Data stirs things up. It makes us think. Opens our eyes. Boils our blood.
But it changes nothing.
I love Statistics. Especially the cultural ones. I geek out on the numbers that peel back the layers and show me something new about myself . . . my family . . . this life abroad.
Did you know that an expat moves every 44 seconds?
I’ve met that guy . He was exhausted.
Did you know that if you raise your kids abroad you increase their likelihood of staying married, getting a college degree, speaking a foreign language and desiring to raise their own kids abroad.
You also increase their likelihood of feeling rootless, restless, homeless, and like a foreigner in their own passport country.
Google it. The data is there. Tons of it. More now than ever before.
But knowing information doesn’t change anything. It takes creativity to do that.
I get to learn a lot about TCK’s and there are two very distinct forces that drive my understanding.
One — I teach this stuff.
Two — I have some living in my home.
On the one hand it is my job to know the data, stay up on the research and communicate the concepts to parents who are living or moving abroad. What I’m discovering though, is that I can know all about TCK’s and not know my own.
Someone needs to translate the numbers into real life stuff. Practical stuff. Actionable.
Unfortunately most (not all) of the training and the seminars and the websites lean disproportionately towards reporting data and understanding theory versus practical application and creative solutions (I know mine has).
So let’s change that. Let’s soak up all the facts and figures that we can wrap our brains around and then say, “SO NOW WHAT?”
How can I balance what I KNOW with what I DO?
- If I KNOW my kids will probably feel rootless what can I DO to ground them?
- If I KNOW they’ll feel disconnected from the place I call home what can I DO to reconnect them?
- If I KNOW their lives are going to be marked by transition and change what can I DO to give them something rock solid?
- If I KNOW that they look at a world map and see real people (not just stereotypes) what can I DO to celebrate that with them? (because that’s pretty cool)
- If I KNOW that “goodbye” is always going to be a hard reality for them what can I DO to help them stay connected to their global network of great friends and great family? (because that’s pretty cool too)
- If I KNOW that they take pride in where they’ve been what can I DO when we cross the border to a brand new place that will mark that moment in their minds for the rest of their lives and remind them that borders are not boundaries?
I’ve got the answer . . . ready for it?
Here it is — start somewhere.
That’s it. Do something. One thing. Anything that goes beyond a cerebral processing of facts into a place of real connection with your kids and the things that make their lives unique. Do something that breathes life into the data.
- Have a conversation.
- Ask a question.
- Do a project.
- Write a song.
- Learn together.
- Go exploring.
- Draw a picture.
- Build a robot.
- Dance like you think you know how.
THEN — Tell someone else about it. Creativity is inspiring and frankly, those of us who get stuck in the data, could use a little inspiration.
I’ll go first (I’m actually pretty excited about this).
If you don’t know where to start but really want to connect with your kids. If you are convinced that there is something good about having a global family and want to make the most of it, sign up below and I’ll send you CREATIVE ABROAD: 10 Simple Ideas That Will Strengthen Your Global Family.
It is exactly what it sounds like. I’ve started with the data, the facts, the stats and the concepts and asked the question, “So now what?”
It’s a short little ebook and it’s FREE.
Promise me this . . . try one of them. Pick one. Doesn’t matter which — just start somewhere.
Tweak it. Customize it. Make it your own and then tell someone what you did. Inspire them.
- Comment below (I would love to hear your story).
- Share it with your friends, your team or your community.
- Post what you did on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever.
- Pass this post on to someone else.
Got another idea? Great. Share that too. There is a global network of people like us who have seen the data and have good ideas.
We should talk more — because creativity changes things.
It just does.
Subscribe below and get the book for free.