Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Kids of OFWs prone to emotional problems

mula sa isang balita (MALAYA)


Kids of OFWs prone to emotional problems


BY GERARD NAVAL

CHILDREN of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) could be prone to emotional, behavioral and mental problems, psychiatric doctors said yesterday as they aired concerns over the continuous exodus of Filipino workers.

In a forum in Quezon City, officials of the Philippine Psychiatric Association said the continued deployment of workers overseas could affect the development of their children.

Dr. Felicitas Soriano, PPA president, said while there is no official study on the behavioral effects of migration on children, "clinical exposure" showed that several OFW children are having emotional problems.

"What will become of our children? We observe that many OFW children are becoming insecure and drug dependents," said Soriano.

She added that some OFW children also become materialistic and spend their parent’s money on gadgets and internet gaming because of lack of guidance.

Dr. Grace Macapagal, in-house psychiatrist for crisis intervention rehabilitation in the Department of Social Welfare and Development, said that in cases where the mother or the father leaves to work abroad, there is an indirect effect on the children left behind.

"Migration of one parent or both is a very painful time for children and can cause bad emotions to stir up," she said.

In the case of an absentee father, Macapagal said, boys belonging to OFW families develop gender identity problems which become more "obvious when they grow old."

On the other hand, there is the "feminization" of OFWs, or where more women are now working abroad, leaving the care of children to their husbands. This is causing a role where fathers are left to care for children even if they are not prepared.

Macapagal added that there are also instances where the eldest daughters become the "substitute" for the mother.

"Minsan it’s the eldest daughter who takes up the role of the OFW mother. Sometimes they also take the sexual roles of the mother to some fathers," she related.

The doctors said one way of combating these problems is the utilization of an extended family in which relatives could act as surrogate parents.

6 comments:

Kuya Ronnie said...

This is the truth that really bites, I hope my children will not become part of the statistics.

I want to believe that my wife can guide them properly.

tonyboy said...

this news is disturbing. i have kids, and i don't want to happen this to them.

just like Kuya Ronnie said, i have complete trust with my wife that she can raise them as better kids.

Anonymous said...

I am currently doing my research paper on OFW children... I found out that children of OFW's do not necessarily suffer as much as it is stated here. You may refer to the work of Mr. Alvin Ang of UST and Hearts Apart: Migration in the Eyes of Children.In my own observation as a counselor also I have witnessed that the distribution of their GPA falls within the normal curve. Therefore, I say they are not necessarily at a disadvantage. However, parents need to discuss to their children if they plan to work abroad. It is also necessary to maintain regular communication with them.

fatima mbengue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fatima mbengue said...

Communication is not enough. I finished as a honor and well behaved n athletic student i wasnt botherd without my parents presence but now that am older some parts of me is mssing and it breaks my soul. Research further

fatima mbengue said...


Being an ofw child is not easy ., i thought that i can surpass emotional imbalance during adolescene stage bcoz my parent always communicates well via phone or skype ..but nothing compares to physical presence of ur parents .. After 15yrs and now am 30 ..without my parents beside me is veryhard but i didnt questioned it when i was younger .. But now that am older it hunts me and breaks my soul