And so it begins!

Hello again readers!

I am finally getting to the point in the year where I am starting to collect data from TCKs.  Last Saturday I conducted my first focus group!!! A focus group is just a group interview.  There were 7 of us total: 4 adult TCKs (all missionary kids), my professor, a friend who is an anthropologist, and me.  Here are some of the most interesting things I heard:

  1. Missionary kids move a lot!  I kind of knew this, but I never really thought much about it.  Missionaries typically leave the field ever 3 or 4 years to spend a year on furlough, or what missionary kids like to call “vacation” J
  2. Relationships are a big deal:  I heard a lot comments about the difficulty, and sometimes the ease, of constantly making new friends.  For those in the focus group, there was a great desire (almost an expectation) to jump into deep relationships quickly with new friends.  Skip the weather-talk and really get into talk about personal growth and experiences and the deepness of life.
  3. Technology is a gift and a curse:  The TCKs made comments that suggested that email and skype and facebook were great resources for maintaining close relationships with friends from all over the world.  However, it was also mentioned that these same sites can prevent a TCK from embracing the transition between cultures.  Seriously, you never have to leave “home” if you are constantly on facebook or emailing friends.  But it’s also a necessary part of transition to loosen the grip on the past culture and fully embrace the new culture
  4. The Moving Itch: All 4 of the TCKs in the group feel the need for change or have taken jobs that require travel (truck driver, military, international corporations).  Even after becoming an adult and having the option to settle and plant roots, all 4 of the TCKs in the group continued to move and travel , almost as much as they had as kids.

Now, the group only had 4 people in it, so it’s not like everything I heard applies to every TCK, but this is just the beginning!  Over the years, I will be talking with tons of TCKs to learn more and more and more so that things will be more accurate and applicable.

Even though I have read about many of these traits of TCKs, it is so cool to hear about it in person.  I am getting more and more excited to see what comes next!  Especially the stuff about technology being an obstacle to transitions!  Good stuff, right?!

4 thoughts on “And so it begins!”

  1. This is fantastic! I’m really looking forward to following your research and seeing what comes out of your conversations with other TCKs. I love writing about this topic (and hope to publish articles on it someday) so it would be great to exchange emails sometime about your research and your findings, if you’re interested.

    Also, you may be interested in the Families in Global Transition Conference and research, which covers all aspects of global families (expats, TCKs etc). There’s some information about it on my latest blog post.

    I’m really looking forward to reading more about your research and findings, so thanks for sharing it here! Have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks Dounia! I’m excited for what you continue to do as well! I have been getting really excited to think about future research I would like to do. Especially concerning boarding school experiences. Thanks for the FIGT recommendation. I recently heard someone else suggest it, so I signed up for the researchers list. I would love to stay in contact! My email is Thanks for adding to the world’s knowledge of TCKs!

      1. You’re very welcome! 🙂 I hope that FIGT can provide some interesting research or information for you. Thanks for your contact info – I’ll probably send you an email shortly! Good luck with your research and keep us all posted!

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