NGO community gather online to explore how to make best use of Parenting Tips

The meeting hosted representatives from Oxford University

The Human Safety Net’s global NGO community gathered online to explore how to make best use of the Parenting Tips developed by Parenting for Lifelong Health (PLH), an Oxford University initiative, in collaboration with UNICEF, WHO, and other international agencies.

The Human Safety Net funded and partnered with PLH to develop and provide the free parenting resources, which focus on building positive parent-child relationships and reducing violence against children.
Dr Jamie Lachman, senior researcher at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention at the University of Oxford, told webinar participants that the Parenting Tips were open-sourced, evidence-based and playful resources that aimed to give parenting advice in a user-friendly and engaging way.

He added that the tips were particularly important today because of the additional stresses put on vulnerable families due to the Covid pandemic. Almost 1.3 billion children (74%) were out of school at the height of the pandemic, with 186 country-wide school closures. On top of this, low-income families were particularly hit by additional financial pressures.

Saara Thakur, Project Manager at Oxford University, told participants that the tips cover topics such as how to spend quality time with your child by letting the child take the lead in activities, putting your phone away to ensure the focus remains on the child, and making child-focussed time a regular part of each day. They also explain how to encourage good behaviour, how to keep children safe online and how to tackle difficult subjects. Equally importantly, the tips give advice to parents on how to look after themselves during stressful times, by staying positive and creating a routine for themselves and their children. 

In 2021, 1,000 Generali employees translated the Parenting Tips into 22 languages in a digital ‘Hackathon’, enabling their rapid use in a wide variety of countries at the height of the Covid pandemic. The global library is available here.

Overall, the tips have since been put to use in 198 countries, reaching almost 200 million people. They are part of 34 government covid programmes.

During the webinar, several NGOs shared ways in which they had used the parenting tips during the pandemic, while face-to-face programmes were suspended, such as via print media, posters, public service announcements, phone consultations, radio broadcasts, social media, TV adverts and interactive parenting text messages. PLH has also developed innovative digital ways to use the Parenting Tips, creating online parenting support groups, an interactive chatbox and offline apps.