ICC for Children: Course Review

Concluding Remarks

Throughout these sessions, your child/children have been learning effective leave-taking skills through REAL, which gives a step-by-step process to take. We highly encourage you to continue discussing these ideas with your children in the coming weeks/months, reminding them of the steps they plan to take over the course of this transition. 

We believe that these sessions on mobility, transition, personal and cultural identity, and problem-solving skills can be very helpful as you relocate. These sessions will continue to be available through the website if you desire to refer back to them. Additionally, we’ve offered you a summary of the “TCK Thoughts” spread throughout the lessons and additional resources for parents of MKs below.

Many of the ideas and concepts were generated and adapted from New Kid in School by Debra Rader and Linda Harris Sittig. Our special thank you to Margaret Stockwell of ANCHOR for the permission to use REAL.

If I can be of help to you in the future please contact me at May God’s blessing rest upon you and your children in your relocation.

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TCK Thoughts Recap

Stages of Transition: The ADAPT Model (Session 2, Lesson 3)

There are different stages in making a move to another location. We use the ADAPT model to talk about those stages.


A –  All is well. (Involvement Stage)

This is where you and your family live in a community and are a part of different groups like: homeschooling cooperative, church, sport league, etc. All is well, you belong here.

When do you see this with Peter and Robert or in another video we have seen? Share your “all is well” story.


D – Don’t want to go, or do I? (Leaving Stage)

This is when you or your family find out you are leaving to move to another place. You can have many emotions at this stage. You and your family can be excited, scared, sad. Remember Alexander’s story. What did you feel when you knew you were moving to …….?


A – Anything is possible! (Transition Stage)

This happens when you actually leave your home. You and your family can feel scared, happy, excited or many other emotions and those emotions come and go. You don’t know what will happen. So you can say, “Anything is possible!” This is a very important time to talk with your parents and God about what you are feeling.  In Dandelions, how did Zoe and her sister feel during this time?


P – Perhaps this isn’t too bad. (Entering Stage)

This is when you have begun to settle into your new location. You begin to recognize places and people and begin to adapt to new sounds, foods, school, etc. This is when you may think well, “Perhaps this isn’t so bad.” In our next session we will talk some about the stages of cultural stress/shock that you may experience during this stage but then we can adapt and move into this entering stage.


T – This is OK! (Reinvolvement Stage) 

This is when you feel comfortable and at home and can say “This is OK!” This may/will take time.


Remember it is important to keep old friends and make new ones.


Application Questions: "Stellaluna" (Session 3, Lesson 1)

What does it mean to adapt? (to change your behavior so that it is easier to live in a particular place or situation.

What are some different ways Stellaluna adapted while living with the birds?

What are some of the ways you have adapted or will need to adapt to your life when you move?

What are some of the things from your passport culture that you will continue while in your host country?



Application Questions: "A Country Far Away" and "Little Blue and Little Yellow" (Session 3, Lesson 2)

Is it possible to “stay the same color” when we adapt?

Think about yourself, your family, and the different cultures that are a part of your life.  What are some of the things you have gained from your friends’ culture that are now a part of your life?

Remember, our lives are enriched by another culture.  Are there traditions that your family will take with you wherever you go?  Share these.


Steps of Cultural Stress (Session 3, Lesson 2)

Steps of Cultural Stress:

  • Fun – Honeymoon stage – all is new, different and fun.
  • Flight – Avoidance – I don’t like this.
  • Fight – Anger – Different + bad and/or mockery = feeling foolish.
  • Fit – Tolerate being different; understanding different but reasonable; creativity different but open to interaction/ transaction.

Remember that prayer can do a lot to assist you in moving through these stages so that you can reach the Fit stage.

Read Psalm 139:1-18.

Discuss how God has it in His plan for them to be MKs.  In fact, God may be planning on doing great things through you

Application Questions: "The Lotus Seed" (Session 4, Lesson 1)

Let us explore the stages of transition experienced by the story characters in “The Lotus Seed”

How is transition different for those forced to leave quickly and under difficult circumstances?

What were the signs of culture shock the grandmother experienced?  Have you ever felt this way?

Sometimes you can’t take a treasured item with you because it is too big or too heavy.

What are other ways to “carry” the memory of these things with you?

REAL Recap (Session 4, Lesson 3)

Review acrostic for REAL:  Write REAL longwise in bold letters on the paper.

  • Repair– make peace with others, ask for forgiveness if needed.
  • Explain – tell people why you are moving and then tell people what they mean to you and thank them.
  • Adios   – say goodbye to people, places, pets, and possessions.
  • Look Ahead – look forward to the new things you will gain.

Additional Resources

Sojourner’s Workbook: A Guide to Thriving Cross-Culturally by Connie Befus
This book helps process the stresses of living cross-culturally.

Making Peace with Change: Navigating Life’s Messy Transitions with Honesty and Grace by Gina Brenna Butz *
Change is hard, but Gina Brenna Butz shares how God is working in the difficult times. Instead of resigning ourselves to merely trying to survive change, it is possible to make peace with change.

The Messy Mobile Life by Mariam Navaid Ottimofior  
Comprises personal reflection, expert advice, and survey research to help take a family from mess to a life created by design.

A Portable Identity: A Woman’s Guide to Maintaining A Sense of Self While Moving by Debra R. Bryson and Charise M. Hoge
This book is written by two former expatriate spouses who are also counselors. The book educates and empowers expatriate spouses to take charge of the changes in identity that occur during an international relocation.

After the Boxes are Unpacked: Moving on After Moving In by Susan Miller
Not specifically about cross-cultural adjustment but about moving and the loneliness, trauma, needs, challenges that accompany it. Addressed specifically to women, but applicable to whole family. Organized in three sections: letting go, starting over, moving ahead.

Arrivals, Departures and the Adventures In-Between by Christopher O’Shaughnessy
Everyone’s got a story to tell. Growing up and transitioning cross-culturally can present unexpected challenges and bestow surprising skills. This is a book of adventures to help identify some of those challenges and use some of those skills.

Burn-up or Splash Down: Surviving the Culture Shock of Re-entry by Marion Knell
Just like a space shuttle struggles and strains to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere, so those returning from living overseas can find themselves confused and in a state of panic at coming home. While people anticipate that going overseas will require major changes in their lifestyles and thinking, few anticipate the difficulties they will face upon return.

Changing Zip Codes: Finding Community Wherever You’re Transplanted by Carol G. Stratton
The author of this book is very experienced in moving (22 moves in the US) and offers some helpful insights to help those moving to cling to their faith during times of change. Although her experiences have all been domestic moves, her suggestions and insights are easily transferable for international moves. See also her website: Carol G Stratton.

Expatriate Relocation: How to Handle the Emotional Issues When Relocating by Gundryn Kittel-Thong
Moving is one of the more stressful times in a person’s life, and that is compounded when the relocation involves moving to another country. Covering the chronological experiences and emotional phases people go through when relocating, particularly internationally, Gudrun Kittel-Thong’s comprehensive guide can help prevent (most) of the pitfalls that await.

The Expert Expat: Your Guide to Successful Relocation Abroad by Melissa Brayer Hess and Patricia Linderman
The book’s practical advice and encouragement help to ease challenges and create rewarding experiences while living abroad.

Families on the Move by Marion Knell
This book helps these parents take their kids through the awkward and frustrating third-culture kid moments.

Looming Transitions: Starting and Finishing Well in Cross-Cultural Service by Amy Young
When facing a transition, many tend to focus on what is coming or what is being left behind rather than focusing on the process of transition. Yet thinking about the process can make the difference between a smooth entry and re-entry or a decidedly bumpy landing. This guide deals with the practical issues of transition.

Moving with Kids: 25 Ways to Ease Your Family’s Transition to a New Home by Lori Collins Burgan
A no-nonsense, compassionate guide to helping children deal with the stress, trauma, and potential excitement of relocating.

Raising Global Nomads: Parenting Abroad in an On-Demand World by Robin Pascoe
In her fifth book for expatriate families, the author recounts with honesty and trademark humour what worked for her family and shares the hard lessons learned.

Returning Well: Your Guide to Thriving Back “Home” by Melissa Chaplin
Returning Well invites you into a guided conversation with your Creator that will reveal and apply invaluable insights as you reflect on your recent season of cross-cultural service. By using Returning Well, you will discover how this season influenced you, how to re-integrate well, and what moving forward in faith means for you.

Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds by David Pollock, Ruth Van Reken & Michael V. Pollock
The “premiere” book on TCKs with many insights and recommendations regarding helping them maximize the advantages of their lifestyle and working through the challenges.

Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes by William Bridges
The author takes readers step by step through the stages of any transition. He explains how each stage can be understood and embraced, leading to meaningful and productive movement into a hopeful future.

Raising Up A Generation of Healthy Third Culture Kids by Lauren Wells
The author provided a gentle guide and a healthcare primer which is unique to TCK literature.

Third Culture Kids A Gift to Care For by Ulrika Envik
The author provides parents, TCKs, and sending organizations to understand and help TCK in very practical ways. It provides many hands-on activities.


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