Being a Third Culture Kid - Part 2: The Benefits

Being a Third Culture Kid – Part 2: The Benefits

This article is part 2 of 3 on being a Third Culture Kid (TCK). Summing things up, we are talking about children that have spent a significant part of their development years living out of their home culture, not identifying completely with either their birth or their host country’s specificities, thus acquiring a unique view of the world, which is the concept of third culture. So after going over the challenges of being a TCK in Part 1, we now move on to the advantages.

The five major benefits of being a TCK

Higher level of flexibility. A TCK has been subjected to major changes during the sensitive childhood years and this usually leads to being open minded and flexible when confronted with any need for change in the future.

Fluency in two or more languages. Chances are that a TCK will be bilingual or multilingual, which is clearly an advantage in a global society. The exposure to multiple languages is also a factor that contributes positively to the flexibility mentioned above.

More tolerance and respect of differences. When you consistently see that there are so many different beliefs and customs in the world, you will most likely accept that our humanity is the common ground and feel a deep respect for those differences. That’s why TCK’s generally grow up to be tolerant people.

Focusing on the present. If you know that nothing can be taken for granted and that at any given moment your whole life can change, there’s no point in dwelling in the past or worrying too much about the future. A TCK will – as an adult – be more willing to take calculated risks and innovate, because he’s focused on living in the moment and enjoying life as it comes.

Enhanced creativity and problem solving skills. The exposure to multiple realities gives the TCK the skills to think “out of the box” and come up with creative solutions and great ideas more easily than most people would.

Did you miss my article Being a Third Culture Kid – Part 1: The Challenges? Read it here.

Our next TCK article will reflect on how you as a parent can help your TCK succeed.

Catarina Queiroz
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