In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a whopping number of countries, 191, have implemented countrywide school closures, affecting 1,6 billion learners worldwide. With many children currently not able to study in classrooms, the importance of learning at home is amplified and the task of supporting children’s learning has fallen on parents at a much larger rate. This is a significant burden for parents and we at Positive Parenting from Finland got worried about it.
A majority of parents found homeschooling “stressful and challenging” during the pandemic.
“Many parents commented that they lacked the skills to effectively teach their children.” That is the suggestion from research by the Unesco Education Centre at Ulster University (UU).
In Finland, one of the leading educational countries and the happiest country in the world, no teaching related mass events will be organized, social distancing rules will be observed, and people are advised to avoid contact.
But can COVID-19 lead to something good?
Luckily children tend to be adaptable. Quarantine itself is not necessarily causing harm or depriving kids of what they need. There’s much to be gained from interactions with parents, siblings and even pets. Time alone is valuable, too.
Even before this new situation, parents have had to deal with parenting mostly on their own. And now, in many cases parents have been overwhelmed with remote learning requirements in Finland, too. Two education solution companies; TinyApp and Futurecode decided to take action and address these global challenges through creating a great practical toolkit to support and guide parents.
Pia Solatie, one of the founders of Positive Parenting from Finland explains: ”In Finland transversal skills have for quite some time had a major role in curricula for both early childhood and primary schools. Now, during COVID-19 pandemic, we see the shift in the responsibility of teaching these crucial future skills from professionals at kindergartens and schools to parents”.
”The lockdowns of kindergartens and schools revealed the same experiences also among many parents in Finland.” says Marjo Paappanen, a school teacher MA in education and pedagogical expert in the team behind Positive Parenting from Finland course.
“In our team, we felt that this is not necessarily the time for lectures about the importance of social skills. Our emphasis is on supporting parents in their important role. We also wish to focus on practical ways to learn e.g. through playful learning moments.” Marjo Paappanen continues.
Naturally, Positive Parenting from Finland is not only suited for the current situation but serves as a convenient and practical toolkit for parents looking for support, guidance, and inspiration in parenting.
At this very moment, families are experiencing a period of challenging times with the pandemic. Mental health issues have also raised a lot of discussion, and that is why we wish to share a practical hint from our Positive Parenting from Finland course. Emotional skills are really important for mental health, and how you feel about yourself, and how you interact with others. Luckily emotional skills and empathy can be learned and here is our favorite game to practice with. It is called “the Nicety Worm”. The “Nicety Worm” is actually a chain, made of small pieces of paper. Always, when a family member recognizes something nice and kind happening in the family, one can attach a new piece to the chain or worm. The idea is to make a decision that when the Nicety Worm has e.g. ten pieces, the family is going to do something awesome together. It is fun to see the Nicety worm grow longer along with those moments of kindness! And this is a great way to demonstrate an abstract concept for children. Additionally, every new piece gives a good reason for praising the children for nice and kind deeds. We hope you give this little game a try, and experience the result, too.
The aim is to support parents in their super important work, guiding children and developing their skills to meet the future challenges and opportunities.
Busy parents – a global dilemma
There are great books about parenting, but everyone who has experienced family life, will surely agree that while being a parent, life can be busy and time a limited resource. Positive Parenting from Finland approach emphasizes the bite-sized learning moments for parents and children as well.
The courses and units offer tips and hints in short audio chapters and practical guides. And these are designed to be carried out in daily context. The suggested activities rarely call for extensive equipment, but just a little bit of time and rehearsal. Some chapters offer mostly food to thought, suggestions for parents to reflect on the new thinking and ideas. And then let parents find the ways to implement the insights to fit their situation and needs.
The Positive Parenting from Finland is focusing on the crucial 21st century skills. And why?
These skills are at times referred to as the 21st century skills or transversal skills. They stretch into all aspects of life and learning. We believe these skills are the ones your child will need the most in the future, and that is why we call them the future skills.
In real life mastering the 21st century skills will help your child and make it easy to make friends and prosper at school. You and your child will learn to understand your emotions and take other’s emotions into account. You learn to work in teams, as everyone should in the future. You also gain tools to improve your creativity and innovation ability. Just to mention a few!
Additionally, we have complied bonus chapters which covers 6 contemporary, hot topics among parents. One of these is dealing with screen time, one concentrates on healthy lifestyle and eating issues.
We warmly welcome you to explore Positive Parenting online course and look forward to your feedback and experiences.
Finland is declared as the happiest nation in the world for 4 consecutive times, and we in our team feel it is about time we highlight our key takeaways also in parenthood. That is why, we have been working hard to get “Positive Parenting from Finland” online toolkit ready for homes to enjoy!