Often times, Filipino families have breadwinners who go abroad to provide for the needs. Who can blame them? As of the moment, the opportunities abroad are far greener than the grasses in the Philippines.
But then, this may come with hefty sacrifices. For most, it may be leaving your children behind. The presence of a parent is certainly irreplaceable, especially in your children’s formative years. Surely, a difficult tradeoff.
Money vs Being With the Family. Suffer together with hunger, or suffer apart with an arguably comfortable life?
For one, I am a son of an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). The setup is not really that optimal because my parents were separated during those times. But I did grow up quite well (at least I think I have).
There might be compromises. But one can still be an effective parent overseas. With that, these are 5 tips on raising your child from abroad.
Before Leaving, Talk to Your Children
Talking certainly goes a long way. Explain the reason why you will go abroad. Be honest. Tell them that it’s for your family’s future, for his/her future. Acknowledge their feelings and assure them that it will just be temporary.
Communicate With Them Regularly
With today’s technology, communicating is easier than ever. Video calls will be your best way to keep in touch. Make sure that you schedule Skype calls on regular intervals.
This consistent and predictable Skype calls will provide emotional security for the child. They won’t wonder when you’ll call. After all, they know exactly what time you will.
Choose the Right Guardian/s
As in most cases, your children will be left with your relatives. If you can, choose a guardian who is both loving and consistent to your child. Find someone who will truly be a second parent to him/her no matter what.
Firstly, this will ease your worries with your child’s welfare. And secondly, the presence of a consistent giver of love will make your child feel loved while you’re away. This will make your child have easier time building connections and relationships when they grow up.
Teamwork: Stay Involved and Updated
Know everything about your child’s development. Did s/he get an award from school? Praise him/her. What are his/her extracurricular activities? Does s/he like Sinigang or Nilaga? You have to genuinely know.
Give your child guidance and encouragement. Work hand-in-hand with your guardian to better raise your kid. For the guardians, feel free to voice out your worries. Collaborate more as you plan the child’s development.
This teamwork might be a simple thing. But the emotional fruits of this effort are priceless.
Make Your Vacation Time Meaningful
On the days when you are back for vacation, make sure to spend quality time with your kids. You don’t need to spend a lot of money during this period. Just make sure that you bond and make your vacation time is meaningful.
It is a hard place for parents to choose between quality time and money. It may leave most with no choice but to be OFWs.
As resilient Filipinos, we all can find a compromise. With these tips, I hope everyone can raise their children to be better people as they grow up. Cheers!