Lived in more than two countries with your family? Find out if you are raising a third culture kid.
In an increasingly global business world, there is a generation of children growing up as third culture kids (TCK). In the past, these children were largely linked to those serving in military posts abroad. More recently, third culture kids are being raised by parents in a wide range of industries as experience working abroad becomes more and more attractive to employers. Expat children are also becoming more exposed to the culture of the country they are living in.
What is a Third Culture Kid?
It is the name given to children who are raised in cultures other than that of their parents or the one that may be on their passport.
Sound familiar to you? We have come up with some other ways to tell if you are raising a third culture kid:
1) They are multilingual
Many TCK’s may speak more than two languages, especially if you and your partner speak different languages and a third is spoken in the country you are living in. You may find, depending on how integrated your children are in terms of education and social life that they speak all three.
2) They flew before they had teeth
It’s likely your third culture child flew long before they could walk. You are likely to have memories of getting through security, baby in arms while folding a stroller, chasing them down narrow airplane aisles, as they crawled away, or trying to soothe your baby as they had a meltdown just as the cabin lights were turned down for the night.
3) They have friends in 3 different countries
This is particularly true if you have had a few international assignments, where the end of the school year often means a move to another country. While leaving can be sad, the internet makes staying in touch much easier with friends only a Skype away…which brings us nicely to our next point.
4) They are a whizz at calculating time differences
Whether it is to Skype grandparents in your home country or friends from their last school year, your third culture kid can figure out the time there before you have even unlocked your phone.
5) They look confused when someone asks where they are from
Most third culture kids agree, this is the most challenging one. Many believe they are citizens of the world more than any specific country.
Although the end of school year goodbye is hard, being a third culture kid may well stand to them in the long run. Research shows they are better at coping with change as an adult and can often be more attractive prospects for employers.
We know this list isn’t exhaustive. Leave a comment on our Facebook page of other ways you know your children are third culture kids.
No matter how many cultures your children belong to, their health and wellbeing is their greatest asset. Ensure they have the health cover they need while living abroad with International Health Insurance for families.