A critical question for every parent to think about— How do you teach ‘Serenity’ to your child?
It is an excellent time to try and get some new things built into your families’ life. Most families that I work with do not have enough down time.
We used to get some down time when we had a snow day and school was closed, my parents could not go to work and we’d have family time. Where does the concept of ‘Serenity’ come up in your child’s life? Can it come up during the summer time? Usually, expats are flung full time into a whirlwind of family and friends, but I encourage you to find some time to help your child understand the concept of serenity and peace.
Two things are very important to most people, being ‘known’ and being ‘home.’ These are even more important for your children if they are global nomads. It is important to understand the reasons that expat children have the ability to be so resilient in their ever-changing, globally nomadic lifestyle.
How resilient are you raising your children to be? Do they know about serenity?
‘Being Known’ is key in the form of mattering to someone else. Mattering needs to be local, and it needs to be reciprocal. If you take an interest in those around you, if you depend on them, and if you miss them when they are gone, then you are also likely to matter to them. And good things will result.
‘Home’ is when you feel comfortable where you are. This is one of the hardest questions for a TCK to answer. Do you mean where they were born? Do you mean which passport(s) they use for identification? Do you mean what mother tongue they speak? Or where they have lived the longest?
I was able to get both a feeling of being home and of mattering when I went to Russell Springs, Kansas in the summer while living abroad.
So I wonder
Will my kids ever feel that they belong? Will our time overseas make them worldly? Is Kansas a place where they even want to belong? Is the USA? What about our summer home in Nevada, will it ever seem like ‘home’ to them?
While ‘fitting in’ has never been high on my priorities, I would like my children to gain a feeling of belonging in the USA. Holding an American passport but having not lived in the USA – are they American? Perhaps, a university will do this for them? Or perhaps, a major job in the USA?
Time will tell. And in the meantime, it’s not a bad thing to ponder what makes anyone belong anywhere. Key things that parents need to cover with their children- summer is a great time to do this!
Steps to teach serenity to a five-year-old
1. Explain what it is.
2. Explain how you feel when you experience serenity.
3. Ask your child if they have ever felt that way – and then listen to what they say.
4. Ask your child how they would ‘set a stage’ for serenity to happen.
5. Try their suggestions this summer.
Anytime is the best time to ponder.