Dealing with It
One notable similarity among Aileen, Rachel, and Danny was that despite their grievances, they all came to realize that no parent wants to be separated from their child, and that their parents' toil is for them. Once they understood that, it became easier for them to handle their situation more constructively.
All three agree that the best way to deal with parental migration is to make their parents' sacrifices worthwhile. It’s very important to strive hard and do well in school. "Stay in school," advises Danny. "That’s the reason why they’re not around, so you can get a good education."
"Just be a good kid and do your part," suggests Rachel.
"Love them," adds Aileen. "Tell them how much you value their sacrifices."
It's important to remember that there’s a rich variety in the experiences of left-behind children—some have it better, while some have it worse. But you can always do something about it. At the end of the day, it's what you do with your situation that counts.
Sort Out Your Sitch
Mom and Dad abroad? Here are five ways to help you deal with parental absence.
- Communicate regularly with your OFW parent/s. Texts or e-mail messages may not seem like much, but they sustain your relationship.
- Find an adult whom you can approach and confide in. If not your left-behind parent, this can be a teacher, an aunt, or a family friend.
- Find peers who can keep you on track and provide support and understanding.
- Let your feelings out. It might help to share your sentiments with people you trust, or even to connect with other children of OFWs.
- Think positive. Learn to appreciate your parents’ sacrifices. Be thankful that your experiences help you grow and be more independent.