Come round with a hot meal, offer to take a baby’s older siblings out to the playground for an hour, or simply say: “you’re doing a great job”. Those are some examples of ways to support new parents, which are being promoted in the next phase of the Ode to Parents campaign by Gezonde Generatie (Healthy Generation) in the Netherlands.
The first phase of the Gezonde Generatie’s Ode to Parents campaign, launched last year, focused on celebrating parents of young children and lowering the threshold for giving and receiving support. The campaign is based on extensive research showing that 91% of new parents find parenting hard, and 67% saying they don’t like to ask for help because they fear being a burden.
With this follow-up Ode to Parents campaign, Gezonde Generatie aims to activate the social networks around new parents and parents-to-be, providing practical advice and ideas for how you can build the confidence of caregivers and make it easier for them to give their young children the support they need to thrive.
This campaign is part of a wider project to raise awareness of how a baby’s first 1000 days – from conception through to their second birthday – lay the foundations for later life, with babies relying on support from their caregivers, and caregivers in turn relying on their networks.
The campaign is funded by the Bernard van Leer Foundation, the Noaber Foundation and the Samenwerkende Gezondheidsfondsen (Collaborating Health Funds). Gezonde Generatie is an initiative of these 24 collaborating health funds in the Netherlands. The goal is for Dutch youth to be the healthiest in the world by 2040. Currently, more than half of Dutch people are living with at least one chronic illness. To prevent a further increase, Gezonde Generatie works together with young people and partners to make sure every child grows up as healthy, safe and loving as possible.