For Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), the decision to leave their homeland and work abroad is never an easy one. It’s a choice born out of love, sacrifice, and an unyielding commitment to providing a brighter future for their families. As the new school year starts in the Philippines, young minds prepare to dive into a new academic year while OFW parents are faced with a challenge: maintaining a strong connection with their children’s education while working miles away.
Balancing the responsibilities of an OFW job with the desire to stay actively involved in your child’s educational journey can be a daunting task, but it’s not an impossible one. In this article, we’ll explore invaluable tips and strategies to help OFW parents bridge the physical distance and stay engaged in their child’s schooling, ensuring their little ones thrive academically and emotionally, no matter where they are in the world.
In this article, let’s uncover practical and heartfelt ways to keep the lines of communication open, offer support, and nurture a sense of closeness that transcends borders. In the face of challenges, OFW parents can build strong bridges of connection to ensure their children’s educational success and emotional well-being remain a top priority, even from afar.
Back to School Tips for OFW Parents
As an OFW parent, you can’t afford to miss out the important events and happenings in your child’s life, even if you are miles and miles apart. Thankfully, with the advent of today’s technology, catching up and keeping in touch your child is easy and convenient.
Stay connected with your kids by making a quick phone or video call before they head off to school and/or after the arrived home. You can also exchange photos during their free period or lunch break. You may not be physically there to make your child’s lunch but your presence even for a short period of time will mean a lot to them.
Be in track with their schedule
In line with the first tip mentioned, you can also ask a copy of their schedule so you can alight it with yours. Knowing the activities or major exams they have beforehand will give you time to help boost their confidence if they are joining school contests or performances.
It is through these little efforts that your children will feel that they have a constant support system.
Establish a Routine
Working overseas means you have to deal with differing timezones, making it hard sometimes to communicate with your child or other family members back in the Philippines. Establish a regular schedule for communication by asking a copy of their schedule so you can align it with yours or meet things in between. Knowing when they can expect to hear from you will provide your child with a sense of stability and security.
Celebrate their Achievements
A win is a win, no matter how small or big they are. Being able to recognize and celebrate their achievements in academics establishes a deeper emotional connection with your kchildren while at the same time, it builds their self-esteem. This positive reinforcement also encourages your child to work hard to attain their specific goals.
A ‘congratulations,’ or ‘I am so proud of you,’ may just be a couple of words but it will mean so much, even if it’s just through a quick phone or video call. Sending them small gifts relating to their interests or hobbies also shows how much you care for your children’s academic life.
Acknowledging your child’s achievements, no matter how small, is a powerful way to demonstrate your love and support, boost their self-esteem, and foster a sense of pride in their accomplishments. These moments of celebration become cherished memories that strengthen your bond and create a sense of unity, despite the miles that separate you.
Set Realistic Expectations
It is true indeed that OFWs work abroad to give their children a better life and education. It is also through this reason that migrant workers expect their children to do well in school in exchange of their sacrifices. However, it is crucial to set realistic expectations to your child for their personal and academic development. Unrealistic expectations can lead to unnecessary pressure, stress, and even feelings of failure.
You can also emphasize the importance of effort, hard work, and perseverance rather than just focusing on grades; that learning and growth are more important than getting perfect scores. Ultimately, prioritize your child’s well-being and happiness over strict academic performance. A well-balanced and happy child is more likely to succeed academically.
Refrain from comparing your child to others, whether it’s siblings, classmates, or friends. Every child is unique and will have their own academic journey. Comparing your child to others overlooks individual differences and fails to appreciate their distinct qualities and abilities. It may also create unnecessary stress and anxiety for your child. The pressure to measure up to someone else’s achievements can be overwhelming and counterproductive.
Navigating the challenges of working abroad as an OFW while staying closely connected with your child during the school year is a delicate balance, but it’s one that can be achieved with love, effort, and effective strategies. As we’ve explored in this article, maintaining regular communication, creating routines, and showing genuine interest in your child’s life are essential components of a successful long-distance parent-child relationship.
While the challenges of working abroad are undeniable, the love and connection between parent and child can transcend any distance. By fostering open communication, being present in their lives, and celebrating their achievements, you can ensure that your child always feels the warmth of your love and the strength of your support, no matter where in the world you may be. In the end, the effort you invest in maintaining a strong connection will be reflected in the resilience, confidence, and success of your child as they journey through their school years and beyond.