Oleksandr Pedan: “Now everyone should teach children to love Ukraine”
and the educational travel program “UniverCheck”, public figure, father of two, Oleksandr Pedan, spoke to Woman Magazine about his fatherhood and what a child should pay attention to when choosing a profession.
As a father of two, what values do you teach your daughter and son?
I think that now everyone should teach children to love Ukraine. Patriotism begins in childhood. I remember when Lera was little, I wanted her to speak her native language. At that time I was still recording cartoons in Ukrainian for her on DVDs. We watched Futurama together, not exactly a children’s movie, but she liked it, and thus I taught her to love Nightingale. In addition, we have another core value – family. We had previously agreed not to deceive each other. All our problems can be solved through an honest and frank conversation.
Do you talk to your older daughter about adult topics such as men and sex?
On occasion, but for the most part, her daughter is more interested in discussing such intimate topics with her mother Inna. But if Lera asks me, I’m always ready to talk to her frankly.
What is your method of raising children? Will you do what your parents did to you?
I am trying to take from my childhood all the best that my parents gave me and correct what I consider wrong with me and my upbringing. In particular, I give the warmth and love that my mother always gave me, and the male support that my father did not give me. What I didn’t get as a child, I’m trying to give to my children now.
Do children often ask you for advice? How do you guide them on the right path?
Basically, children can come to me with anything. For example, what to watch, read, what to do with your studies, where to apply, etc. The important question here is for the parents themselves – if they have built a friendly relationship with their child from the very beginning, then that’s great. In addition, there is one simple piece of advice: you should always respond to children, find time to communicate with them, and not ignore them so that they don’t look elsewhere for someone to talk to.
What is it like to work with Valeria in the UniverChask project now?
This is the best collaboration of my life. Firstly, I am very proud of her, and secondly, I believe that our children will be better than us, and that’s cool. Of course, I worry about her in some ways, but I try not to put pressure on her, not to pull the blanket over her, as they say.
Speaking of the first season of UniChez, I was overly concerned and overprotective as a father, which sometimes interfered with my daughter. That’s why we decided to make sure that there were scenes where I was not present, and Lera interacted directly with the director so that I wouldn’t distract her. And to be honest, sometimes she worked better than me.
Speaking of the second season, Lera made a huge step forward. We have already tried to make my daughter the main character, where I faded into the background. And I like it much more. Here, it is more authoritative for the audience we are addressing.
Your youngest son Mark will start school in the fall. What do you think about education in Ukraine? Is there anything you personally would like to change?
I think a lot about this and personally change a lot of things in Ukrainian education. My two teams and I are actively working on this issue. Together with the NGO JuniorS, we have been changing physical education in schools for five years. Together with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and the Institute for the Modernization of Educational Content, we have achieved the result that physical education is now being changed in a new Ukrainian school without standards. Children go there to play and have fun, not to be afraid or look for excuses not to go. Secondly, we made a project with our NGO UMIND about the new Ukrainian school, about its foundations, values, and principles. We organize career counseling and events for children to help them decide what they want to be. We are even trying to influence the development of a high-quality education system in Ukraine. The Ukrainian school is very cool, and my son will go there. There is a very easy threshold for entering the school program. Usually, a child has to count from 1 to 10, be able to dress and eat, in short, there are no very strict criteria. And this is cool, because not all parents know how to teach a child to read, for example, so let teachers do it.
Do you think online learning is better than offline? And what if it concerns the medical faculty?
I believe that offline learning is better than online learning, and I support live learning in any case, because information is better absorbed. Speaking of applied sciences, for example, you cannot study chemistry without a laboratory. Or become a doctor without practical training. This is nonsense, so I am sincerely surprised by students who sometimes do not want to study offline. But I understand them somewhat, because some of them don’t even know what it’s like to study offline because of the covid and the war. I believe that we need to do our best to ensure that children study full-time.
What do you think are the professions of the future? What should school graduates pay attention to now?
There are a lot of professions of the future. Agricultural professions will definitely be in the top, and there will always be a demand for doctors, teachers, and philologists. It also seems to me that vocational education is very underestimated in our country, where there will definitely be a demand for everything that needs to be done with your own hands, from plumbing to construction. Therefore, it is worth orienting the child to what he or she wants to do in the future. This is very important, because even if you have a very cool job, but it does not bring you satisfaction, it is a step towards retraining and learning a profession that is closer to your own. Therefore, it is better to choose what you like right away.
Photo: press service