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Parenting While Abroad: Best Practices

Working Abroad

Being a working dad is tough enough as it is. You get pulled in a million different directions, and it’s hard to find time for your family. And despite your best efforts, you might still need to go to another country for work.

This situation is common for many Filipinos. According to 2020 statistics, there were about 1.77 million Filipino migrant workers. Whether for a better work opportunity or to earn more money, the thought of being away from your family can be daunting. But don’t worry, you can still be a present parent even when you’re miles away. Here are some tips on how to do it:

Make time for video calls

Just because you’re not in the same country as your family doesn’t mean you can’t interact with them regularly. With today’s technology, it’s easy to connect with your loved ones no matter where you are.

Several video call apps like Skype, Zoom, and Google Hangouts offer free video calls. You can also use Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp as an alternative. You can even Facetime your family using Apple TV if you have a smart TV.

Set aside time each day to talk to your family. Whether in the morning before you start work or in the evening before you go to bed, make sure you have at least 30 minutes to an hour to chat with your partner and kids. During your video call, ask them about their day, what they did in school or work, and their plans for the weekend. You can also play games together or watch a movie.

Using technology to your advantage can ensure you’re still involved in your children’s lives. This way, you can see how they’re doing and what’s going on in their lives.

Keep up with their social media pages

More and more people are using social media to communicate. With 4.26 billion active users as of January 2021, it’s no surprise that social media is a popular way to stay in touch.

If you can’t talk to your family in person, following their social media pages is the next best thing. In doing so, you can see what they’re up to and get updates on their lives. You can also leave comments or reactions on their posts to let them know you’re still thinking of them. While you’re at it, why not post a photo or two of your own? That way, they can also see what’s happening in your life and feel connected even when they’re miles away.

By keeping up with your family’s social media, you’re showing interest in what’s going on back home. This gesture will go a long way toward helping them stay in touch with you.

Write them letters or postcards

Remember when people used to write letters and send postcards? With the advent of technology, this has become a lost art. But that doesn’t mean it’s no longer relevant. In fact, sending a handwritten letter or postcard can be even more special since it’s not something you do every day.

Plus, it’s a great way to show your kids that you’re thinking of them. They can display the postcards you sent on their bedroom wall or keep the letters in a special box. That way, they can read them repeatedly and feel closer to you.

You can also ask your kids to write back. They can tell you all about their day or what they did at school. In doing so, you can stay up-to-date on their lives and feel like you’re a part of them even when you’re away.

Gift From Abroad

Send them packages

Many parents working abroad send their kids care packages filled with goodies. It is a great way to let them know you’re thinking of them and to show your love. For many Filipinos working abroad, this package is known as a balikbayan box.

You can fill your balikbayan box with treats, clothes, toys, and other items your kids will love. You can even include a personal note or letter to tell them how much you miss them. Receiving a care package from you will make their day.

Suppose you’re in Canada. In that case, you can send a package to the Philippines from Canada using courier services. These only take a few days to ship, so your kids won’t have to wait long to receive their surprise. So, don’t hesitate to send them a care package to let them know you’re thinking of them.

Working abroad can be an excellent opportunity for professional growth-but it can also be challenging for families dealing with the separation. As a working dad, staying present in your children’s lives is essential, even living in different countries. By following these tips, you can ensure that homesickness doesn’t get the better of either of you and that your relationship thrives despite the physical distance between you.


More on this topic:

Working Abroad: What You Need to Know

Working Abroad: What You Need to Know

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