What is a Cross-Cultural Kid?
A Cross-Cultural Kid (CCK) is someone who has been significantly influenced by two or more cultural environments during their developmental years. The CCK Model is the work and research of Ruth van Reken.
Unique experiences, benefits and challenges
There are so many ways someone can exist across different cultures.
In our Cultural Mosaics series, we outlined 12 CCK types. One of the reasons it can be so hard to navigate different contexts as a cross-cultural kid, is because often times we don’t even realize we’re doing it, we don’t always have the language for it, and we have very little resources to help us understand our complex and evolving identities.
It’s fair to say most, if not all, CCKs have struggle with questions of belonging, finding home, understanding their roots and where you come from. Certain life experiences tend to catapult us into identity crisis: losing a loved one, becoming a parent, ceremonies around marriage or divorce. Just so many big life moments.
Being a CCK is beautifully complex, you’re building cultural bridges, understanding how nuanced things can be, but also being more comfortable with ambiguousness, and dealing with hidden losses, often times on your own.
We leave you with this message, talk about your experience. With others who may relate, with family, with friends, with a coach. Talking it out helps us makes sense of the unique cultural mosaics that we embody.
It all started on Instagram
This CULTURAL MOSAICS series on Cross-Cultural Kids (CCKs) was originally posted on Instagram in September 2023 as a collaborative project by Beatriz Nour @inbetweenish.pod and myself, Wiebke Homborg @chameleon_coaching. If you have Instagram, we encourage you to check out the original posts for its great visuals, audios, reels and storytelling.
Through our work, we want to raise more awareness about the different kinds of Cross-Cultural Kids, as they do not all receive as much attention as the Third Culture Kids where the Cross-Cultural Kids Model by Ruth Van Reken originated. We hope that CCKs and adult CCKs, parents, caretakers, educators, coaches and therapists all over the world will benefit from this series.
Cross-Cultural Kids are becoming more and more common and who knows if not some time in the future all children will be CCKs?
Let’s dive in!
The Introduction Post & Reel
We proudly present our new series CULTURAL MOSAICS!
Over the past few months we’ve been working together to bring to life this beautiful collaboration where we will dive into the complexity of multicultural experiences. In this series we will closely look at the Cross-Cultural Kids Model by Ruth van Reken, analyzing each category one by one, and go well beyond the realm of Third Culture Kids, where it originated.
All CCK types can benefit from this and we’re excited to serve it up in bite-sized portions, complete with straightforward graphics and relatable examples just for you.
Enjoy the ride and discover which CCK types you belong to! Hint: it may be more than one!
Do you ever feel stuck between worlds?
- Maybe you’ve wondered if you actually belong, or if you just do your best to fit into your environment?
- Sometimes others like to point it out. Has anyone ever asked “where are you *really* from?” or have you gotten the even more annoying comment “no, but you don’t look Italian.”
- If you grew up in a household where you juggled several languages, or you vacationed in your parents home country every summer, or goodbyes became a way of life, then stick around — because you may just discover something new about yourself.
Today there are so many different kinds of multicultural identities, many which are misrepresented, or misunderstood. So in our new series, Cultural Mosaics, we’ll be breaking them down, one by one — simplifying it into basic shapes.
By digging deeper into Ruth Van Reken’s work, we’re going to explore each category of the Cross-Cultural Kid model so you can find where you belong.
And guess what? It’s totally cool if you relate to more than one category. Oh and I almost forget, we’re also CCKs!
Hi, I’m Beatriz, the host of the inbetweenish pod, where I invite others to reflect on the meaning of belonging, the feeling of home, and I ask questions like, do you ever feel stuck between worlds?
And I’m Wiebke, from Chameleon Coaching. As an intercultural trainer and coach, I am passionate about supporting and empowering individuals on their journeys across cultures.
Stories of Belonging
Tune into Beatriz‘ podcast where she invites inspiring and diverse CCKs to a deep and heartfelt conversation. Discover new perspectives and learn from their stories around identity struggles as well as their quest for belonging and defining where home is.