From this side of the ocean, I don’t have a chip on my shoulder. Those little moments of laughter or mimicking or side comments are natural and usually not out of a mean, mocking spirit. Perhaps it’s more a reaction to what a normal monocultural ought to look like. Or, out of this strange place of familiar-unfamiliar, as if to say:
“I remember what those kids sounded like before but they sure sound different today, and I feel uncomfortable. I remember when they played games similar to my childhood, and now I feel judged for the life I lead, as if it wasn’t good enough for them. They were more like my life before, and I miss what we once had.”
Please know that their world is not a judgment of your life. Sure, they don’t fit your paradigm, and this may bring up a host of emotions within you. Those certainly deserve to be processed with skilled professionals. Skilled professionals – because our children are not the right people to carry your pain and frustration.
Unfiltered, your laughter or side comments or untactful gifts reminding them of what they should be according to so-called normal standards all build that wall of rejection towards them. One day, the moments TCKs were rejected by their own family will become just another source of grief the Third Culture Kid in your life will carry around, trying so hard to make sense of his world.
What an honor to guest post on the MKB website this month on the subject of Third Culture Kids. You can read the whole article on MulticulturalKidBlogs.com here.