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Ministry of Social Affairs is starting a thank you campaign for parents who have supported their children throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Edasta tänusõnad lapsevanemale: www.aitähsulle.ee
Edasta tänusõnad lapsevanemale: www.aitähsulle.ee

Starting from today, everyone can say a public ‘thank you’ to parents who have supported their children throughout the COVID-19 crisis. You can enter the parents’ name you wish to express your gratitude to on the campaign website www.aitähsulle.ee and the acknowledgments will be displayed on digital advertising spaces (both online and throughout the city) to draw attention to the parents who have lived through this extraordinary year. At the same time we will also emphasise fulfilling the needs of the parents and raise awareness about the resources for support.

See the thank you song here 

“The last year has to a greater or lesser extent turned our lives upside down,” Minister of Social Protection Signe Riisalo said. “This is especially true for parents, who have faced challenges on many fronts. It is time to notice and recognise them for their extraordinary efforts which they have had to make in order to support their kids during the COVID-19 crisis. It is not easy to combine distance learning, the wishes and needs of children of different ages, your work, hobbies, free-time activities and your relationship with your significant other. Hopefully, this period where being together as a family has become the new normal has also brought you some good. I want to thank and recognise all the parents as well as all the people and organisations who have lent a helping hand to parents in order for them to manage their obligations better.”

A survey which was conducted by the Ministry of Social Affairs among the local governments in April showed that the increase in domestic disputes and violence alludes to the fact that youth, children and families are struggling with their mental health the most. The exhaustion of parents and their right to be noticed and recognised is also reflected in a survey conducted by the Estonian Union of Child Welfare among child protection workers which showed that parents missed their free time, supportive messages and resources to find support the most during the crisis. It demonstrated that parents were exhausted and tired because they had to manage many roles simultaneously.

In addition to showing public gratitude, we will emphasise the needs of the parents through this campaign and we invite everyone to call the child helpline 116 111, reach out to us through the child help chat or read tips on our web page tarkvanem.ee if they need help or advice.

 “During these periods it is important to notice and hug to both parents and children and notice the small positive things,” Ly Kasvandik, the representative of the website tarkvanem.ee from the National Institute for Health Development, said. “In order to help our children, we cannot forget our own needs. You can find tips on how to do that better on our webpage tarkvanem.ee.”

The increase in calls to the child helpline 116 111 shows that people are worried about their and their loved ones’ emotional state and mental health. “Parents are worried that children are overburdened by their studies, they haven’t completed a lot of their homework and school is almost over,” the Chief Manager of the Child Helpline of the Social Insurance Board Kätlin Servet adds. “Children have a difficult time going back to school since they have lost their routine of going to school everyday. Parents are at a loss because they do not have enough skills to deal with children who are overloaded mentally and can sometimes be aggressive. There are many parents who call us that want an appointment to a counsellor because their child is depressed and withdrawn and it is impossible to talk to them. At the same time children are worried because their parents do not understand that it is not easy to stay on track at school when they do not have the strength and motivation. The children blame themselves for not being good enough and being a burden to their parents. Both children and parents are welcome to call the child helpline, because it’s easier to cope with your worries together than alone.”

The Ministry of Social Affairs’ awareness campaign for parents will take place on June 3-13 during which the website www.aitähsulle.ee is open for submissions of gratitude messages for the parents. You can share your words of gratitude by downloading a thank you letter from the website. They will also be displayed on digital placards throughout the city, banners on news websites and in other digital channels. You can also find resources on our website for webpages who provide support such as www.tarkvanem.ee and Lasteabi.ee.

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