Q:

How are Filipino children treated?

A:

Filipinos take a communal approach to raising children with relatives on both sides of the family as well as members of the community taking part. Rather than encouraging children to grow up and move away, emphasis is placed on the importance of the family unit. Children often remain with their parents well into adulthood.

In spite of the fact that children are expected to begin taking responsibility for some of their actions and behaviors once they begin attending school, parents have absolute authority in Filipino families. Since Filipino mothers spend the most time with their children whether or not they work outside the home, they are considered the primary disciplinarians. Filipino children are expected to accept discipline as doled by their parents without question. Likewise, Filipino parents do not consult their children regarding feelings or situational comfort nearly as much as Western parents do.

Formal schooling in the Philippines does not begin until age 7 and lasts only 10 years. In rural areas, older children, usually daughters, leave school prior to completion in order to assume maternal duties in the home while their mothers work. Children are taught from an early age that they are expected to take care of their parents when they grow to adulthood just as their parents took care of them when they were children.


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