5 December 2013
Give Back to the Future: Politics of Parenting in Sweden
I define politics as the relationships between people, and Sweden’s understand the unwritten contingency between parents and the future of their country more than other parts of the world seem to. Imagine the feeling of finding out that you have a child on the way, as a mother or father. You’re worried, right? Having a child is expensive, it can be dangerous, it can interfere with your job, or maybe you’re not ready. Another issue commonly associated with a pregnancy is whether or not the father is willing to participate in raising the child. One thing many people do not know is that the worries that come rushing in immediately can potentially vary by country. In Sweden, the entire pregnancy and rearing process is gone about differently. For the better or for the worse is for each to decide on their own. Children aren’t viewed as a burden as often they are in America. Instead, they are viewed as the future and thus valued, protected, and even thought of at a higher level. In Sweden child birth is safer and parenting is rewarded.
One major aspect of Swedish parenting that sets it apart from other countries is the maternal leave given to every parent. Mother and father are given a total of 480 paid days (80% of regular pay) to take off of work that can start at the seventh month of pregnancy. However if the parents choose to split the days exactly equally they are given bonus days. Politically, this encourages and strengthens gender equality among parents, or just in general for that matter. Parents are also allowed to work a part time job if they choose which is controversial. The effects this has on children are significant as well. Think if your parents or parent was able to spend approximately 4 times as much time with you at a young age. Also when parents return to work they have the option to decrease their...
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