Same Same but Different (Common Thai Saying)
Updated from 2013 – with excitement about the Families in Global Transition Early Bird forum on the empty nest and parenting adult TCK children.
My kids are TCK’s, but I am still a first culture kid, so we don’t always do things in the same way. Saying goodbye is the same for us but “different.”
I feel I am a first cultural or monoculture person since I spent my first 18 years living in the state of Kansas, USA. It was only after I turned 18 did I start moving around. Now I am a Triangle.
For me, there’s always a sense of regret associated with saying goodbye.
For my TCK children, goodbye is usual. They expect to say goodbye – again and again. Because of the lifestyle we choose, they have learned more about goodbyes than anyone should ever know.
As a Parent – I am Hoping Goodbye Means Growth
Some of us have been preparing our children for this event since the moment they were born. I mean we have been teaching them to become independent. The task of parenting never ends, but we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as having to constantly be scanning the emails for potential concerns of deterrents to our child’s future aspirations. Don’t tell me that I am the only parent who looked at PowerSchool?
Some of us will have difficulty resisting the urge to hover (helicopter), others will gladly send your child off on their way and begin to carve out new lives for yourselves by making new family plans. And some of us will be fighting the empty nest sensation we are forced to face.
As my children head off back to University or their current job; I realize that we all need to do the same things. We need to stay active. We need to look at things with anticipation. We need to focus on our future. They, of course, on their field of study and what possible future careers they might want, I on what I can do with my new found freedom.
One key thing is that we both must say farewell to family life as we knew it. This is crucial since our family will not be just a family of four. We now have things like ‘research experience for undergrads’ and ‘special friends’ that we have to carve into our vacation plans.
We will all need to work on understanding that life goes on, people grow and move forward even in our absence.I feel we are well prepared for this exciting journey, and we will be able to thrive, but we will indeed think fondly of this chapter of our life. This was our last Christmas as a ‘foursome’! We celebrated 2013 in Thailand as a family of four with our Dog Raja. It was the last time we were all together for a holiday -alone.
There is not enough research and information about expats with adult TCK children. My focus has always been in the early years, so I too have a lot to learn. I did appreciate a blog post about TCK’s goodbyes. If you have some great ideas, please post them so others can benefit from this.
I am so excited to see this Early Bird Forum at the Families in Global Transition Conference in The Hague, March 23rd, 2017.
This one will be GREAT!
|Empty Nest and Parenting Adult Kids Early Bird Forum
When our expat kids leave home, many leave the country too. Instead of things getting easier many unforeseen issues arise. So, what happens to your identity now? How do you care for your parents, ATCKs and your partner while still making time for yourself? What should you do when your kids drop out, get depressed or get lonely? You’re getting older too, so how do you stay positive when problems rear their heads, and you feel compelled to jump on a plane to sort things out?
Come listen to the wisdom of our specialist panel of mentors, educators, psychologists, and parents who feel that the paragraph above describes their life. Ask your questions and help us to start an open discussion about what matters most.
This session will kick-off research into what will later become a book published by Summertime Publishing in time for FIGT 2018.
Notes_ My daughter said it was sad to hear the answering machine just mention two adults names now (no kids). We all know that our son will find it hard to say goodbye to his life-long BFF our dog Raja. But I never knew how hard it was going to be for me to say goodbye to Raja.