Here are five hot topics that sparked lively conversation around the Savvy offices this past week.
1. Happy news about quality time
New research published in the Journal of Marriage and Family this week came as a relief to guilt-ridden working moms everywhere. Co-authored by a University of Toronto sociologist, it’s the first large-scale longitudinal study of parent time. Basically it refutes the long-held belief that more is more when it comes to the time parents—especially moms—spend with our kids. In fact, the study found that the sheer number of hours our kids spend with us has little impact on how they turn out—not in terms of academic achievement, emotional well-being or behaviour. Income and education level of parents were found to be the biggest success factors for kids. But that doesn’t mean time spent with parents isn’t incredibly important, or that staying at home with the kids isn’t a perfectly good choice. It’s just that how we spend time is far more impactful than the amount. For example, if a child stays at home with a parent full time but the TV is on for hours at a time, he will not fair as well as a child who spends the bulk of the daytime in an enriching, educational environment followed by a few quality hours with one or more parents sharing a family meal and lots of bedtime stories. This piece by the Washington Post provides some great context.
2. Enough with the talk about working vs. staying at home
And while we’re on the topic, we love this post on our sister site, UrbanMoms.ca. It nails exactly how little we care to hear people’s opinions on how moms should spend their days. Because it’s super tacky to try to spark a Mommy War in 2015.
3. Finnish schools will no longer teach subjects
The education system in Finland has long been held up as an example to the rest of the world. It has really progressive curriculum, and students there consistently rank among the highest globally in numeracy and literacy. So it was interesting to learn this week that the Nordic nation is scrapping subject-based teaching altogether for its senior students ages 16 and up. That’s right: No history class, no language and no MATH. Instead students will explore topics like the European Union from all kinds of perspectives, covering history, economics, languages and geography. Or in vocational streams, they’ll study topics like cafeteria services, learning core subjects like math by exploring the business aspects of the field, for example.
4. Swedish dads looking adorable while taking parental leave
And since we can’t get enough of all things Scandinavian this week, here’s a collection of photos depicting real(ly handsome) Swedish fathers in very ordinary moments during parental leave (which amounts to 480 days of leave for each family per child). We love the juxtaposition in many cases of the dads’ really macho professions with the soft skills on display in the photos. Like the probation officer bathing his infant in the sink or a construction engineer with two kids in his grocery cart. You’re welcome.
5. Marvel Universe Live!
Those of us with superhero-crazy kids were especially excited to learn that this live-action arena show is on tour again. Marvel Universe Live! is a unique entertainment experience that brings 25 favourite Marvel characters together in one ‘epic quest’ around an entirely new storyline. The tour starts in Victoria on June 11 and moves east from there over the summer, hitting up Vancouver, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Hamilton, Toronto, and Montreal. AND we’ve got a coupon code for 20% off the price of tickets that you can use if you book April 1–5. Just enter BLOGCA with your order of up to 15 tickets at any of the stops on the tour.