With long working hours and very few holidays, migrant parent workers are often unable to take an active role in the upbringing of their child. Coupled with insufficient interaction and communication, this can profoundly affect their work performance and career-related decision-making. In CCR CSR’s study “They are also parents”, over 80% of migrant parent workers with left-behind children felt inadequate in their role as parents and 70% experienced strong feelings of guilt and anxiety because of the separation.
CCR CSR’s parent in-factory training provides the support and tools parents need to ensure that their child is not just financially looked after, but emotionally as well. By improving their parent-child relationship, this results in a more satisfied and loyal workforce.
The training utilizes a participatory learning approach, using methods of questions & answers, group activities, videos, role-plays and case studies. Specifically, it aims for the following objectives:
- Increase the sense of value as a parent and lead a happier and healthier life
- Understand the rights and needs of the child at different ages for better communication with and support to their children
- Develop effective remote communication skills with their children to build closer relationships
Between May 1, 2014 and March 31, 2016, CCR CSR conducted 30 parent trainings for 15 factories in China, with a total of 1,130 participants. In order to measure and evaluate the impact of the trainings, we conducted a pre- and post- training survey of over 655 participants. Some of the findings of the survey and the results of the training can be found below:
Based on the post-training evaluation and interview:
- 93% of the participating parents stated that the training met their expectation and that the content was easy to understand
- 94% thought the interactive training helped them to understand the training better
- 96% believe that the training could be applied to their relationship with their children
- 93% found the training content easy to understand
As seen in the chart above, the trainings helped ease parents’ guilt about the separation. After the training, fewer migrant workers felt bad about being away from their children, a significant drop from 83% before the training to 20% afterwards. They also started to pay more attention to their own well-being, instead of solely focusing on their children. Lastly, they also felt more confident in their own abilities to educate their child well even when separated, from 23% to 60%.
These changes are very interesting given that in the pre-training survey, only 19% of the parents thought of themselves as competent parents and 91% believed the most important job as parents is to make sure their child performs well at school. A mother from a factory in Dongguan said, “I always thought if I could feed my child well, I had nothing else to worry about. After the training, I realized that I should pay more attention to my child’s mental health. I feel very sorry for my child that I neglected that part in the past. I’ve started to change and taken more responsibilities as a mother.”
Lastly, 91% realized after the training that they need to change parts of their parenting style and 75% strongly agreed that when their children are disobedient or performed poorly at school, they will first try to understand their reasons. According to another parent worker in Dongguan, “After the training, I tried to spend less time on my smartphone and paid more attention to my daughter. When we chat, I listen to her more attentively and observe her reaction. In the past, I had little patience with her and was easy to get angry, which always left her crying. After the training, I changed my attitude towards her, becoming more patient and gentle. Our relationship has improved a lot. I also try to spend more time with her, no matter if she is drawing or writing, I always sit by her side, watching her write or draw as she likes.”