Category Archives: Tck

What is a TCK – a Third Culture Kid?

What is a TCK – a Third Culture Kid?


“A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his
or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture.” Third Culture Kids – Growing Up Among Worlds by David C. Pollock and Ruth E. van Reken

Origin of term TCK

Sociologists Ruth Hill Useem and John Useem coined the term “Third Culture”, in the 1950s. They spent a year in India with the purpose of studying Americans living and working there. After having met not only expatriates from the US they noticed that the lifestyles of the expatriates differed from home and host cultures. It made up a culture of its own, shared by other expats. Useems labeled culture of origin as first culture, the host culture the second and the “shared commonalities of those living internationally mobile lifestyle” as the third culture (p 14, Third Culture Kids – David C. Pollock and Ruth E. van Reken, 2009). While John Useem focused on the adults Ruth Hill Useem took an interest in the young expatriates. She referred to them as Third Culture Kids.

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Top reads this week

These are the books I’m enjoying this week! I deliberately choose the word ‘enjoy’ since actually reading a book is not always the only way to love and savor books! Looking at photos in gorgeous coffee table size volumes is an obvious way, but I also use books for art journaling; altering books by giving them a second life. 🙂

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From top left:

Journal Spilling by Diana Trout -wonderful to just let your mind flow away; colors and creativity. Love the pictures.

My project: preparing a rescued and unwanted book with gesso (whitening the pages to make it a base for art journaling)

Nina av en slump (Nina par hasard) by Michele Lesbre

Collage workbook by Randel Plowman – a library order; like a bag of candy! Collages were big as I grew up but it is still fun!

Välkommen till virkligheten by Annika Messing – I’ve done lots from this crochet pattern book and a robot has to be finished tomorrow 🙂

Cracks in my foundation by Marian Keyes – I love Marian’s short stories. What can I say. Also perfect in lenght before bedtime when there’s also twitter …

Third Culture Kids by David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken – TCK gurus. Use it in life and work; always something to come back to every now and then; hence always out on the desk.

Så gör jag. Konsten att skriva by Bodil Malmsten – This is a book I like. Phenomenal and very modern visual content; anecdotes about writing and lots of related material. Creatively done. Not just text.

Allt om trädgård by Marie & Björn Hansson et al. – one of my best books on all things garden. Colors and info!

 

The tricky Where you’re from-question

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Where you’re from can be hard to answer sometimes. A tck (third culture kid) might be born in one country, raised in others yet hold a passport from parents’ home country, in which they have never even set foot.

An alternative question is to ask wherefrom someone has moved, or where he/she has lived.

Svenska barnsånger

Om du bor utomlands kan det vara roligt att ibland sjunga svenska sånger med barnen. Många föräldrar tar sina barn till svenska kyrkan eller andra svenska grupper där sång ingår. Denna möjlighet finns långt ifrån för alla expatriater. Nedan finns en länk till en av Barnplanetens listor på Spotify. Barnplaneten har spellistor i många kategorier, t ex Barnkammarboken, Klassiker, Buslistan och Favoriter.

Länk till trafiklistan – perfekt inte bara för bilintresserade utan för alla som är ute och går eller cyklar!

Living abroad and want to listen to Swedish children’s music? Klick the link above or go here to read a post in English about Swedish kid’s music.

Swedish children’s songs

Having moved to Sweden with children your family might want to listen to Swedish children’s music. Kid’s music is very much part of the cultural context, and apart from having fun a few bonuses to listening to it include

  • learning the classic Swedish tunes
  • following what they are singing at preschool (dagis) and school
  • improving your Swedish while singing along
  • acquiring intonation and pronunciation of Swedish

Barnplaneten (Children’s planet) provides lists in Spotify such as lists for classics, nap time, animals, play and dance as well as a teacher’s list.

Link to one of the song lists

 

 

What does washi tape have to do with learning a language?

Learning English, Swedish, French or Chinese? Or any other language?

To work on your vocabulary when learning a new language I want to share the following tip with you. Put washi tape on items, drawers, shelves and boxes and write the object’s name on it. Remove when you have learnt the word and choose new objects.

Great for bilingual kids too, expanding their vocabulary! At home I use it for my children (TCKs) to not forget words after returning to passport country after expat life.

Washi tape is pretty masking tape, originating from Japan. It is removable and reusable, slightly transparent with a paper feel to it (made from rice paper). It comes in all sorts of patterns and colors; select one that goes well with text for this language learning project! Washi tape is commonly used for scrapbooking, art journaling and other creative projects.

Ready, craft, go! Learn!

 

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My Playhome – useful app for teaching a language to a child

To teach children a language, native or second, I find the app My Playhome useful. It’s a dolls house app complete with a family home and a set of characters that you by drag and drop move around the house, letting them do different things. It is simple yet detailed, which makes it suitable for young kids as well as older ones. Sit next to your child and play together; asking the child to talk about what is happening, describing both the actions and the settings. You can also give instructions to the child from easy ones as “put the book on the table” to “go into the kitchen, open the top right cupboard door and take out a cupcake, have the boy eat half of it and put the other half in the trash can”.

Practice verbs by opening the refrigerator door, pour water in a glass, feed the baby and set the table.

Work on prepositions by putting objects or people in different places.

Vocabulary training is obvious, and don’t forget the adjectives! Turn the lights on and off, bring a red apple from the garden into the living room, and find the most colorful necklace in the master bedroom or put on some soft music.

Don’t forget the silly stuff – like putting dad in the fish tank or letting mom jump on the couch!

The app in itself does not contain words, only pictures.

My Playhome is available in a free Lite version and a regular version. It’s also available for Androids.

The regular version comes with characters of different ethnicity – which I think is a plus – more rooms and a garden.

Have fun!

Cultural parenting – of course! But which cultures?

Parenting styles can vary from family to family. But there are also differences between countries, or should I say cultures. We appreciate different values, which are likely to impact our upbringing of the children. Sometimes they are easily spotted, sometimes they are not. Concept of time for instance is a good example. Coming from a culture where being on time is considered important and a courtesy, I found it annoying at times as a foreign student working in groups with others that were happily an hour late for study meetings. No surprise that we soon found out that Germans and Swedes worked well together!

As always, awareness of the values and set of rules can lead to a better understanding, and less annoyance; tolerance. In the case of time, I simply learnt to agree on another time with the students I knew would be – in my world – an hour late.

Being a parent or not; moving into a new culture you will be exposed to the impact of cultural differences. As a parent a playground is a perfect location for observation and “study”. It´s fascinating that you often can tell from the parents’ responses to their children’s behavior from which country they are. I have encountered societies where one believes that adults should not interfere when children are “playing”. In the beginning I just assumed they did not care; now I hope they care but still want the kids to solve problems on their own. I have also experienced children being constantly corrected and taught. Swedes are normally somewhere in between these two parenting styles; of course, I would like to add with a touch of irony– after all we are the land of “lagom” (just enough) and “mellan” (in the middle).

There are also differences when it comes to physical punishment (illegal in Sweden) and scolding in public. Some people want other parents to know they are dealing with the matter, and some don´t.

Another, always hot, topic is whether it is considered acceptable for a parent to deal with someone else’s child.

I do believe that the culture you are currently living in influences your parenting. It is a way of fitting in, of accepting the hosting society but also grabbing the good stuff!

It is interesting once you start thinking in terms of cultural parenting. What are the cornerstones of your culture/-s when it comes to raising children? Which are the strengths? Have you added anything from your host culture?

Perhaps you are even a slightly different parent in another location! And by that I am not referring to the newly relocated, stressed and culture shocked parent …