Ways parents can help TCKs in cross-cultural entry

  1. Monitor your own attitude; communicate a positive, happy outlook.
  2. Be sensitive and responsive to children's stresses and needs.
  3. In a sensitive way, share your own struggles in cultural adjustment with the children.
  4. Talk the children through the "culture-shock" cycle: honeymoon, disillusionment, endurance, enjoyment. Help them to identify and talk about their love-hate feelings. Be sensitive but honest.
  5. Demonstrate your love and concern for them.
  6. Every culture has good and bad aspects. From a biblical point of view, discuss with your children some of the major trends in the society around you. Talk about God's leadership, presence, and power to keep.
  7. Together, enjoy the adventure of new (for them) things. Make a hobby of learning about the new culture. Emphasize the beauty of cultural differences.
  8. Encourage friendships.
  9. Let them participate in as many decisions as possible. Encourage mature decision making with positive comments, but point out that you don't expect adult maturity from a child.
  10. Encourage them to do their best, but avoid applying undue pressure.
  11. Provide necessary information regarding such things as dating, sex, and different values.
  12. Help the children notice styles, customs, and manners of their new homeland.
  13. Make sure your family rituals don't get lost.
  14. Assure them that you will always be there for them and will come to them if they need you.
  15. Assure them that they can visit you back on the mission field.

Taken from Don't Pig Out on Junk Food by Alma Daugherty Gordon