Leaving the country is difficult for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), and it is even more difficult to leave their children behind. This would mean missing on important events of their children while they are growing up. Some OFW parents may even have fears that their children might go astray because they lack guidance.
However, thanks to modern technology and social media in particular, the OFWs’ genuine love and concern for their children can now be easily communicated despite the distance. Using Facebook and instant messaging, parenting, despite being overseas is now effortless. Here are some tips that can help maintain a close and good relationship between OFW parents and their children.
1. Communicate with your children even before deciding to leave the country.
Help your child understand why you need to work far from home for a long period of time. Tell them about the purpose of your leaving them to work abroad. In addition, try to explain as well that you want them to cooperate and understand so that your goals, which also involves them, will be fulfilled by making sacrifices.
2. Listen to your children’s thoughts or answer questions about your decision to work abroad.
By listening to your children and answering their questions, they will feel that they are valued and that you respect their opinion. It will also eliminate doubts and negative thoughts they have in their mind. For younger children, the spouse or their guardian should be oriented on how to answer queries from your children.
3. Keep in touch often.
Regular communication with your children is very important. You can use text messaging, social media sites, video calls, and phone calls to make it easy and convenient to communicate. Your children will be looking forward to your calls so keep a schedule and always stick to it.
4. Seek help from your spouse or your child’s guardian.
Talk about parenting with your spouse or the guardian of your children. They can support you in your decision to become an overseas parent so be certain that they know their responsibilities well. One essential part of their duty is to keep your memory beautiful and alive in your children’s minds. Your spouse or the guardians of your children may show pictures of you and your children and remind them of the activities that you used to do together.
5. Maximize the time you are together.
Do fun and memorable activities with your children when you go on vacation. This will be a way that you can catch up with each other and in one way or another make up for the years that you are not together. In this way, your children will have happy memories of the time you spent together.
6. Stay involved with the activities of your children.
It may be difficult to know your children’s activities when you are far from them but it is not impossible. You can constantly directly talk to your children to get information about their current whereabouts, friends and interests. You can also ask information from your spouse or your children’s guardian. Social media networking sites are also helpful to keep you updated.
7. Make good parenting as important as any other goals.
Always keep in mind that aside from your financial and career goals, good parenting should also be one of your priorities. Good parenting doesn’t only mean being able to provide for your family with financial and material resources but also being able to make your children feel that you are always there to help and support them despite the distance. It also requires managing your finances to be able to secure your children’s future and possibly ending the situation of having to work abroad again.
We hope that these parenting tips will be helpful to our hardworking OFWs who have chosen to leave the country in order to provide a better future for their children.