I was looking through Facebook statuses yesterday, just seeing how everyone was doing. Looking at pictures, killing time before I finally got to bed and something a mutual friend said that stuck out to me, she stated that her kids were Third Culture kids. I have heard of the term but never really knew what it meant, so I looked it up and it means a child raised in another culture outside of their parents. As I read the definition, I wondered if maybe my kids were.
I continued reading and after reading the characteristics of a TCK, I realized that yes my boys are! They are American kids, living in Belgium, attending a British school. They have friends from Spain, Germany, Turkey, Ireland, Wales and Poland. They interact with so many cultures here that at home, transitioning into our routine is weird. I speak Spanish and teach them certain customs, they are beginning to develop a British accent. They are experiencing things that I never in my wildest dreams think it could ever happen. To raise kids is hard enough! Add that we are a military family and who knows how they might turn out. I get excited that they tell me what they had for dinner (that is what the brits call lunch). I get excited that they are picking up new phrases, that they enjoy going to someone’s house and learning a new language and culture.
Could they experience this in the States? Maybe but not like how they would here. Military kids are the highest percentage of Third Culture Kids. With so much moving around, these kids get to see much of the world. They get often asked where are they from and they cannot tell you because they have moved around so much. But can that be a bad thing as well? I have read that they may have problems when they get older. Not knowing who they truly are, not being able to interact with others, low-esteem. As a parent I do not want my kids to suffer in anyway so to read this it does concern me. Because if we are overseas again and they graduate from high school. I want them to be able to thrive and adapt. Knowing that they will be safe and be able to take care of themselves, and continue to live awesome lives.
I am proud and happy to be raising Third Culture Kids. They are going to have an amazing journey, I am glad that I can be a part of it!