By: Delana H Stewart
Third Culture Kids and hostile environments. Just open a news site in your web browser and you will see hostile environments left and right: Ukraine, Syria, Nigeria, Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen. How can parents help their children process what they are hearing, seeing, being exposed to on a daily basis?
“Hostility and danger have always been present in our world and a part of many people’s lives. In fact, most of the earliest recorded TCKs were raised in a culture other than their parents’ culture because an entire nation was conquered and taken into captivity. So in one sense, hostile environments are not a new issue TCKs face.”—Matthew Neigh, Interact, Oct.1999
Consider doing a family study on Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Look at it from a standpoint of TCK issues.
- How might/did they deal with such things as anxiety, bitterness, family or school (work, language) tension?
- How were they involved in making the most of their situation, changing their situation, or relying on God?
- Did they know how long their stay would be? How long would they serve God in this foreign land, in this foreign tongue? Whether becoming a TCK because of war, work, ministry, or something else, how is our Christian walk impacted? How does it impact those around us?
- This would definitely be something you would involve your kids on (at age appropriate levels of conversation). Help them unpack their concerns, just as you would assist them in unpacking everything else. Using Daniel and his buddies for a conversation starter might be just the way to draw your kids into the issues you/they face.
Helping Children Be Safe in the Home (Developing a Safety Plan)