As you plan to embark on your life in a new country, your children will come across new cultures, languages, and attitudes which will have positive effects on their personality. They will develop their view about how the world works with them in it. They will become third culture kids (TCK’s), which is a term used to describe children who are 0-18 years and have spent their lives in a culture different than their parents.
Your children will start new schools, make new friends, and also struggle to adapt to the new culture. But once they find their stride, the rest will all be history. Then you will see them flourish from thereon.
In today’s article, we will talk about the 10 ways expat life will benefit your kids. You will be surprised to know about many of them. They will exceed your expectations as they progress through their expat life. You as a parent have to be resilient because the benefits are far likely more outweighed than any downside.
Here are the top 10 benefits that expat children will get;
- Integrating into different cultures. As the saying goes, change is the only constant in this world. Since your child will experience different cultures from an early age, he will be at the benefit of learning to integrate with them early on. Learning to communicate with different people belonging to different backgrounds will enhance their communication, improve their knowledge, and give them a sharp self-confidence from a younger age. Your child will not experience any unease in dealing with people.
- Developing an understanding of the world. Through living in a different country, your expat children will be able to develop an understanding of the day-to-day difficulties faced by people. This will increase their appreciation of the variations found in different parts of the world. This appreciation will make them more empathic and considerate.
- Gathering new experiences wherever they go. Your expat children have the benefit of exploring new places, adventures, cuisines, and experiences wherever they go. They will learn something new all the time from their new friends. New ways to dress, new forms of art, new music, new culture, new food, and new traditions. They will encounter a broad sense, making them feel awestruck about the diversity of the seven billion people.
- Learning new languages. Apart from speaking their mother tongue, learning and speaking a foreign language is a luxury for most people. But your expat children will be fortunate to have this opportunity presented to them at a very young age. Don’t worry about them getting confused with the languages, because the younger they are, the easier it will be for them to learn and speak different languages. This skill will transition with them into their adulthood. Your child can luckily be bilingual or multilingual, depending on the stops you make. In today’s globalized world, language skills are an added asset.
- Ample education opportunities. Another benefit that your expat kids will get from your stay abroad is ample chances to receive higher education. They are more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree and get enrolled in the master’s and doctorate programs. A recent study in the USA on TCK’s showed they were more academically successful. Most of them have earned a bachelor’s degree and half of them have gone over to earn a post-graduate and doctorate.
- Personality development skills. Children who live abroad develop sound skills necessary to make them tolerable of the variations around them. They will learn to accept new cultures. Since they have learned to accept new people and changes at a young age, they will face lesser obstacles as they transition into their practical lives. This in itself will be an excellent education, and transform your expat kids into well-rounded adults. This personality development skill is highly sought after in today’s ever-changing world.
- Family bonding opportunity. Hopping from one station to another will give your family a chance to bond and stick together. Initially, your child will have difficulty adhering to new space, and making new friends. He will miss his old friends and will be heavily reliant on his parents and siblings to comfort him provide him entertainment and interact with him socially. This time can be turned into a very positive prospect for your family as you all can spend quality time together. You can choose to be the rock for each other during the turbulent times.
- Problem-solving skills. TCK’s are more open to new changes, as this is what they have experienced throughout their life. They are forced to overcome the challenges related to the new school, making new friends, learning a new language, and fitting in an entirely new culture. These challenges will make your child think of new ways to communicate and behave and teach them skills to solve problems in all facets of life.
- New is not bad. We as adults are resilient to change. Kids surprisingly have very positive energy, and when they move abroad, they easily adapt to the new surroundings. Rather you can learn from them how they do this. Accepting and embracing a new change makes your children enjoy their life to the fullest.
- Immersion in different cultures. As mentioned above, your expat children are forced to embrace new changes and have to learn to live among new people. They discover new languages, are introduced to diverse religions and traditions, and this makes them appreciate the variety life offers them as they travel the world. As a result, they will be able to immerse themselves in the diversity every nation has to offer and emerge as true citizens of the world.
So you can see, moving abroad can have such a positive impact on your children. Not only will your move benefit you and your career, but this will empower your kids by imparting them with necessary skills. This will allow them to lead a well-structured, rounded-off life that is indeed fulfilling.