I never expected the post 15 Things I Want to Tell My Third Culture Kids to explode like it did. I almost didn’t publish it.

So many emails and tweets and comments and Facebook conversations about how it encouraged you and you know what? All those tear-stained words have created something powerful. There is now, in the comment stream and in my inbox, an almost unbelievable testimony to the challenges and the joys of being or loving a TCK.

Thanks to this post, I (we) now have over 170 comments and dozens of emails that remind me I am not alone. That remind me of how incredible TCKs, and the people who love them, are. These comments are priceless. I have already returned to them, to draw encouragement and to gain perspective, and I expect I will continue to read them over the years.


As a follow-up to the post that blew up this blog, here are some ideas for what you can do with 15 Things. Many of these are ideas you sparked.

  1. Read the list out loud to your TCKs.
  2. Write your own, specific to your kids and read that one.
  3. If you aren’t a wordy-person, make a list in photos and frame it or put it in a Shutterfly book.
  4. Give the list to whomever it is that you want to understand you better: spouses, roommates, teachers, a support group, friends.
  5. If you are a TCK, write a list for your parents.
  6. Use it as a prayer list for the TCKs you know and love.
  7. Use it as a conversation-starter, to move things beyond the surface to deep waters.
  8. Share it with fellow TCKs or fellow parents and talk about your experiences, your fears, your joys.
  9. Use it to launch a 15-things styled list for a different category of person. Perhaps your homeschooled kids or your refugee friends. Something to bless and encourage and demonstrate with-ness, togetherness.
  10. Keep writing to me or on your own about your stories, I’m still working on this too and have so much to learn from your wisdom.

Thank you for sharing your hearts and your tears and your laughter, for saying that it isn’t easy and for saying that you wouldn’t change it, for holding your experiences and your children with tender faith, and for encouraging me and other readers. On the “I don’t think I’ll survive this” days and the “We must be crazy” days, I will remember your words.

Here are some links people have shared (disclaimer: a link does not mean endorsement of entire sites):

Life as a TCK, 20 Years Later

What I Wish My Mother Had Told Her Homeschool Kids

15 Things I Want to Tell My Third Culture Parents

Homeschooling and the Parent/Child Socialization Divide

A YouTube video about being a TCK in rural what-was-then Zaire (in French with English subtitles)

The Things I Want to Tell My Kids

If the article inspired you to write something and I haven’t posted it here but you’d like to share it, would you mind posting the links in the comments so others can find them?