I want to share something with you that Rebecca Oden said at the start of the panel discussion. I share these words with you because I believe they are true. According to Rebecca here are:
4 very important variables that influence the life of a third culture kid (or internationally mobile child):
- The developmental age of the child. There are different challenges and different issues at different ages. It's a little easier when children are younger, for example parents can arrange a play date and within moments of meeting each others toddlers can be playing together. The issues change depending on the developmental age. A child of 12 years old will not be charmed when mum arranges a play date but parents can facilitate the social interactions at that age.
- The number of transitions a child has faced. Parents often think: well they did fine the last move so all will be well this time. There are all kinds of reasons why this time the transition is more difficult. It could be connected with the developmental age. It could be transition fatigue, tried of all the change, the multiple loss of status, starting over time and time again. The fragmented identities that need to be put together time and time again.
- The family wellness. How is your family culture? Are you as parents doing well? Is this transition more difficult for one of the parents too?
- School choice. Is it a school that is knowledgeable about these kind of issues? Does it have a program to address these issues?