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Expat living - raising 'third culture kids'

As expat parents, the challenges we face can be slightly more complex than people who parent at home. Lack of support from extended family, raising children in a culture inherently different from our own and working hard to fit into our expat lifestyle lead to stressful situations.

What are ''third culture kids, you may ask? If you have moved to a country that speaks a different language, dresses differently, and has different cultural norms, it can become hard to integrate your innate culture at home while propelling your children into the foreign culture you now reside in. The third culture is, in fact, a mix between the 'parents' culture and the culture that will raise the expat children. How do you find the balance? How do you develop them so that they keep open to all cultures and have a greater understanding and form acceptance of their differences?

Here is Her Expat Life'sLife's guide to raising third culture kids as expat parents.

1: Let your children embrace the new culture and learn with them, become immersive parents, don't restrict them, and try not to overcomplicate the situation where kids feel overwhelmed.

2: Be Active, Be present! Get involved with your kid's new life, meet the parents of their new friends, arrange meetups and hangouts for both families to get to know each other and learn from each other.

3: Teach them! Incorporate activities at the home of your own culture, like cooking or doing arts & crafts that keep your roots alive and allow your children to understand the differences in the cultures.

Let them ask questions and teach them the differences to avoid exacerbating the cultural shifts. Explain things to your kids that may be confusing them or upsetting them.

4: 'Learn the language ' Be sure to learn the new language yourself as an adult. Create culturally immersive days out as a family (away from the classroom) so kids integrate easier, and you will also learn with them!

5: Get support!

'Join the expat kids club.'

Supporting Expat Kids and Teens In-person and Online.

Its mission is to help third-culture and cross-cultural kids identify their strengths, express who they are, and thrive as individuals during states of transition, relocation, and other significant life changes.

Join Her Expat Life, a supportive network for female expats looking to advance their global lifestyle!

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