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MKs and TCKs

Books and Articles

Parenting MKs/TCKs

  • Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds Ruth E. Van Reken and Michael V. Pollock (2010), in this 3rd edition of the ground-breaking, global classic, have significantly updated what is widely recognized as The TCK Bible. Emphasis is on the modern TCK and addressing the impact of technology, cultural complexity, diversity & inclusion, and transitions. Includes new advice for parents and others for how to support TCKs as they navigate work, relationships, social settings, and their own personal development.
  • A Parent’s Guide to Raising Kids Overseas by Dr. Jeffrey Deven (2017) Dr. Jeff Devens, psychologist, counselor and twenty-two-year veteran educator in the international school community, skillfully addresses many of the issues parents face today in the context of living in an international setting and raising “third-culture kids.
  • Raising Resilient MKs published by ACSI (1998) This volume is an encyclopedic summary of topics dealing with matters of importance in the spiritual, psychological, and educational lives of missionary kids. The contributors to this work include a number of well-known figures in the member care arena: Joyce Bowers, David Pollock, Ted Ward, John Powell, David Wickstrom, and many others. Each contributor offers considerable expertise in their respective topical areas.
  • Serving at The Ends of the Earth: Family Life and TCKs by Steve and Gill Bryant (2017) A complete guide to welfare issues from transition to family life, multilingualism to on-line safety, and much more with many personal stories included. The educational section considers the many options with their pros and cons, plus long-term planning, special needs, and international school comparisons.
  • "Are Missionary Kids Missionaries?" from Christianity Today

Transition Resources for Families

For Children

  • My Very Exciting, Sorta Scary, Big Move: A workbook for children ages 5-11 moving to a new home, by Lori Woodring, PhD. Now available in Spanish (Mi Gran Mudanza, muy emocionante y un poco aterradora)! This award winning book makes one of the most stressful life events for kids - moving - a little less hectic and a little more exciting. It guides kids from worry to wonder and fear to new friends.
  • Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move by Judith Viorst. Alexander is not going to leave his best friend Paul. Or Rachel, the best babysitter in the world. Or the Baldwins, who have a terrific dog named Swoozie. Or Mr. and Mrs. Oberdorfer, who always give great treats on Halloween. Who cares if his father has a new job a thousand miles away? Alexander is not – Do you hear him? He Means it! – going to move.
  • It Will be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change by Lysa TerKeurst (2014) Little Seed and Little Fox are facing changes and brand new circumstances—and they don’t like it one bit! Through this unlikely friendship, children will discover that no matter how new or fearful their circumstances, God is always with them. The whimsical art by Natalia Moore will put a smile on kids’ faces and put their minds at ease. Just as Little Seed and Little Fox learn to trust that the Farmer is good and kind, children will also learn to trust God.
  • Swirly by Sara Saunders (2012) Lila isn't just like her yellow friends or her blue cousins, so she feels as though she doesn't fit in anywhere. But when she meets another swirly kid and his swirly mom, she finds out that she does belong somewhere . . . with a very special swirly Someone.
  • Peanut Butter Friends in a Chop Suey World by Deb Brammer (1995) Amy is excited to move to Taiwan with her parents and become a real missionary, but she soon finds that being a missionary is a lot different than she thought it would be. This book for kids aged 9-12 gives an inside view of missionaries and the cultural adjustments they need to make.

For Teens

  • Hiding in the Hallway: Anchoring Yourself as an MK by Jeanne Harrison (2017) Written specifically to missionary teens, Hiding in the Hallways offers MKs a biblical context for their faith in light of their unique circumstances, challenges, and opportunities. Filled with personal anecdotes, former MK Jeanne Harrison champions gospel relevancy and the need for MKs to continue to filter their lives through a biblical worldview. Covering seven main areas relevant to the missionary teen life both on and off the missions field, this book also includes a chapter for parents to help foster discussion with their teens.
  • Arrivals, Departures, and the Adventures In-Between by Christopher O’Shaugnessy (2014) This is a book of adventures to help identify some of those challenges and use some of those skills in your own life - which is important because you've got more to contribute to the world than you realize.
  • Footsteps Around the World by Beverly Roman (2005) Footsteps Around the World offers domestic and international advice to help teens deal with their complex feelings about moving, organize their belongings, prepare for college and part-time job interviews, select new schools, tips to make new friends, maximize their experience and more.
  • Habitudes for the Journey: The Art of Navigating Transitions by Dr. Tim Elmore (2013) Habitudes for the Journey illustrates issues such as boundaries, resilience, values, decision-making, risk taking, focus, goals, and more. Full-color photographs throughout the book also make it a keeper for students to use and to teach from after they have gone through it themselves. Many schools are using this book to challenge their entire student body to become leaders and to nurture a thriving leadership culture on their campus and organization. It is ideal for college first-year experience programs, seniors preparing to graduate, anyone who is preparing to navigate life's transitions. Target Age Range: 16-24 years old

For Older MKs/TCKs

Other Good Reads



  • SHARE Education Services provides consulting, testing, and resources to families making all varieties of schooling choices including: International school, International Christian school, homeschool, online learning, and boarding school throughout Europe and Eurasia. SHARE Conferences are great opportunities for learning and member care:
    • Seminars for parents will assist you in making informed educational decisions for your family.
    • Examine new resources for educating children and consult individually with educators and counselors who care about your family’s unique needs.
    • Educational assessment in English available for children and teens.
    • Quality programs for children and teens offer activities for building relational and academic skills.
  • Asia Education Resource Consortium provides resources, testing, and consulting for families serving in Asia. AERC is based in Chiang Mai, Thailand where an annual family conference is held.

Homeschooling Information

Online Schooling Options

MKs and College Transitions

  • The Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transition by Tina Quick (2010) Now there is a guide book to help these students understand what takes place in re-entry and/or transition and gives them the tools and strategies they need to not only survive but to thrive in the adjustment. This is the first book written to and for students who have been living outside their “passport” countries but are either returning “home” or transitioning on to another host country for college/university. It addresses the common issues students face when they are making the double transition of not only adjusting to a new life stage but to a cultural change as well. Parents will appreciate the chapter dedicated to how they can come alongside their students, prepare them for the journey and support them throughout this major transition.
  • How to Stay Christian in College by J. Budziszewski (2014) When students go to college, they’re leaving behind their network of support and heading to a world with different perspectives, responsibilities, and expectations. Even for those going to Christian colleges, there’s no guarantee they won’t face challenges to their faith. So how do students stay Christian in college? How do they stay open about their faith in the face of potential ridicule?
  • Letting Them Go: Prepare your Heart, Prepare your Child for Leaving Home by Dave Veerman (This book is NOT specific to MK's/ TCK's but is an excellent resource nonetheless)

Special Needs in Education

  • Equipping Minds is an outstanding resource for learning challenges and struggles. They will train you in cognitive brain exercises for you to work with your child or they are your child via Skype/Zoom. They love overseas workers!
  • Freddie Wagner consultant for learning challenges, particularly helpful for those in Asia
  • Learn Differently Kathy Kuhl offers excellent support for the struggling learner.
  • Sharon Hensley Consulting - available for online consultations
  • is an excellent resource with help on issues from dyslexia to autism.
  • For Canadians, Learning Disabilities Association of Canada, with an excellent section for parents

Other Educational Resources

Other Helpful Resources

Counseling Centers

Organizations serving MKs and their Families

  • Barnabas International offers re-entry seminars for MKs.
  • Interaction International is a great resource for parents, teachers, and others who work with TCKs and MKs. Their resources include children's books about moving and transition. This website also gives information about the Pre-field Education Workshop for Parents and Re-entry Programs.
  • Canadian MK Network provides reBoot seminars for MKs and a growing network of MK caregivers.

Retreats and Seminars

  • Grow2Serve has a course on Parenting Third Culture Kids
  • Parent-Led Debrief - Don’t have the time, money, or opportunity for a family debrief? Don’t let that keep your family from debriefing, check out this resource from TCK Training
  • ReBoot retreats for MKs transitioning to Canada and for young adult MKs
  • In Canada, the More Network Debriefing 101 and Re-View and The Emmaus Journey (Beracah counselling)

TCKs and Grief


Websites/ Blogs/ Podcasts

  • Michele Phoenix is a TCK advocate, writer, blogger, speaker, and adult TCK her grew up in Europe. Michele served at Black Forest Academy in Germany. Her website offers MK/TCK resources.
  • The Pondering Purple Podcast Michèle Phoenix, an international speaker and writer on issues related to Third Culture Kids, highlights her most popular and helpful articles in a format to consume on the go.
  • MK Lounge FB group: Michele Phoenix is one of the admins
  • A Life Overseas is a website written by an adult TCK who is a mother to TCKs. “The blog collective ‘A Life Overseas’ provides that place of online connection for Christ-following missionaries and humanitarian aid workers living in foreign countries– from the past, present, or future.”
  • Better than Gold This blog is authored by Anne and Neil Hampton. They offer some great resources including the Biblical basis for the theology of risk and suffering. They have almost 25 years of cross-cultural ministry experience including a long lockdown while serving in Afghanistan.
  • This is Ruth Van Reken’s website (Co-Author of Third Culture Kids ), includes a blog and other information.
  • The mission of mk2mk is to build a global spiritual movement of MKs who impact their world for Christ. The vision of mk2mk is to build a global, spiritual movement of missionary kids who impact their world for Christ. As a part of Campus Crusade for Christ, their focus is primarily the MKs in their organization; however, all MKs are welcome to be part of this community.
  • TCKidNow TCKid’s mission is to increase and support the individual and general awareness of the TCK experience and unique gifts by facilitating connection and community engagement. Their site has additional an definition of a “CCK: Cross Cultural Kid” with several sub definitions.
  • TCK Training has a mission #1: To come alongside you with support and encouragement as you raise your Third Culture Kids to be healthy, whole, uniquely beautiful individuals! #2: To educate those who support TCKs about prevention of common challenges that TCKs face in adulthood.
  • Libby Stephens served many years on staff at Black forest Academy in Germany. She was a leading spokesperson for TCKs and MKs. Her website is a bit dated, but still provides helpful resources for families engaged in cross-cultural work.
mks_tcks.txt · Last modified: 2020/07/03 11:22 by lisaredell

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