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Pinoy Abroad

Expert to OFWs: Bringing kids abroad not always a good idea

An expert on mental health on Wednesday bared the possible negative effects of a child being brought to another country by his or her OFW parent.

At a forum in Quezon City, Dr. Kathryn Tan, assistant chief of the acute female division of the National Center for Mental Health, noted that children and adolescents who have to move abroad must cope with essentially a new life.

"You're tearing them away from their home country, from their friends, from their relatives, from their comforts, and you're transferring them to another continent with different people, exposed to racism, different language, different culture. It's culture shock," she said.

She said such adjustment to a new environment could sometimes lead to substance abuse, promiscuity, truancy and even depression.

"The problem would be more often their coping mechanism to the stress," Tan said.

The child's studies, Tan said, will also be adversely affected, as he or she will have to deal with an educational system that is very much different from that in the Philippines.

"Ang naging isang problema nila ay yung pagaaral sapagkat hindi valid yung klase ng edukasyon na ibinibigay dito pag nakakarating na sila sa [ibang bansa]," Tan said.

The forum, held at Lido on Mindanao Avenue, tackled the effects of migrant labor to Filipino children.

Another resource person, Fr. Benny Tuazon, parish priest of St. Anthony Parish, reminded OFWs that lost time could never be regained.

"If you lost time, you cannot bring it back around na yung pag-uwi mo, tapos you will pamper your children, hindi 'yun eh," he said.

Tuazon advised parents that if they could help it, they should just seek employment in the Philippines. —KBK, GMA News

Tags: ofws