Silmu Parenting helps to tackle the challenges of parenthood

Silmu Parenting, a platform developed at the University of Helsinki, brings scientific information on upbringing to parents.

Silmu Parenting is a platform developed at the University of Helsinki, aimed at providing advice and support to parents.

“Even if things are generally going well, every parent will at some point come face to face with a situation where they are at a loss on how to act,” says Anna-Mari Sajaniemi, the person in charge of the platform’s commercialisation.

“Such situations may relate to individual problems in a child’s behaviour or interaction, or they may be linked in a broader sense with certain challenging features of the child’s personality. At times, parents find it difficult to see beyond their children’s behaviour and understand the fundamental reasons for them to behave as they do.”

Children’s behaviour guided by universal rules

Silmu Parenting helps parents better understand their children’s traits, while improving parents’ self-understanding and, thus, making it easier for them to be the kind of parent that the children need them to be.

The service offers scientific, evidence-based information and practical advice for challenging situations related to upbringing. In addition, it provides information on typical physical, cognitive and socio-emotional development in children.

The biological foundation of children has remained unchanged for millennia. Although every child is a unique individual, certain rules apply universally regardless of time, culture or ethnic background.

“There is no single right way to be a child or parent, but it is important to learn to identify the factors significant to the wellbeing of your child. Silmu Parenting can help in this,” Sajaniemi says.

What to do with an argumentative child?

By using Silmu Parenting, parents will find answers to many questions, such as what to do when a child refuses to put his or her clothes on, games with other children turn into fighting, or when the child is argumentative, or distressed and fearful.

Parents can gain further information from the different stages of children’s development, identify related delays and get concrete advice on supporting children's healthy development.

In the future, the service will be developed into personal profiles for each user based on the personality traits of their children, through which all advice and information will be tailored to meet the specific needs of the family.

Multidisciplinary team of experts

Silmu Parenting -tiimi

Members of the Silmu Parenting team: Piret Paal, service designer (left); Anna-Mari Sajaniemi, chief commercial officer; and Mimmu Köngäs, researcher of early childhood education.

The Silmu Parenting service was developed by specialists in early childhood education, special education, child psychiatry, neuroscience, developmental psychology and educational psychology.

The project got its start in the Helsinki Challenge science competition in 2017, in which the team competed under the name Parental Box. Their ideas were to provide families all over the world with reliable, evidence-based research knowledge on child development and to support the mental wellbeing of the entire family.

The team received supportive feedback, recognised the demand for Parental Box and came to the decision to consolidate the project.

Today, Silmu Parenting is looking for development-oriented families to test the service.

The team is envisioning global business potential, since the challenges of parenthood are universal.