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Supporting Third Culture Kids
November 10, 2021

Supporting Third Culture Kids

First, it is critical to characterize what a “third culture kid” really is. Third culture kid (TCK) is a term originating in the mid-1950s by American humanist and anthropologist Ruth Hill Useem to allude to the kids are with their parents when living in within a society that is not originally theirs. You may have heard different terms, for example, “trans-culture kid”, or “Worldwide Nomad”.

The expression became more widely-known after the arrival of the book Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds in 1999 by David Pollock and Ruth Van Reken.

In Pollock’s definition, a TCK is somebody who has spent a noteworthy piece of their youth outside of their parent’s way of life. They coexist in numerous societies however don’t really relate to or feel completely part of any of them. The “third culture” isn’t only a mix of these societies, yet rather a one-of-a-kind perspective that is created from the culturally diverse experience.

Afterward, Van Reken improved upon the expression, coming up with “cross-cultural kids” to better depict this remarkable group of individuals. This term better communicates the experience of any kids who go with their parents across societies, including mixed-heritage children, international adoptees and the children of immigrants, among others.

Regardless of the labeling of these children, they face a special arrangement of difficulties. Youngsters who spend a lot of their formative years in another culture are profoundly affected. They build up a one-of-a-kind perspective and figure out how to adjust as they move between societies. However, they often experience issues developing their very own social identity. For these youngsters, the inquiry, “Where are you from?” is hard to reply to.

Pollock and Van Reken’s Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds and Mary Hayden’s Introduction to International Education, propose that there are five phases in making progress from nation to nation: Involvement, Leaving, Transition, Entering and Reinvolvement.

1. Involvement

At this stage, life appears to be ordinary: we are a piece of a network, we follow its traditions and we are centered around our present and close connections.

2. Leaving

The stage starts when leaving is raised, finishing at the point of departure. The leaver starts extricating themselves from social ties and moving away from the connections and duties they have had.

3. Transition

This stage starts with the departure and finishes with the choice to settle in and become a part of the new society. Associations with the past appear to be gone and they enter a network where connections are already well-defined.

4. Entering

The individual has chosen to become a part of the new network. They may even now feel helpless, however, life is no longer clamorous and a feeling of having a place within the new community has started.

5. Reinvolvement

At last, the individual fully becomes a part of the community. They acknowledge their home, the new network and their role within it.

When a move is confirmed, guardians, instructors and care staff in schools need to work proactively to assist these students with making a fruitful change. RAFT, or ‘Reconciliation, Affirmation, Farewells and Think Destination’, is a four-point agenda to thoroughly consider when helping children of expats plan for their continued progress.

‘Reconciliation’ signifies settling any contentions that may exist between companions. ‘Affirmation’ recognizes the significance of those who play critical roles in our lives at the present and gets ready for future support of these connections. Planning time for ‘Goodbyes’ is critical, as well. Pollock and Van Renken recommend that guardians talk with their youngsters about what to take and what to abandon. Their last point, ‘Think Destination’, is tied in with considering the new goal while bidding farewell to the old.

In Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, the parent-to-child relationship is portrayed as the most significant factor in how kids will face the difficulties of living abroad. TCKs should be esteemed, thought of as extraordinary, secured and helped. This is valid for all kids, yet with regards to living a long way from home, the requirement for this sort of care is of even more importance.

Guardians can listen cautiously to their kids’ new wants and needs then attempt to comprehend the purposes behind them. They can likewise guarantee that there is family time accessible to be truly present.

Numerous schools have programs that help with the change to a new school and help leaving families. After the move, guardians can bolster their kids by helping them discover approaches to interact with others and keep up bonds with relatives back at home.


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