Migration of parents abroad for working purposes may be an important way of generating income and reducing unemployment in the sending countries

Migration of parents abroad for working purposes may be an important way of generating income and reducing unemployment in the sending countries. Migration may have also positive and/or negative consequences for children left at home. On the one hand parents often get better paid jobs abroad, providing their children with more financial and educational resources and fostering social and school achievement. On the other hand, however, missing the main adult caregiver may be harmful for children’s well-being. (Botezat ; Pfeiffer, 2014)
In every human being are certain drives. One such drive to learn, because of this drive, responsible parents strive for a proper education preparing their children for a bright future. The parents see to it that their children are well prepared for their school experience by creating a learning atmosphere in the home which serves as a vehicle in fulfilling the inherent need on mental stimulation.(Ha ; Oh, 2006)
It is emotionally and physically challenging for the children to accept that their family set-up is not the same with other families. But as the child matures, he begins to understand the rationale why the parent has to work abroad and is able to get back on track and take on the responsibility of managing their household and family life on their own. The researchers aim to find out the significant experiences of OFW children according to their parent-child relationship, the researcher’s perceived effects, the relationship they had with the OFW parent, and their coping. For the experiences, three themes were identified, namely, Absence of Parental Role, Initial Changes, and Maturity at an Early Age. This situation is also consistent with Battistella and Conaco’s in 1996 their study reveals that parental absence is experienced particularly as a sense of loneliness and abandonment.
Parents’ migration requires changing previous arrangements concerning the division of care and other domestic responsibilities within the left-behind households (Pessar& Mahler, 2003; Leavitt & Glick, 2004). For the perceived effects, four themes were identified, namely, Financial Stability, Initial Academic Decline, Numbness to Absence, and Maturity at an Early Age. Migrants on average receive incomes that are four to five times higher than they would at home, which is usually more than enough to offset the boost of standard of living. (University of the Philippines, 2002). Although remittances increase children’s ability to obtain school supplies and pay school fees, some children left behind suffer negative educational outcomes.
For the relationship with the parent, three themes were identified. Feelings of Neglect, Perception of Strong Relationship, and Trusting Relationship. Often, they attempt to make up for their migrant parents’ hardships by maintaining close bonds across great distances, even though most of them feel that such bonds could never possibly draw their distant parent close enough. But their efforts are frequently sustained by the belief that such emotional sacrifices are not without meaning-that they are ultimately for the greater good of their families and their future (Parrenas, 2000). For coping, three themes were identified, namely, Imidiate Family for Support, Accustomed to Absence, and Reciliency. Even if circumstances are difficult, some children are able to build resilience and appear to not be affected. Consequently, under varying circumstances, as well as depending on how those affected interpret the parental migratory process, some are able to effectively cope despite their experiences (Daniel and Wassell 2002).
Without a doubt, mothering from a distance has emotional ramifications both for mothers who leave and children who are sent back or left behind. The pain of family separation creates various feelings, including helplessness, regret and guilt for mothers and loneliness, vulnerability and insecurity for children. (Rachel Salazar Parrenas).
Children of Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) are reported to perform less well in school compared to peers who live with their parents (Hung et al.,2003). Grades and class rank of left behind children , either with one or both parents abroad were below those children with both parents present. In school activities, children of migrant mothers tend to score lower and to have poorer performance (Battistella&Conaco, 1998). The absence of mothers in consistently identified as having a more pervasive influence on the lives of their children (Battistella&Conaco, 1998).
Carandang et al.,2007; Huang et al., 2003; parrenas, 2006; valdez, 2011) when the mother leaves, some children feel burdened by filling in the responsibility of nurturing and caring for the family (Asis, 2006) since they tend to devote less time to studying and allot of time attending to their family’s needs. In addition, some children left behind by their migrant parents tend to prioritize schooling less, and give lesser value studying so that they end up failing, dropping out, or not finishing their grades (Edillion, 2008; Yeo ; Choi, 2011). In schools, some children of migrant parents also have trouble relating with peers, Reyes (2008) noted that they are more vulnerable to being abused and intimidated by their peers in school. This exacerbates the feeling of being abandoned since their parents are not with them to protect or defend them (Deb ; Walsh, 2012; Pillay, 2011; Scalabrini Migration Center, 2004; Theron ; Donald, 2012; Toland;Carrigan, 2011; Woods, Bond, Tyldesley, Farell, ; Humphrey, 2011).
According to Fritsch ;Burkhead (1981), disruption of the family unit through loss of either parent by death, legal separation, desertion, or other causes, greatly impairs the ability of the family to perform many social psychological needs of children. Consequently, it is not uncommon to find that parental absence contributes to problems of adjustment for children that often persist into adulthood and plague the afflicted individual throughout his or her life.
Person-centered therapy was developed by Carl Rogers in the 1940s. This type of therapy diverged from the traditional model of the therapist as expert and moved instead toward a nondirective, empathic approach that empowers and motivates the client in the therapeutic process. The therapy is based on Rogers’s belief that every human being strives for and has the capacity to fulfill his or her own potential. Person-centered therapy, also known as Rogerian therapy, has had a tremendous impact on the field of psychotherapy and many other disciplines.
Rather than viewing people as inherently flawed, with problematic behaviors and thoughts that require treatment, person-centered therapy identifies that each person has the capacity and desire for personal growth and change. Rogers termed this natural human inclination “actualizing tendency,” or self-actualization. He likened it to the way that other living organisms strive toward balance, order, and greater complexity. According to Rogers, “Individuals have within themselves vast resources for self-understanding and for altering their self-concepts, basic attitudes, and self-directed behavior; these resources can be tapped if a definable climate of facilitative psychological attitudes can be provided.” (Carl Rogers, 1940)
To many, a normal family unit is made up of a father and a mother and their children. However, life throws many curve balls and parents are often forced to re-invent the conception of a normal family so as to ensure or, at the very least, hope for the “full and harmonious development” of their children. A classic illustration of the above occurs when one or both parents are employed overseas. In a country where unemployment is a colossal and ongoing fact-of-life, working in a foreign country and the resulting remittances, offers a way out of omnipresent poverty. Overseas work helps in decreasing Philippine unemployment as well as feeding, sheltering and clothing entire households. In short, because of an entrenched poverty, Filipinos view overseas work as the only alternative to escape from debt and hopelessness. OFW’s (Overseas Filipino Workers) will travel to foreign nations, legal or not, to escape the dark cloud of poverty and they often do without considering the possibility of suffering inhumane abuse from foreign nationals or worse, jail. (Jackson, 2012)
According to Parachin (1997), parents are the child’s closes and most significant relatives, that twin pillars that hold up this world. They meet his needs and give him security and comfort. One important parenting demand is spending precious time with children. Presence of parents is very important to children as they grow up intellectually, emotionally and socially. The challenge of parents is in responsive parenting, a process involving years of nurturing, caring for, loving and growing with their children until they become fully prepared to face life on their own.
As Asis (2006) notes, in the Philippines wanting to work abroad has become a national obsession. Who goes, where they go, and how long they remain away is thus influenced by multiple factors. The feminization of transnational labor migration over the past decade has seen the out-migration of more mothers who leave young children behind. This has become a common occurrence in some countries, but not all. In the Philippines and Indonesia, for example, women outnumber men among documented overseas workers, and many are mothers.
In the mainly patriarchal societies of the region, social norms regarding the role of women as mothers inform children’s expectations of who will nurture them and, consequently, intensify their sense of loss when it is their mother who migrates (Asis, 2006; Parrenas, 2001). This leads us to expect that children of migrant’s mothers may be at greater risk of poor mental health because most will have experienced separation from their primary caregiver (Suarez-Orozco et al., 2002).
The absence of fathers is understood differently. In her work on fathering from a distance among Filipino transnational families, Parrenas (2008) points out that the migration of Filipino men maintains the traditional gender division of labor and argues that transnational fathering is primarily demonstrated through displays of authority and the imposition of discipline from afar. Gender ideologies are equally influential in promoting public anxieties about effects of separation on Filipino children. In the Philippines, the migration of mothers has fueled worries about left-behind children becoming spendthrift, delinquent, addicted to drugs, and emotionally scarred (Asis, 2006, ECMI-CBCP/AOS-Manila, SMC, & OWWA, 2004). Yet few studies to date have investigated the potentially different impacts of absent mothers and absent fathers on the psychological well-being of left-behind children, although one early study 709 filipino children aged 10 to 12 years concluded that the absence of the mothers had the most disruptive effect in terms of lower school grades and poorer social adjustment (Battistella&Conaco, 1998).