to express the complexity and contradiction of feelings of their experience growing up in a multi-cultural world. Realistically, your child is not being fully raised in either your birth culture and/or your partner’s culture, if different, or either the culture of the place you are currently living together with your child.
Because your children often don’t have yet many words to fully express themselves or rich enough vocabulary to understand what they feel or experience, it is vital for the adults in their lives to help give them a language and concepts to normalize what they are going through. That is why a personalized book for kids such as Journey to another Homeland kickstarts that important discussion.
Start sharing with your kid your childhood memories and personal experiences related to your home country
This unique personalized child book gives you small hints and pushes to start sharing with the child of as many childhood memories and personal experiences as you can remember. The personalized storybook will nudge you into exploring even more topics once the reading is done, such as cooking a traditional meal together, learning how to dance a traditional dance or organizing a party for your child heritage for him/her to share with his/her friends the things learned from the book and from you.
In many instances, your child would find it hard to formulate questions to things he/she doesn’t have a grasp on. For you, the adult, these can sound as simple questions, but they are oftentimes not addressed properly: It can be confusing for example to feel excited when traveling to see grandparents and other family relatives in one of the parent’s birth countries, while in the same time feeling great sadness to leave a familiar place called home and friends they know, play with and cherish. On that note, these personalized children books can be the perfect gifts for grandchildren who live far away.
Other questions which can easily pop up in your expat child’s mind: Which country do they visit while on vacation? Which language is spoken at home and why? Which language is spoken when traveling and why? Which language is spoken in the local culture? At the kindergarten? How about adding another element in the mix in the character of a nanny for your child from yet another culture. Journey to another Homeland brings in front the topic of 2 countries, 2 cultures and invites the reader and the child to be curious and ask as many questions it comes to their minds. This personalized child book uses descriptive language, and lots of engaging and fun illustrations to make curiosity spark for the child, to find easy starting points to engage with. Your child also recognizes the book as “my world book”.
What should single parents or divorced parents of toddlers consider
What about children of divorced parents, with the parents coming from different home countries? Children of divorced parents tend to spend half their time in one parent’s home and a half in the other’s house. They most likely will have to switch cultures each time they move from one home to the other, because the rules and traditions for each culture are different or implemented differently. You have the chance to personalize the book as per your child’s home situation, for example including only one parent in the story or separating with two distinct personalized storybooks for each of the parents when they are from two different countries.
Your kid will absorb your personal stories about your home country
Often, adult-parents express regret of missing their home countries, a feeling that a child raised abroad will have a difficult time understanding, if not explained properly.
In other instances, parents of children living abroad express disillusionment on various events or news coming or directed at their birth countries. This can indirectly imprint a negative association for the child growing outside of that environment, as he/she takes in like a sponge what they hear. If the parent is only sharing the negative news, and not their own positive experiences, such as their nice childhood memories, they miss a good chance to transmit their affiliation to that. Change is possible with the personalized kids book Journey to another Homeland, where your birth country is portrayed in a positive light with topics your child can connect with. Reading and sharing about your home country hasn’t been easier and more fun!
Child development concept for children living abroad
All children face a variety of developmental tasks as they grow from small babies into teenagers. One important such developmental task is the need to build a strong sense of personal identity that is rooted in an identity as part of a family or a group. Important questions will arise for your child, such as Who am I? and Where do I belong? Traditionally, your child would naturally receive answers to these questions from his/her family and the surrounding community. But, nowadays, with so many parents working late hours, other family members, such as grandparents, living in different corners of the world and the outside community being a mix in itself, your child can be lost and not know how to address these thoughts even to you, the parent.
Closing thoughts on expat kids and their families
An expat child builds relationships to all cultures surrounding him, the parent’s home culture, the current domicile country culture, his/her friends’ culture. This is happening while not having a full sense of belonging in any of the cultures.
Our personalized kids book Journey to another homeland makes these sensitive topics easier to address and engage with, with the whole family onboard, be it that you call your kid an expat kid, or a third culture kid or just a child living abroad. With this storybook, my story of life in the UK or in Germany gets to have a different meaning.