Two experts identify emerging parenting trends in the Philippines
December 28, 2013
Being a mom or a dad nowadays is ultra challenging. Proof is in the parenting realities detailed by married couple and family and relationship experts Allan Dionisio, M.D. and Maribel Sison Dionisio, M.A. at the 2nd Marketing and Communication Industry Forum held at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati. Titled “Working Towards a Healthy World for Children,” the forum was presented by the Ad Standards Council, Advertising Foundation of the Philippines, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas and Philippine Association of National Advertisers, in partnership with the Department of Health.
In their talk, the Dionisios mentioned six current parenting trends which they have gleaned from their professional practice:
The increasing need for two-income families
Raising kids is expensive especially if you factor in inflation rate, ever-increasing tuition fees, and the disparity between income increase and expense increase, say Dr. Allan and Maribel, that’s why more women are working today to be able to provide well for their families and give their children a better future.
In 2012, the number of Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWs who worked abroad reached 2.2 million (1,148,000 male and 1,072,000 female), according to the National Statistics Office (NSO). This means scores of kids were left with only one parent or with relatives, while their mom or dad toiled in a foreign country.
The number of marriages annulled yearly continues to rise, which means more youngsters are growing up with only one parent. 8,283 marriages were annulled in 2010, as compared to only 4,520 in 2001, based on the Summary of Nullity and Annulment Cases (2001-2010) from the Solicitor General’s Office.
School as substitute parent
There are parents who leave it to the teachers and guidance counselors to teach their children values and deal with school-related problems and concerns.
Prominent influence of media and the internet
Many families have “online lives.” This means that more and more families have access to the internet and are active online. The Dionisios cited several statistics:
• 30% are online four hours a day
with four to seven windows open
•98% use social network
•95% listen to music, watch TV & videos, and
•90% surf the web for homework
Such behavior, they warn, pose the following dangers:
A. lower concentration as distractions like music, photos, videos and texting abound
B. lack of physical activity, which when paired with junk food leads to obesity
C. addiction to gaming and
D. reduced quality family time
More teens as single parents
NSO records show that the number of teens aged 15 to 19 who give birth has been increasing every year since 2002. Based on the NSO’s Number of Live Births by Teenage Mothers (2000-2010), there were 206, 574 new teenage moms in the Philippines in 2010, compared to only 122,242 in 2002.
So how do you upend these developments? What should the response be to these observations, and what can be done to improve the parenting situation in our country? Dr. Allan and Maribel believe that prevention is key. They advice parents and people, in general, to do the folllowing:
1. Strengthen your marriage
Maintain and enhance your marriage by:
- having weekly dates as a couple
- taking annual vacations
- attending yearly relationship seminars
- joining support groups of marriage couples
- having marriage mentors
2. Help your children make good spouse choices
The Dionisios recommend not rushing into matrimony by:
a. attending personal growth seminars to remove or reduce personal hang-ups and achieve emotional maturity
b. waiting [at least] 3 years to test true love
c. having similar core values especially about raising children
3. Parent well
Moms and dads need to go beyond what their own parents had taught them about parenting. In addition, they need to harmonize their parenting styles. They can also read books and manuals such as “Helping Our Children Do Well in School,” which Maribel wrote with educator extraordinaire Queena Lee Chua, PhD, and enroll in parenting courses offered by the Love Institute.