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Raising A Child in Finland

English Drama Course with 1st and 2nd Graders at Kortepohjan Koulu

With your permission, I will share my observations about child education in Finland without mixing pedagogy or psychology into it, in case it may be of use to our children...

Free child aid box given to new parents by the government and its contents

Yes, the Finnish child starts the world one zero ahead, because a month before he was born, the state gives the family a huge box – which can later be turned into a cradle – and all kinds of baby supplies (diapers, clothes, food, etc.) for the families that are not suitable for raising a child so that families should not be in a difficult situation. The baby's birth costs and doctor's check-ups are free. Afterwards, the state does not take its hand off from the families. They provide a certain amount of financial support every month. In other words, the state says, "As long as you reproduce, our lineage will continue".

With this awareness, the average age of parents who fall in love with having children is between 20-25. It is quite common for Finland to see young, dynamic, sporty parents with child seats on the back of their bikes or strollers going for a morning jog. The cold doesn't work well for them, even the fact that they put them out on the balcony when they were babies so that they could get used to the cold and put them to sleep there is circulating.

The tradition of kindergarten is not very common in Finland, because the child already has the right to study for free until the one-year pre-school program and then till university. Since all schools have more or less the same education quality, most parents do not send their children to private schools. In any case, the number of private schools does not exceed the fingers of one hand. All of the children start their formal education at the age of 7, after one year of pre-school education, that is, after experiencing the age of play to the fullest.

So what makes Finnish children special?

  1. Their education begins in the family. Since the family is educated, they can understand child psychology. When a child wants something unreasonable, they see him as an adult and explain why what he wants is not possible at that moment. I'm not even talking about basic training such as sleep, food, toilet etc.

  2. They see value as individuals. Whether s/he is a baby or a child, s/he is respected and loved in society as an individual. When s/he asks a question with a sense of curiosity, it is not said "water is small, word is big", explanations are made tirelessly. It is not said "I am an engineer and my son will be an engineer", individual differences are respected.

  3. They don't know much about gender discrimination. Every child born without distinction as "my lion son" or "my princess daughter" grows up with equal respect and love.

  4. They are left alone. I saw a lot of 7-year-old children walking to school with their backpacks on their backs, joking with their friends, just as many returning home from school with their helmets on. At first I thought these children were "mature" from birth, then I realized that we were too "children" or "cowards". We had to worry about security, and with the trepidation of "don't hurt the child", we packed the children and deprived them of social life. I don't think many people who play in the park in one meter of snow at -15 degrees are sleeping at home because of pharyngitis the next day. Dressing up and having fun is quite ordinary for them, but it is also a fun activity. Courses are not uploaded so that the child must have a hobby. It is with his/her family when s/he should spend time with his/her family, s/he plays games when s/he should play, if the child is interested in a field of his/her own will, the family falls on it and reinforces the child's desire to learn.

  5. Their parents trust their teachers. Thanks to my education program, I have visited so many schools, I swear to you, I have not seen a single parent wandering around the school for a day. I've known parents who couldn't wait to hold teachers accountable and to hear from their children what they learned at school. In some special cases, teachers, not parents, want to communicate with parents, and this happens if a child requires special education.

It's a generalization I mentioned above, and of course I'm not saying that every Finnish child is like this, this upbringing style is perfect.

I just want to point out that my observations are based on; "Finnish children grow up happily and peacefully."

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