A TCK is a Third Culture Kid. They are kids who do not grow up in their parents’ culture, yet they are not fully from the culture they are living in.Bub and Honey-Bear will be TCKs. They are American, but they will also be part African. So they make their own ‘Third Culture.’
Knowing we wanted to live cross-culturally in college, we spent year with Internationals students and TCKs. We watched their lives. Listened to their stories of what their parents did well and what they could have done better. We took many mental notes because we wanted to do parenting right.
In one class we read Dave C. Pollock’s “Third Culture Kids” which has a new edition out on Amazon.com. Check it out! My Love reread it when we were in Lang City, because it truly applies to our lives now that we have our own TCKs. One of the main thought he came away with was that we, as parents, cannot assume that the way we were raised (foods, traditions, etc.) is best or will even fit for our kids. One example: He thinks of childhood as playing at the playground, riding bikes on the sidewalk to school, playing is grass. But those things aren’t in Africa. That doesn’t make our kids’ childhood doomed; it just means that they will have their own entirely different version of childhood.
A second main thought from Pollock’s book is that parenting a TCK isn’t just ‘one more obstacle’ in parenting. No, it makes parenting your TCK a whole other dimension. Rather than simply adding to your child’s character, being a TCK redefines their whole being, heart & mind. Which is a fantastic thing! So our parenting to our TCKs is going to be totally different than if we had stayed in America.
>>>Here are Bub and Honey-Bear before coming. He was 21 months old and she was 2 months when we came to Africa.
<<< Here they are a year later! Big kids
brushing their teeth!
They are GREAT! And we can already see their lives molding into TCKs. They have been to five countries, lived in three homes, slept in 15 different houses all in one year. They are speaking both English and the national language, with a tribal word thrown in here and there from Bub. We love watching them grow and learn. They are great learners, travelers, and most importantly love people!!
We are blessed beyond belief to have them journey with us through live and Africa!