Nestlé PH reaffirms support for Filipino parents

June 2, 2022 People's Tonight 134 views

In celebrating UN Global Day of Parents

RECOGNIZING the key role of parents in shaping society, Nestlé Philippines reaffirms its commitment to support new parents in the country as they face both the joy and challenges of child-rearing, in celebration of the United Nations Global Day of Parents.

From its beginnings more than 150 years ago in Switzerland, Nestlé has sought to help parents in raising their children.

The company’s global Nestlé Parenting Initiative aims to support parents during the first 1,000 days of their child’s life when the foundations for lifelong development, growth and health are created.

Under the initiative, Nestlé commissioned the Parenting Index in 2021, a first-of-its-kind study into parenting experiences in 16 countries including the Philippines, that for the first time identified factors impacting on parenting across the world.

According to the study, in the Philippines, societal and internal pressure comes from a traditional, collectivist culture, strong family ties, and the demands of balancing childcare and work to help provide and care for the family. Many Filipino parents hold highly traditional values and parenting attitudes. They rely heavily on what they recall from their own childhood or on advice from their parents or older relatives. Filipino parents are likely to live with extended families. Close contact with older family members ensures the preservation of tradition, family values, respect and obedience to elders, and adherence to habits and practices of previous generations while getting help in bringing up a child. Receiving advice, opinions and instructions of relatives and feeling affected or pressured by this is typical, with 42 percent of Filipino parents saying this is what they experience.

Parents in the Philippines also feel low levels of financial resilience, with financial constraints further impacted by the country’s economic situation. Most Filipino moms tend to continue working after giving birth in order to help provide for the family and keep them afloat. Moms in this situation fear appearing neglectful, as they struggle to manage their time and address the daily demands of juggling work and taking care of their child.

Young parents often feel guilty that they lack “expert parenting skills.” Much of the guilt has to do with their own high expectations and assumptions about what it should feel like to be a parent. In some cases, new parents may be measuring themselves against their own childhoods. Good or bad, these memories can conjure up deep feelings of guilt and inadequacy.

Celebrating the Global Day of Parents, Nestlé PH organized a presentation for its employees who are new parents titled “Changing Paradigms: Celebrating Parenthood and the ”Person-Of-The-Parent” by Rizason “Riza” Go Tian-Ng. She is a clinical psychologist, an advocate of healthy parenting and family development with an active clinical practice at the Ateneo Bulatao Center for Psychological Services, a member of the Psychological Association of the Philippines, and a part-time faculty member of the Psychology Department of the Ateneo de Manila University.

In her talk, Ms. Ng said : “We need to raise the flag for Filipino parents. We are parents for the sole reason that we love and care for our children. But let’s amp up our awareness and affirm not just our capacity to love another human being in a sacrificial way. We are good-enough parents. In order for this to happen, we should validate the ‘person-of-the-parent,’ that we have identities outside of our nurturing role of parents. “

She continued : “Parents should be able to thrive in the other aspects of their lives beyond the family. They are encouraged to meet up with their barkada, learn new skills and develop their talents, hobbies, and careers, and engage in self-care (which is not being selfish). In this way, they are able to strike a balance among the personal, family, and professional aspects of their lives. Parents do not need to know and do everything but should allow themselves room to make mistakes and continue to grow from experiences. They are also allowed to feel pleasant and unpleasant feelings, as well as have their own differing ideas, thoughts, and opinions. Most importantly, they don’t have to strive to be perfect, but just be real and present and authentic. In this way, a parent can be whole with different dimensions in his or her identity.”

Towards supporting its employees who are parents, Nestlé PH implements a parental support policy that sees each family as unique and supports all forms of family set-ups: biological or adoptive parents, including same-sex partners, single parents, and legal guardians. The policy extends maternity leave from 15 weeks as mandated by law to 18 weeks of fully paid leave, allowing mothers/primary caregivers to be present in giving their children the best start in life. Further, the policy extends the statutory paternity leave from one week to four weeks of paid leave to promote father-child bonding and support the spouse’s recovery.