Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Third Culture Kid (TCK) update!!

Many of you know how much of my work as an international school counsellor relates to Third Culture Kids (TCKs). This month I ran a TCK workshop with parents and I'd like to share with you what we did and how it went. I worked with our multicultural team who baked delicious snacks to munch on in the morning as well as a light tapas style lunch with treats from all over the world for after our workshop! You need fuel, coffee & tea breaks, water and tissues for something as emotionally draining as this.

First, we came together as a full group for an hour. I ran an ice breaker activity, reviewed some basic background information on TCKs and gave parents some time to share their own stories. We focused on obstacles they have faced as parents of TCKs and then spent time sharing ways they overcame these obstacles. There were lots of tears as parents were reminded that they are not alone.

 I know that along with being a parent comes a lot of worry. I am sure that in addition to lots of worrying, as a parent of TCK you also stop and wonder if you are doing the right thing for your child. I see the benefits of this unique lifestyle every single day. Instead of standing there and telling parents about the ways their children learn and grow from the moves they make and the cultures that they live in, I decided to have the experts themselves do the talking. You HAVE to check out this TCK video that Marc Smith and I made with our students this year!!! There were many more tears but it was so important for our parents to hear these powerful messages from their own children.
 To hear the perspective of TCK reflecting on their first day of school, I read this post written by Shannon who attended ACS Hillingdon a few years ago. You can read a reflection about the same exact day but from Joyce, Shannon's mom's perspective here. I also shared this post so parents could hear more thoughts from a TCK parent. When you have a minute be sure to check them out!

We broke into divisional groups and each counsellor ran a 45 minute session that was more specific to that age group. After, we came together again for our delicious lunch, which was also a great time for parents to meet and talk to one another. We had more than 70 parents participate and I know that this day and time was so important for them to have! Until next year...


  1. Thanks for teaching parents of TCKs all about TCKs, it's so important. Knowledge is power! I like the TCK video you made, keep up the good work. I am an adult TCK but when I was a kid and moving around there was not so much information and knowledge about TCKs and their challenges.

  2. I am so glad that there is now lots of great information and research on this very important topic. Now a child with this unique upbringing has a name and way to explain what they are going through. I find that TCKs relate so much better to other TCKs, even more so then they do to someone from their passport country or other countries they've lived in. The connection and understanding comes with the similar lifestyle. Thanks for you comment!

  3. Lauren -- another great video! Glad I stumbled back upon your blog! :-)

  4. I just recently found your blog and went through all of your past posts. I am currently starting up my third and final year in my grad program to be a school counselor. I knew going into the program that I would eventually want to work abroad and your blog has had some wonderful insights into working with TCKs! I am looking forward to continuing to follow your blog and I hope you post more soon about the application and job search process! Thank you so much for your wonderful blog. :)