TCKs: How to raise them?

Article
Published 2019-10-30 07:50

Growing up abroad is one of the best childhood experiences kids can have. This will give them incredible skills that will shape them to be open-minded adults. How does one raise children from mixed marriages? How do you make sure that both cultures will be interspersed with their upbringing, along with their host country? Whether your child was born into your home country or abroad, here are a few tips...

Gail Monique Gallo

Gail Mallo is a writer and content marketing manager based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. She's into current events, literature, travel and culture.

Just speaking different languages...

Children are more resilient than we think. To make sure both their parent’s cultures is transmitted to the child, parents need to make sure that their cultures are woven into their daily lives at home. This means speaking their languages at home. At a young age, a child’s brain absorbs everythin. One of the best ways to do this is for each parent to speak to them in their mother tongues. This way children will understand and learn to eventually speak in both languages aside from learning English, which they can do in school. 

Story-telling...

Telling them stories of their homeland to enhance recognition of their two countries. Another way to let kids know of their cultural backgrounds is to read to them from books that have stories of their culture. This way knowledge will be transferred to them through literature. Children’s interests peak when they are read stories that will encourage them to ask more questions of their countries. 

Food is always a good idea!

Cooking food from both countries and telling them memories of mealtimes at home is a winner. Children learn through sensorial experiences and memories of smells, textures, tastes can stay with them forever. 

Celebrations and traditions

Celebrating holidays and traditions that are practiced in both parents’ countries are also things that stay with the children forever. Getting them involved in the different traditions will give them a sense of belonging to the culture.

What are Third Culture Kids?

In this age of globalization, people migrate from country to another as expatriate workers, military servicemen and other professions that require settling in another location. There are also transnational marriages where Third Culture Kids come from and most of them attend international schools. It has been researched that most TCKs also develop identity rooted in people more in places. 

The bottom line is that there are only good things to expect from raising kids that are products of mixed marriages. It can only raise well-rounded children that are open to people of different walks of life from different races. Their experiences in life will open the world to them like no other can especially when they get to enjoy citizenships from more than one nation. They get the best of both words and when raised right, TCKs grow up to be exceptional unique individuals with remnants of the places and people they have been and met.