Continental Kids was born on this day last year. Happy Birthday to us! You have our permission, nay, encouragement, to eat cake wherever you are in the world today.
Continental Kids was born of the idea of connecting third culture kids who are old enough to be dealing with the identity issues that come with not being like those around them, while not being old enough to take advantage of social media and all the easy and quick communication options the internet affords. Some of our readers don’t even have reliable Internet access, so there’s that, too!
Our family moved to Africa from Australia in 2017 and we noticed our kids were finding it especially tough. There are hardly any English-speaking expat kids in the entire country (about 20 that we know of) so along with being further from family and friends than we had ever been before, they didn’t know many people like them. Talk about isolated!
Connecting with expat groups on Facebook and Instagram help me feel less alone and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if our kids had something like this?’ Something that helped them feel less alone dealing with all the cross-cultural adaptation we had going on and affirming their expat lifestyle as something that could be positive and fun?
Of course, they are too young to deal with all the pitfalls of social media, but not too young to want to have a voice. I remembered how fun it was to see my own work in print when I was a kid, and that need to identify with other kids, even if the only thing we had in common was our age!
I had some ideas about the theme of HOME, some software skills, and my husband encouraged me to go for it. So on 9 January 2018 this website, our Facebook page and our Instagram feed came into being. I reached out to my social media networks inviting submissions and Issue 1: Home came along in April 2018. It is our most popular issue and has been downloaded more than 100 times. Wow! That’s 100 families whose kids are being encouraged to read about the challenges and joys of making a home overseas.
Of course, I’m also raising TCKs so I am one of the encouraged parents who are excited about the possibility of connecting our littles. My kids benefit from being able to contribute to the magazine (although they are disappointed I won’t let them enter the competitions) and reading all about kids just like them. So thanks to you for allowing your children to connect with mine. And, on a personal level, I find working on the magazine immensely satisfying and it has helped me connect with like-minded people all over the world. I am so encouraged when I hear about how you enjoyed an issue, or that you’ve printed it out for your kids, or just that you found Continental Kids and it’s given you hope for your TCKs who were lonely.
“Hi I was recently introduced to the magazine and am thrilled! My husband and I are both ATCKs and are raising 3 TCKs. I signed up and got the first four issues.”
“I love what y’all are doing!! Seriously such an encouragement. Planning to print out the magazine next week.”
So happy birthday to us. Here’s to another year of making great resources for our TCKs. If you haven’t picked up the latest issue GIFT then I encourage you to do so now. If you haven’t contributed to a magazine yet but you’d like to, give us a holler: [email protected].
And if you haven’t eaten some cake yet, what are you waiting for?