Parenting skills in the focus

Global Day of Parents 2021 message by Parents International

The Global Day of Parents is celebrated on 1 June every year since 2012. The observance of the day emphasises the critical role of parents in the upbringing of children and recognizes – as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – that the family has the primary responsibility for the nurturing and protection of children. This year, the UN focuses on good workplace practices and family-friendly working conditions. While on the International Day of Families, just two weeks ago, the main message was about the empowerment needs of parents, on this occasion Parents International wishes to highlight what competences are already present, a much neglected and un-utilised topic: parenting skills that can be of high value for employers. With the past year’s restrictions millions of people losing employment partially or totally, and thus stay-at home parents facing an inevitable decision to join the labour market, these skills are to be highlighted, celebrated and recognised to provide better income, especially for people with no or lower formal qualifications. This is essential to pursue the main global goal of children’s well-being. The recognition of parenting skills has been a focal topic for parents’ organisations and Parents International. This is why we have joined European initiatives, the Pact for Skills and the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition in the field hoping that we can create a model for other geographic areas, too.

global day of parents

Parenting is one of the most complex activities of people and also a job most people do at some point in their lives. Research and experience show that parents gain a lot of knowledge, skills and competences through parenting in different walks of life, some specific, some transversal. By raising awareness of these skills, supporting their development as well as the recognition and validation of skills, we can create an opportunity for people to use their parenting skills in the labour market. This is beneficial for people who wish to change their career paths as well as low skilled adults. Parents are raising their children in the digital age, and this experience offers a rich basis for skills and competence development for a digital reality, too. By bringing together work we have been doing in different projects and initiatives, we have created a complex pledge about parenting skills for digital skills and jobs.

Parents International is a global network of organisations and professionals offering an evidence base and connected tools, practices and support for better parenting. We have worked in this field already a lot, one our key activities being the recognition, validation and utilisation of parenting skills.

When delivering on our pledge, being an international membership organisation, we are developing tools (in this case self-assessment and training/coaching/mentoring ones), and train and coach multipliers in our membership and beyond. Our aim for supporting labour market utilisation of these skills is to bring together the expertise of Parents International, VET providers and employers in order to define a methodology for recognising the skills that parents have in order to facilitated (re)integration into the labour market using the EU Skills Profile for Third Country Nationals.

We already have a highly successful ongoing project that we are using as a starting point and model: ParENTrepreneurs. While it focuses on a special collection of skills, the entrepreneurial ones, and the project itself is not aiming for labour market integration, we need to highlight that most of these skills are essential for successful employment. Its focus is to support parents and caregivers in developing their own and their child’s entrepreneurial mindset and skills; especially, a sense of initiative, self-awareness and self-efficacy, creativity, and developing a growth mindset. The project is built on an evidence-based competence framework footed on the EntreComp that outlines entrepreneurship as a competence where entrepreneurship is understood as value creation where the benefit may be financial but may also be cultural or social.

ParENTrepreneurs is aiming at offering a complex and context-sensitive solution to help parents as the primary (not only first, but also most impacting) educators of their children develop their educator skills to raise resilient children. For this, the project consortium has identified parents’ entrepreneurial competence development as a pre-requisite so that parents educate in areas they are competent in.

Building on the cornerstone of society, the family, a new vision for entrepreneurship is created by a ParENTrepreneurs, making new generations of parents as educators aware of the “entrepreneurial way” for their own future careers as well as that of their children, and of the need to be proactive in life. By the built-in validation procedure employers as well as the adult education and VET sectors and trainers in these fields awareness of skills and competences of educators acquired informally and non-formally.

On the Global Day of Parents we wish that the major contribution of parents to society is recognised in as many ways as possible, including the recognition and celebration of the multitude of skills – from education to health care, from financial management to counselling – any parent gains naturally while bringing up our children.

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