There probably aren’t too many parents for primary school aged kids in Finland, who to at least some degree don’t get chills, when “There is a message for you in Wilma” pops up on the screen.
Getting a message with subject “Accident today” definitely was one causing chills. Although my instant first reaction was did he really pee in his pants followed by ohmygod, what has he done now.
Well, it turned out that in the music lesson, which was a dance lesson, one of the pupils in the class fell and broke one of his front tooth.
Some of you might remember that years ago Talky broke both his front teeth when running up – against all advise – a bum slide on a camping trips. Yes, it included a lot of blood, tiers and crying. Not to mention parents who nearly freaked out. It also became the most expensive camping trip ever, as every single time the fillings fell off (about every 6 months), a dentist’s visit worth R2000 was scheduled. Didn’t we tell you NOT to run there…
Whereas in Finland.
The following day the accident was talked through in the class. In the evening we got a message saying:
Today we talked about yesterday’s accident and the children shared their thoughts. It had clearly affected many of them. At the end of the lesson K (special needs teacher) and myself reminded them that if they are still feeling very anxious or it is effecting their sleep for example, they should should talk to someone about their feelings.
Talky thought the discussion was weird. I asked whether he felt anxious. He looked at me as if I was crazy.
I guess for someone who has seen 15,000 people, some of them schoolmates, lose their homes in a fire, losing a tooth isn’t such a big deal. Someone who has heard people you know getting stabbed and robbed and killed, a little blood isn’t enough to get traumatised.
Below a picture of what was a huge fire in Hout Bay, March 2017. Featured image shows Talky getting his teeth fixed the first time in Cape Town. Getting teeth fixed in Finland, by the way, doesn’t cost anything. Children also get an appointment for the same day or latest next day for emergencies. A broken tooth is an emergency in Finland. In Cape Town we usually had to wait for a month to get an appointment with a decent dentist. And pay as mentioned above.