Any parent taking a child overseas needs to understand that they will be raising a Third Culture Kid. The most commonly used definition of this is the one used by David C. Pollock and Ruth Van Reken in their book, The Third Culture Kid Experience: Growing Up Among Worlds.
“A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture are assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, a sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background.”
Here are some of our favorite resources to learn more about the topic.
- Berenstain, Stan, & Berenstain, Jan. The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day, Random House for Young Readers
- Hess, Melissa Brayer, & Linderman, Patricia, 2002. The Expert Expatriate: Your Guide to Successful Relocation Abroad, Nicholas Brealey Publishing.
- Jehle-Caithcheon, Ngaire, 2003, Parenting Abroad, Aletheia Publications
- Johnson, Spencer and Pileggi, Steve, Who Moved My Cheese for Kids, Penguin Putman Books for Young Readers
- MacLachlan, Patricia, Your Moon, My Moon: a Grandmother’s Words to a Faraway Child, a lovely picture book from a grandmother who lives in Massachusetts to her grandchild in Africa
- Pascoe, Robin with contributions from Barbara F. Schaetti, PhD and Lois J. Bushong, MS, LMFT, Raising Global Nomads: Parenting Abroad in an On-Demand World, Expatriate Press
- Pascoe, Robin, Culture Shock: A Wife’s Guide, Expatriate Press
- Pascoe, Robin, A Broad Abroad, Expatriate Press
- Pittman, Lisa and Smit, Diana, Expat Teens Talk, Peers, Parents, and Professionals offer support, advice and solutions in response to expat life challenges as shared by expat teens. Summertime Press
- Pollock, David C. and Van Reken, Ruth E., The Third Culture Kid Experience: Growing Up among Worlds, Intercultural Press
- Quick, Tina, The Global Nomads Guide to University Transition, Summertime Publishing
- Simens, Julia, Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child, practical storytelling techniques that will strengthen the global family. Summertime Press
- Zoer, Martine, The Kid’s Guide to Living Abroad, Foreign Service Youth Foundation, www.fsyf.org
- Dr. Anisha Abraham, Raising Global Teens: A Practical Handbook for Parenting in the 21st Century
- Lois Bushong, Belonging Everywhere and Nowhere: Insights into Counseling the Globally Mobile
Websites that are Helpful for Children and International Living Issues:
- Families in Global Transition
- U.S. Department of State Education and Youth website created to help families of the American diplomatic service.
- The Foreign Service Youth Foundation is dedicated to helping the youth of the American diplomatic service. This site has numerous links to websites that support the internationally mobile family.
- The Resiliency Quiz, developed by Nan Henderson, M.S.W.
- New Leaders Find Strength in Diversity
- Promoting Your Child’s Emotional Health – by Rebecca Grappo (article begins on p.73)