Misunderstood - new from Summertime Publishing
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Empowering Young Expats… and the Ones Who Love Them
Over 200 million people currently live abroad; of these more than 50 million are temporary residents, intending to return to their country of origin. A new book from Third Culture Kid (TCK) researcher and mentor Tanya Crossman explores the impact of international life on the children of such families and gives powerful insights as to how we can support today’s young global nomads.

by Tanya Crossman

“Our parents thought we were incredibly lucky to travel so much and be in international schools, but both primary and secondary school were very difficult ... My parents said we were extremely lucky, but during the years spent chained to their feet, our situation often felt like an imprisonment.” This is how Aurelie (19), reflects on her family’s five relocations for a parent’s career.
Zach (42), a mission child who moved eight times, feels differently: “As a child I had only positive feelings about my international life. My appreciation for my childhood overseas has grown as an adult. … It has given me a sense of movement and adventure, which makes life very interesting.”
This is just a snapshot of the personal stories woven throughout Tanya Crossman’s insightful look into the dynamics faced by young people growing up abroad. Drawing from her extensive interviews, and a separate survey of over 700 TCKs, Crossman sheds light on the challenges faced by those in the ‘TCK space’ – such as unresolved grief, difficulties building relationships, frequent goodbyes, the emotional impact of repatriation, struggles with anxiety, and, of course, questions of “who am I?” and “where is home?”.
“While I read, I found myself nodding with a sense of relief and recognition, ‘Yes! That’s what I felt. I’m not the only one’ – Taylor Joy Murray, author of Hidden in My Heart: A TCK’s Journey Through Cultural Transition
What makes this book stand out on the TCK literature scene is that it mediates between parents and young expats. “I sit in the middle, explaining the perspective of TCKs to those who care about them,” says Crossman. “In Misunderstood I speak on behalf of TCKs, sharing insights from years of listening and hundreds of interviews, giving voice to things they have trouble articulating.”
The book was borne out of her efforts to support young expats and their parents or families to better understand each other. Her conversations with both groups during her work coordinating camps and conferences for teenage TCKs in China and Cambodia often revealed a disparity in their experiences and perceptions. “Many parents wanted help to better support their children, but were often unaware of how international life affects children differently than adults,” she says. “And many young people expressed pain at feeling misunderstood by their parents – often the same parents I knew cared deeply and were trying their best.”
Crossman emphasises, however, that the book is not only for parents or those who work with young expats. “It’s for anyone who grew up abroad and is still processing their experiences.”
“It’s hard to imagine a more thorough – or more thoughtful – treatment of the dynamics of being a TCK. Crossman’s survey results alone make this an invaluable contribution to the field, but it is the compelling voices of TCKs themselves, generously cited throughout, that will leave a lasting impression. Anyone who is a TCK or who cares about them will find insights on every page” – Craig Storti, Director of Communicating Across Cultures and author of The Art of Crossing CulturesThe Art of Coming Home and Cross-Cultural Dialogues
Whether you grew up overseas, are raising children overseas, or know a family living abroad, Misunderstood will equip you with insights into the international experience, along with practical suggestions for how to offer meaningful care and support.
Available in paperback and e-book (Kindle and e-Book)
Tanya Crossman grew up in Australia and lived in the USA for two years of high school. She had TCK friends as a child, before her own experience of life overseas, and long before hearing the phrase ‘Third Culture Kid’. She has a degree in Asian Studies and a diploma in Mandarin. She worked several bilingual jobs in China, including interning at a publishing company and Office/HR Manager for a small textile trading company. After years of volunteering her time to mentor TCKs, Tanya left her job to work with TCKs full time. She coordinated over 35 camps and conferences for teenage TCKs in China and Cambodia, and was invited to speak to groups in China, Thailand, Cambodia, and Singapore. After 11 years in Asia, Tanya is currently studying in Sydney. She is still passionate about advocating for TCKs, even in her passport country. She plans to return overseas in time to continue working with, and on behalf of, TCKs.

Publication date: 15th August 2016
Publisher: Summertime Publishing
Paperback: 978-1-909193-85-7; price: €16.99 / £12.99 / $17.99US / $19.99AUS
Ebook: 978-1-909193-88-8; price: €7.99 / £6.99 / $8.99US / $11.99AUS
Kindle: price: €7.99 / £6.99 / $8.99US / $11.99AUS
384 pp

For publisher queries and review copies or extracts, please contact Jack Scott at publisher@summertimepublishing.com.

Contact the author at tck.tanya@gmail.com, follow her on Facebook or Twitter and check out her website.
Copyright © 2016 Summertime Publishing, All rights reserved.

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