Recommended reading – August 2, 2016

Every week I read articles about TCK and expatriate related topics, and often I think “I’d love to write about this!” but know I’ll never have time to get to all of them. So! I’ve put together a “recommended reading” post with short introductions to some articles I have appreciated lately. I plan to do this every week or so – and here is the first installment!

Third Culture Kids Parent Challenge #3: Mourning
4 Gingers on the Go
Lots of fantastic advice here for parents of TCKs! When you see a child is upset, about a move or another change, the natural reaction is to want to cheer them up – but this doesn’t help the child process the situation. In this great post Anna (a psychologist and parent of TCKs) gives clear practical suggestions for how to helpfully enter into a child’s grief.

Torn Between Two Countries 
California Globetrotter
A beautiful, emotionally honest piece about how the heart copes with being “torn between two countries”.  Lorelai lightly holds the seeming contradiction that is loving two places, realising that since both have a claim on her heart, she does not feel completely at home in either. She doesn’t come up with a neat solution, but sits in the tension that is so familiar to TCKs and expats all over the world.

“Crawl in a hole” and other great advice for new expats
The Culture Blend
Fabulous backhanded advice for how to get started in a new culture – for example “be ignorant” and “don’t be helpful”. A memorable post about embracing with humility the ignorance that comes with being new – and letting it become a guide rather than a liability.

10 Things I Learned From My First Year Teaching Abroad 
Frankie goes to Milano
While it’s great to get advice from “old-timers” (as above) it’s also important to listen to the voices of new expats, to hear their stories and learn from their experiences. This post is a lovely example of reflecting on living in a new culture and how it offers lessons worth learning.

The do’s and dont’s of cross-cultural parenting 
 Sassy Mama Dubai
A really helpful discussion of some of the practical realities of raising children as a cross-cultural couple. There is great advice even for parents who would consider themselves as coming from the same culture. I particularly appreciate the last tip: “Don’t expect the culture in which you live in, not to affect your parenting”.

Dealing with Expat Divorce
Diary of a Move
This is the fourth (and final) installment of an excellent series of posts about divorce in an expat context, including a long list of resources. (The posts are based on a presentation Katia Vlachos gave at FIGT 2016.) Living between countries and cultures adds all sorts of extra complexity to an already devastating situation, especially when children are involved. It is great to see this topic getting much needed attention. (Also see parts one, two and three on Huffington Post.)

The Balancing Act of MK Education
A Life Overseas
A good overview of education options for Christian missionary families, with pros and cons for each option. Amy then goes through a few general considerations, which boil down to: know your unique situation, be involved in your child’s education, and relax. She also points out the importance of effective support for children with learning differences.

17 Maps That Will Change The Way You Look At The World Forever 
Buzzfeed
Not strictly in the expat realm, but something I think many expats would find interesting! I love maps, and this post uses map overlays to explain how map projections warp the size and shape of countries at certain latitudes – something that fascinates me.

Want more recommended reading? Check out my next reading list!

4 thoughts on “Recommended reading – August 2, 2016

    • You’re so welcome – thanks for writing such a beautiful piece! It speaks to the heart of what I think is a really common experience. There’s definitely more at stake when you are in a multinational partnership, but there are lots of multicultural families out there too! My family all live in Australia, but I still feel torn, even after 18 months back here – China still feels like home. There will always be pros and cons to whichever place I live, I think it’s important to allow myself to live with the tension. Whatever choice I make there are sacrifices, and it’s okay to be sad about those.

      Liked by 2 people

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