How can I help my TCK with unresolved grief?
AnswerParents can help their children with unresolved grief which happens to be the number one reason adult TCKs show up in a therapist’s office. There are many reasons grief does not get resolved and parents can play a large part in helping their children deal with loss and grief. Allowing a child to be sad and spending time in the sorrow is a huge step. Allow the child to talk about and name his losses. That can be difficult to do because many losses are intangible. In one airplane ride everything is gone – sights, sounds, smells, relationships, roles, responsibilities, status and more. Sometimes it can be something so subtle as the taste of the milk being different. Allowing children to talk openly about what they miss and how they feel will go a long way in showing support and comfort.
Help your child figure out which is the best way to spend time with his grief. Keeping a private journal, drawing, or playing music are ways global nomads can give grief the expression it needs.
For the first-year college student, homesickness can be a very real symptom of grief. She may be an ocean away from her family, her major support system. If the family has moved or repatriated at the same time as when she left for school, then she has lost everything at once. She needs to grieve these losses. Its okay to give in to homesickness and spend some time under the bed covers listening to music, journaling, looking at year books or photo albums. Good grief is spending time with the losses, mourning them and moving forward.
Search result for 'unresolved grief' in The Global Nomad's Guide to University Transition
Chapter 3: Itchy Feet to Dragging Feet48.
"... other decide to break up, then you must decide when to do so and how to do it amicably. (More on romance in Chapter 6.) - unresolved grief – Leave and Grieve Well - If sorting out their personal identity is the greatest challenge TCKs face (see Chapter One), the second is unresolved ..."
"...If sorting out their personal identity is the greatest challenge TCKs face (see Chapter One), the second is unresolved grief, although most of the time, they may not even realize it. The high mobility lifestyle of a TCK brings with it a lot of loss. I give you a Dave Pollock quote from the TCK book which stuns me every time I read it: ..."
"...Grieving openly is good grief, but when grief is pushed under the carpet or placed somewhere else in our minds to come back to later and coming back to it never happens, we have unresolved grief – grief that has not been dealt with. unresolved grief can emerge later in life in destructive forms such as anger, rebellion, depression, isolation and even physical ailments. Such is the story of Brice, a typical TCK. ..."
Chapter 7: Insights and Tools
"...He had never heard the terms ‘third culture kid’ or ‘global nomad’. He got on the computer and came across articles about kids that had led the same kind of life he had. That’s when he read up on the TCK profile and discovered that he had been harboring unresolved grief to the point of becoming filled with pain. ..."
"...We have talked a lot about grief in the hope that TCKs will learn to address their losses, allow themselves to deal with them and come to closure so they do not have to deal with issues of unresolved grief like our friend Brice’s story. Anger is an expression of unresolved grief and may manifest itself in this time of delayed adolescent rebellion. Oftentimes this anger is directed at the parents, the perceived cause of the pain they are experiencing. The blame for all that is wrong in their ..."