I wrote a guest post for A Life Overseas called Parallel Lives: TCKs, Parents and the Culture Gap which is now up. In this piece I explain a little of why an expat child’s experience abroad is different to an adult’s. A TCK’s view of the world is deeply affected by their international experiences, giving them a different perspective to that of a parent who first went overseas as an adult. I go on to illustrate three areas in which the experiences of expat parents and their children are significantly different: Connection, Identity, and Choice.
Here’s a sneak peek for you:
Your TCK children will not have the same emotional connection to the people, places and activities of your country (and your childhood) that you do. Things that mean the world to you may not mean much to them. They may dislike your comfort foods, find your favourite sport boring, or be unmoved by things which bring you to tears. They may intellectually understand that these things are supposed to matter, but not feel a connection to them. If they fear disapproval, they may learn to “fake it”. Giving your TCKs space to feel differently, even if it is sad or disappointing to you, is vital to maintaining open communication and strong understanding between you.
Wondering what a TCK is? Find out here