The Romanian society faces a whole generation of children with parents abroad, theoretically to make them a future. Officially, there are about 82,000 children across the country that has at least one parent left to work abroad. (Study conducted within the project “Home Alone “; research coordinator Dr. Gabriela Irimiescu) .Unofficially, there are much more because many parents have not told the authorities in whose care they have left their children. There are cases of children who were left alone at home. They help and grow each other.

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       Keywords: children, parents, alone, school, grandparents, relatives, abroad, Romania, society, interprofesional collaboration, dilemma


Abstract           Labor migration abroad is largely associated with the aspiration of adults to meets the needs of a home, family, health, child growth and development. Some adults put more emphasis on family welfare; others are looking for experience and professional growth. The causes of migration are very diverse. Departure to work abroad can be short-term, determined or – in the long run, indefinite.

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          In this article we will try to see the aspects from both sides: parents and kids and ask ourselves what is better for our own children if we are thinking about going abroad for work.


Negative and positive effects of migration on children 

         Very important in the relationship of children with parents/parents who go abroad to work is communication. Real, honest, emotional, focused on what the child feels, and not impersonal and general, such as “how are you?” And “how is it at school?”.

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           Some parents maintain a close and very important relationship with their own children. So, they often call their children, sometimes every day, trying to establish a close connection with them by addressing the problems and difficulties that they encounter in everyday life. Moreover, some of them even get interested in their school performance, keeping in touch with the teachers or the children’s masters. All this gives the child the security he needs for a normal psycho-social development.





Negative effects

Positive effects

•         lowering school performance and school absenteeism;

•         improving living conditions for those left at home;

•         the feeling of loneliness;

•         purchase of the necessary items for a decent living;

•         the difficulty of group integration and relationship with children/adults;

•         providing children’s education;

•         depressions and negative emotional states due to lack of affection;

•         travel and holidays abroad

•         increasing the incidence of deviant behaviors

•         acquiring life skills and independence

•         aggressive manifestations to one or both parents;

•         increasing literacy in information technologies

•         aggravating the relationship between the child and the parent who stayed home.



         Experience and studies reveal differences in the effects on the child, depending on who leaves – mother, father or both parents.

–          If only my dad leaves, the mother manages to meet most of the times the responsibility of childcare, but there are problems of imposing authority during adolescence.

–          – When the father stays with the child, the problems are of another nature, because it is more difficult for him to cope with all the responsibilities involved in caring, raising and educating the child. “The departure of the mother is felt more painfully by children than the departure of the father, which is explained by the special spiritual connection between the child and the mother, including the boys. Those children whose mother is abroad are more imprisoned, nostalgic, and easier to tear than when their father is gone.”1









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The case of the three brothers

       A., M. and, N. are three brothers from Romania. A. is a girl and she is 15 years old, M. is a boy who is 13 years old and N. is also a boy who is 3 years old. They live with their grandparents due to the fact that their parents are divorced and the mother decided to go abroad for a job.

       All of them have different personalities: the girl is doing great at school, she also takes dance lessons and started to play the guitar; the middle child has behavioral problems (destroying school property, drawing on the walls at home) and his grades are not that good; the youngest kid is too little to understand the situation in which the family is. He is in the daycare and the nurses said that he doesn’t play with the other children and all the time the boy wants to sit with the adults.

       In a day, something strange has happened at school. The boy named M. started picking up on a boy who was younger than him. M. pushed the little boy on the ground and he hit his head leaving him unconscious. At that time, a teacher was passing by the class were the two boys were fighting and she saw the boy laying on the ground and the other one near him but thought that they were just playing like they always do. Another thought was passing Miss T. mind was that maybe is something wrong with the boy who was laying there but she chose to believe that everything is fine.   Imagine source ( fighting.jpg                                     

           M. got scared and run away leaving the kid alone in the classroom. A few minutes later another teacher went in that room looking after some papers and she found the child unconscious. She tried to wake him up but nothing worked. The teacher reached her phone and immediately called 112. The paramedics came and took the child to the hospital. The parents came to see what happened with their poor boy.  The medics said that is nothing serious but they will keep him over the night in the hospital to see if something will change.

          At the school, the principal finds out about what happened the other day and begin an internal investigation. Miss T. also find out about the incident and she is in a dilemma: to tell the principal that she saw the boys in the class and didn’t do anything because she thought that they were playing, but in this case, she will lose her job, or to act like she saw nothing.  The principal took a look at the surveillance cameras and he saw that M. was the only kid in the classroom with the other boy and that he pushed him to the ground, but he also saw that Miss T. saw them there.

          First of all, he called in his office the two boys and their parents. For M., the parents didn’t come, just his grandparents. M. explained why he pushed the boy on the ground. They were fighting over some bad words that the younger boy said to him about his family situation, about him being raised by his grandparents and that he doesn’t have a mom and a dad. The grandparents said why the kid “doesn’t have” a mom and a dad because the mom is working abroad and the parents are divorced so the dad doesn’t really care for his kids. They also said that is hard for them to deal with all the things that happen with the three kids because they are old.   

          After the meeting with the parents was over, he called in Miss T. He asked her why she didn’t say something when she saw the boys fighting. She said that she thought that they were playing and after she found out about what really happened she was too afraid to say anything in order not to lose her job. The principal said to her that she will not lose her job but she will take teacher training courses in order to handle this kind of situations.

     About the situation with the boys, a meeting took place on that day where nurses, school teachers, school psychologist and grandparents attended and also M. They found some solutions to the problem:

·         The psychologist in school together with the teacher can organize activities and interact with children in order to prevent the negative effects of migration,

·         The grandparents can try harder to create a connection between the mother and the kids,

·         The grandparents, the mother and also the teachers can encourage the kid to express his emotions verbally,

·         Encourage the child to ask for help in any situation he is in,

·          Do with the children distraction exercises when situations frustrate the child,

·         Teach the children to distance themselves from the source that caused their anger.











1.      “Home Alone”- Study project; research coordinator Dr. Gabriela Irimiescu

2.      Imagine source :

3.       D. CHEIANU-ANDREI (coord.), R. GRAMMA, S. MILICENCO, V. PRITCAN, V. RUSNAC, D. VACULOVSCHI, Study “Specific needs of children and the elderly left without the care of family members who have gone to work abroad “. Chisinau, 2011.

4.      Imagine source ( fighting.jpg )

5.      Imagine source:


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