Children borne of expatriates or diplomatic parents live very dynamic lives. They undergo complex cultural differences and adjustments while travelling to different countries and coming into contact with various cultures.Their lifestyles can only be compared to children from military or missionary backgrounds.
As they face the difficulties of leaving a place, perhaps a little too early, and never really settling down, these "travelling children" learn to enjoy life as it comes and live in the moment.
Celebrating one birthday in Asia and the next in Africa may have its drawbacks, but all in all there are upsides to this seemingly nomadic lifestyle.
So, what makes these children unique?
- Better Exposure: They don’t live ordinary, mundane lives. They are exposed to various cultures and religious. With a healthy curiosity and patient parents, these children will learn invaluable lessons and knowledge.
- Maturity: Relocating is taxing on young children- not just their parents. They deal with difficult situations, such as: leaving friends, changing schooling methods, moving into new communities with different cultures, etc. This allows them to mature faster.
- Multilingualism: Young children pick up various languages quicker than adults; therefore they are able to learn multiple languages and speak to a variety of people.
- Relationships: They have an amazing gift when it comes to building relationships. Learning tolerance and reserving judgement gives them a natural advantage above others.
- Challenges: Facing new schooling systems (home schooling, international schooling or local schooling) mixing with different children or other expat kids and overcoming the culture and language barriers are big challenges for young children.
- Higher IQ: Expat children thrive and learn more than any other children, they will see places and experience a world that others will only ever see on TV.
You should always be willing to hear what they have to say because they will have a mountain of interesting stories to share!