Being a parent is not always an easy task, but being an expat parent comes with a whole new kind of challenge.
When relocating with your children you might want to know more about what they are experiencing and how it will shape their identities, hence if you change home regularly. Your lifestyle has indeed an impact on how you see and interact with the world, but living it, it can be hard to see which one.ASI Movers has thus decided to provide you with detailed insight into the notion of TCK i.e. Third Culture Kid. Scholars have been working on this concept for more than 50 years, a term specially designed for expat children, not only describing what personality traits they are more likely to develop but also what it can bring along in terms of opportunities.
What Is A TCK?
Introduced in the 1950s by the sociologist Dr. Ruth Hill Useem, the term Third Culture Kid refers to those “who [have] spent a significant part of [their] developmental years outside their parents’ culture”, who neither have fully adopted the local customs nor completely kept their parents’ ones, yet who have built their own, at the intersection of the two or more cultures they experienced.
What Are the Characteristics Of TCKs?
The way they have built their cultural references affected their identity. Because they do not recognize themselves in either of them, they often feel they do not belong anywhere. They thus can develop a feeling of loneliness, eventually bringing them to a state of “cultural homelessness”.
For the same reason, they are keen to develop more tolerance towards others, their set of values and habits. They display a higher degree of open-mindedness because they have been exposed to several cultures from a young age.
They often are more creative, and the school you are going to choose should take full advantage of this personality trait (Lee and Bain, 2007).
They tend to submit themselves more easily to authority figures.
Studies also show that TCKs comparatively enroll more in college and tend to have more advanced degrees than their non-TCK peers.
A large portion of them will also embrace a nomad lifestyle further in their life.
What Are the Advantages Of Being A TCK?
While having been exposed to a foreign culture from a young age or moving regularly can represent a huge challenge for your children, it is also important to discuss with them and stress the pros of their situation. The life they are likely to live is as peculiar as unique.
They will be more open-minded and culturally aware than their peers. Not only will it enrich their way of thinking and general knowledge, but it will be a decisive advantage in a more and more multicultural and globalized world. Scholars call this ability Cultural Intelligence, a skill that is sought by HR all over the globe. People who have cross-cultural experiences are cherished by employers and their peers as they already acquired the skills needed to live in nowadays society.
Their view of the world and its mechanisms will be more complex and thus more accurate than many people. They will learn languages more easily. Their interpersonal sensitivity will enable them to understand the codes of a given group and adjust to them instinctively. More generally, they adapt more quickly and understand the complexity of situations easily.
ASI Movers is aware that children can be disoriented and overwhelmed by the challenges of living in a new country or having to move regularly, thus not ready to see the positive aspects of being a TCK.
That is the reason why we feel entitled to make your relocation the smoothest and most stress-free as possible.
The inconveniences inherent to relocating should not overshadow the benefits of moving abroad, and meeting other cultures and people. Let ASI Movers take care of your belongings, and allow your family to focus on what matters and take full advantage of the experience!