Helping your child adapt to moving around the world

Helping your child adapt to moving around the world


Moving abroad with your family can be a very positive life experience for you and your family. It is an amazing way to experience other countries, cultures and people. However, expat family life can also be a challenge, being in a different country, dealing with another language, new schools and cultural changes. You want to keep your family feeling secure and be happy, but after a move, a child might show difficult behaviour which is new to you. So, what are the proper tools to deal with this?

Wereldkind helps children and their families adapt to moving around the world

Growing up around the world

By moving from country to country, your child becomes what Wereldkind calls a TCK, a Third Culture Kid. A TCK is raised in a cross-cultural world and travels back and forth between their (parents') home and host countries. A major aspect of the identity of a TCK is that, very often, they are raised in an environment where they are physically different from the people around them. There is constant exposure to different cultures but without having full ownership of any of them and very likely, neither that of their parents' home country.

Although TCKs feel different from the children and adults around them, they too have the same needs as non-TCKs. They want to share time together, build relationships and want to be meaningful in life. However, being raised cross-culturally can come with challenges in life.

Due to frequent transfers, TCKs are more prone to the grief of saying goodbye. They are also more vulnerable to thinking about who they really are (identity). Another challenge can be described through the question: “Where do I belong?” A Dutch child born and raised several years in Asia might feel more Asian than Dutch but is still not an Asian citizen.

Finally, the challenge of having a friendship and / or relationship; the way TCKs start and maintain a relationship can be different than from a non-TCK.

Wereldkind: Helping your child adapt

When families approach Drs. Diana Rongen (MSc) of the Child and Youth practice, Wereldkind, to discuss a problem, she prefers to avoid the word “problem” and rather talk about new skills; there is a difficult situation in your life which cannot be solved with your “old” skill or coping mechanism. So, the focus will be on learning a new skill and working towards an optimistic future, building positive coping methods, as well as boosting self-esteem, self-confidence, and other positive states and traits in children and their families.

Child & Youth therapy practice Wereldkind is perfectly suited to emphasising positive development while addressing negative issues and symptoms. Drs. Diana Rongen (MSc) is an experienced pedagogue, family therapist and child and youth therapist. She works with children and their families who encounter several difficulties in life. Together with her, you and your family will work towards the goal of belonging, and finding a connection with yourself and the people around you.



Leave a comment