February 16, 2017
How Global Mobility Affects Adults and Children – Insights for Diplomats with Tina Quick
“This was a very good seminar. Thank you. All diplomats should go through this.”
“What actually takes place in families during a global relocation? What are the challenges they face and what strategies can they implement? Why do the children in such families feel different: “from everywhere but belonging nowhere”?”
She said the overarching challenge for such families is understanding and managing the five stages of transition:
- Involvement (a sense of belonging)
- Leaving (anticipation vs. sadness)
- Transition (chaos, emotional instability)
- Entering (desire to connect, vulnerability)
- Re-Involvement (feelings of security & intimacy)
Each stage is accompanied by a unique set of emotions. Experiencing each stage can be difficult, but it is normal and ultimately leads to the stability of feeling settled again.
“Children are silent partners in relocation.” Robin Pascoe, author of Raising Global Nomads
She offered some important definitions in her discussion of strategies for parenting globally mobile children. “A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture are assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background.” (Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds by Dave Pollock and Ruth Van Reken).
“For most TCKs, the collection of significant losses and separations before the end of adolescence is often more than most people experience in a lifetime.” (Pollock and Van Reken)
Participants enjoyed two workshop opportunities to help process and apply the information. One was geared toward identifying the benefits and gifts common to TCKs. The responses that were shared included cross-cultural awareness and acceptance, language skills, flexibility, adaptability, bridge-building, a broad world view, and the foundations for being true global citizens.
“It is my conviction that being a TCK is not a disease, something from which to recover. It is a life healthily enriched by this very TCK experience and blessed with significant opportunities for further enrichment.” (Pollock and Van Reken)
Resources for Parents and Children:
- Third Culture Kids, David Pollock and Ruth Van Reken
- Raising Global Nomads, Robin Pascoe
- Home Keeps Moving, Heidi Sand-Hart
- A Broad Abroad, Robin Pascoe
- Homeward Bound, Robin Pascoe
- Expat Teens Talk, Pittman and Smit
- The Art of Coming Home, Craig Storti
- The Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition, Tina Quick
Tina Quick is a cross-cultural trainer, international speaker, author of The Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition and founder of International Family Transitions (IFT), serving the needs of globally mobile students and their families. As a Transitions Expert, she has spoken at universities in China, Ecuador, Japan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. She has moved 29 times and has raised her three children across four continents.
Tina served as the Health Officer for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for six years while living in Geneva, Switzerland. She has also served on the Board of Directors of Families in Global Transition and was Chair of the Program Committee for their annual conference. She is a member of the International Association of College Admission Counselling and served on the Advisory Board of TCKid, an active international community of third culture kid adults and youth.