Growing up between different cultures can be extremely tricky for young people, especially bearing in mind that they are already navigating the road of adolescence in a complex digital, pandemic-era world. And two new courses in April, May and June at the International Institute (c/Miguel Ángel, Madrid), are set to help parents and educators with the these unique challenges that being a Cross Culture Kid or a Third Culture Kid can pose. It’s not just the kids who struggle with these unique situations but their parents and/or educators too.
Raising The Citizens Of The Future – Part One: Toddlers to Junior High School and Part Two: High School to University will be led by me – Almendra Staffa-Healy – and will consist of 5 sessions each. These will be uniquely tailored events and parents and educators are welcome to bring their own personal experiences and queries to the table. I will do my best to adapt each session according to these specific needs.
Two courses at the International Institute in Madrid will focus on Cross Culture Kids and how parents and educators can help them adapt both at home and at school
The courses will help give a clearer picture of what it’s like for Cross Culture Kids or Third Culture Kids (and believe me – I will be speaking from personal experience as a TCK and as mother of CCKs!). But they will also create a space for adults to think about what it means for them. We will be using current developmental and intercultural theories to deeply explore how we grow and what factors may shape our experiences and meaning making. There will be lots of activities to help understand the different developmental stages of kids and adolescents and I’ll give you plenty of guidance to help carry out exercise at home or at school with youngsters – to help them negotiate this confusing world that they find themselves in – and to really help them become citizens of the world.
The two courses will include the following content and much more:
Bilingualism or multilingualism. What does it mean in the family home when children speak a different language to one or both of their parents? Or in a school setting – how can educators help facilitate a seamless learning experience with various languages spoken in the class? The age of the child is obviously crucial for context and I will take into account the differences age has when talking about this subject.
Traditions and values. Whether it means celebrating Christmas Day or Los Reyes Magos (or both!), Halloween or Todos Los Santos, there are myriad traditions and customs that vary from culture to culture. During the courses we will explore the differences between a family culture and a local one and highlight why it’s crucial to understand the importance of local traditions and what values they transmit. Specific activities will work on these concepts, to help families figure out their own culture identifying their truest values, and how they fit in with the local one or the one they are learning about.
Different phases. The courses will take a deep dive into each different stage of childhood and adolescence – and all the parallel school changes from Primary through to University. How do these changes affect the young person and the development of their identity?
Emotional Intelligence. We’ll work on strategies to support the mental health of our Third Culture or Cross Culture Kids by focusing on emotional intelligence through all the different ages and stages. We’ll learn how we, as parents, guardians or educators can really help kids find their way through these complicated stages.
Of course if you’re not in Madrid and the subject matter of Cross Culture Kids interest you, I’d be delighted to hear from you. A future online version is very much a possibility and I’d love to find out from readers what they would find particularly useful, especially in terms of dates and duration. Click here to drop me a line.