Working in a foreign country is doubly harder for people who have a son or daughter to leave behind in the Philippines. The decision to accept a job offer abroad may mean that you will miss some of the growing up years of your child.
Since there have been countless tales of OFW children that have gone astray, an OFW parent may also have this fear that his or her child will grow up misguided and with little regard for them.
Though some overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are luckier because their host country and visa may allow them to bring dependents along, majority of the OFWs have to face the reality of being away from their children.
The good news is that one’s genuine concern and love can be conveyed in spite of the distance. Overseas parenting is easier now in times of Facebook and instant messaging. Check out the tips below and may it help you maintain a good and close relationship with your children even while working overseas:
Talk to your child even before leaving the Philippines. Explain to your child the reason why you need to work in a place that will allow you to be separated from him/her for long periods of time. Share the goals that you want to accomplish in working overseas and make your child feel that you need his or her cooperation and understanding to fulfill those goals.
You can also ask their thoughts or questions about your decision to work abroad and help them resolve any issues or fears they might have. Talking to your children will make them feel that they are respected and that you value their opinions. It also eliminates all the questions they may be having in their mind.
If the child is too young for this kind of talk, make sure that your spouse or other guardians who will be in charge of taking care of the child when you go away knows how to answer the child’s queries when they start asking questions.
Keep in touch frequently. The importance of constant communication with loved ones has been stressed time and again. So strive to constantly communicate with your children while working overseas. It is not so hard nowadays as you can use social media sites, text messaging, phone calls, video calls, etc. It might also be a good idea to schedule a regular time for phone calls or video calls that your children can look forward to. This method makes you a part of your child’s schedule and help in keeping your presence strongly felt even if you are far away.
Ask the help of your spouse/guardians.Discuss parenting with the spouse that will stay in the Philippine to take care of your children. Do the same if the child would be taken cared of by relatives, in-laws or other guardians. The spouse/in-laws/guardians are your ally in overseas parenting so make sure they know their duties well. An important part of their duty is to keep your memory alive and beautiful in the minds of your children. Ask your spouse or the guardians to constantly remind your children about you by showing pictures of you and your child together or recounting tales of activities you used to do with your child.
Make the most of your time together. Whenever you go on a vacation, make sure to do some fun activities that would make your short stay memorable and happy. The family bonding activities is an opportunity to catch up with each other and would somehow make up for the years of being away. Make it a goal to leave your children with fond memories when you are together.
Stay involve with your child’s activities. Keeping track of your child’s activities while you are halfway across the globe may seem difficult but it is not impossible. You can do it by exerting a little extra effort and for sure it will be worth it. You can always talk directly to your child to get ideas about his friends, current whereabouts and interests. You can also get clues from your spouse or guardian. You can also call your child’s school and talk to his school adviser or guidance counselor.
Lastly, the aim to be a good OFW parent should start with you. Once you are already working overseas, it may come easy to forget your parenting responsibilities as you have the option to live like single men or women. While working overseas, one of the best things you can do for your children is to avoid doing anything that will break the family apart. Good parenting also involves taking control of your finances so you can secure the future of your child and make it possible for you not to go overseas to work again.(Ofw guide)