Mindful parenting during transition

Despite our move’s hectic life schedule last month, I finished two short books about TCK (Third Culture Kid). I am TCK myself just didn’t realize it until I read it. I vividly remember the first day I went to the new school in Buenos Aires when I was 9 years old. I was placed with 3rd graders, with kids not familiar with Asian people, without understanding a word of Spanish, watching everybody as if I was an alien. I don’t remember how I slowly transitioned to adapt to the situation, but that first time, the shock was tremendous. I also remember that my parents didn’t really ask me how I was doing, not that I blamed them because they were busy and worried about making a living there.

One year later after that first day, I was sent back to Shanghai by myself (from Tokyo where my parents stayed for 2 years) alone at age 10. Again, entering to a new school, fortunately people similar to me and I could understand their language. Yet, I had to learned to adapt again.

I am still not sure if all the transitions, 12 schools in total, did any harm to me. I do know that I became more adaptable, resilient, and learned to control what I could control.

I love my parents and I know they did everything they could to take care of me. But for my children, I want to be there with them, for them more during the transitions.

Since we moved, I spend at least 1-2 hours at night with the girls, starting from the moment I step into our home. I ask about their days, listening to their stories while we have dinner. Instead of 2 min in the dark to end our day, we spend 30-40 min in bed talking. The topics could be as “big” as their new friendships, as small as planning our weekend. We all enjoy those moments, a great way to unwind, to bond, and to establish this communication channel for the girls.

Update on Lizzy: her stool test came back normal. I suspect it was food indigestion as she ate a lot during Sunday lunch. She also might have gotten a cold when she went to the playroom which is very cold. Yesterday she spent time at home and was fever free in the afternoon. I am giving her some syrup for the cough, and it improved a lot in one day. Today she went to school. I asked the teacher to observe her, if anything, we will just pick her up.

3 thoughts on “Mindful parenting during transition

  1. 12 schools. Wow! That is a lot of transitions for you over the years. Resilient indeed.

    I’m so glad that Lizzy is feeling better. Poor girl. But I love how intentional you’re being about helping the girls settle in to their new routines. Quality AND quantity are so important, especially at moments of big change.

    You’re doing a great job ❤


  2. I think parenting styles have really changed from our parents generation to our generation. I was 1 of 5 kids and my parents both worked so they didn’t have time for the high-touch parenting my kids experience. My parents did the best they could but they had a lot going on! And they didn’t know as much about mental health as our generation does. Like I was clearly very depressed in middle school/early high school. But I grew up in a tiny town of 500 people and only had 28 kids in my class. So I did not “find my people” until I went to college. My kids will have a different experience since we live in a metro area with a diverse population.

    Glad Lizzy is feeling better!!


  3. I can’t really relate to moving around or adapting to new places, because I’ve lived in the same state my whole life! I currently live about 1 hour from where I grew up. I think about this sometimes. I really like generally living in the same area, and that I had so much consistency growing up. I LOVED my house, my community, my friends, etc. so so much. I feel those were probably the best days of my life! But, that being said, I do think it would be so interesting to move around a lot and experience life in different places. I have said before to my husband that I wish I could live 10 times over, to have a different life each time. Like in one life, I mostly stay put (lots of routine/ same). In the next life, maybe I move all around. In another life, I live in the mountains in a small village. In another life, I live in a beachfront home. Maybe in another I live in a big metropolitan city. 🙂 It would be interesting to actually grow up and truly BE from each of those different places, too, not just pass through for a little while. I would love to try it. Like a cat with 9 lives, haha!


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