The first in a series on supporting yourself and your expat child.  Full article can be seen on , and

One of the main learning points I’ve had as the parent of an expat child is about maintaining a positive feeling in the home. Being an expat is at times a demanding lifestyle and what can be said and done in the home during stressful times can impact greatly on children.

So I have the following recommendations:

1. Self-care and family needs

Make sure you as the main carer / parent finds time to look after yourself.  These questions may help you to consider how you are doing:

Q    How did you spend your time before you became a parent and also before becoming an expat?

Q    What else are you doing now besides being a parent?  If you have recently become an expat consider before and after your moves too.

Q    How well do you think you look after yourself?

Q    What would you like to change about your life and if you can’t change living abroad, how can you change how you feel about your life now?

Q    What effect has having children had on your relationship with your partner?  What effect has being an expat had too?

Q    Write down 10 words that represent your family before you became expats?

Q    Write down 10 words that represent your family as it is now?

Q    What words do you like or not like on these lists?  Write a list for what you want your family to be about whilst you live abroad.

Q    Consider your new list and how will you make these changes in daily life?

More parts to follow

Nicola McCall, expatriate coach, mum and spouse