Radio Sweden takes an english-language look at Daddyland

There is one question about Daddyland that I never really have the guts to ask.

Is it enough? Are 480 days enough parental leave? Should we get more? How unfair is it that all parents and all children have to fit in the welfare state’s very generous but fairly rigid little box?

I mean, I come from America, which essentially has no system. Sweden gave me the gift of 18 months of time with my kids.

Yet still, the question does linger …

Well, a former colleague of mine, Christine Demsteader didn’t shy away from the issue in a story for Radio Sweden. Pregnant herself, Christine gives us a great audio tour of the parental leave system. And I do not say that only because she interview some American Dad who just happens to write this blog.

Her story begins at 14:40 below. You can just pull the arrow over the bar to move to the right time. And my moment of Swedish radio glory starts about 22:00.

You can also download the program as an mp3 file here.  It is the November 8 show.

 

2 thoughts on “Radio Sweden takes an english-language look at Daddyland

  1. Yes, a question anyone hates to ask, Sweden gives so much. But it pains me to see the kids have to go to dagis at 18 months. It is such a special developmental time, they are copying all the time and truly beginning their learning. I think they really flousish if they have someone very connected to them who understand their special language and communication at that moment in their life. I hate to say it, but watching the kids at dagis during in schooling, there was a real set back going on for them that hurt me to watch. One week I was there there was a chatty little girl who spent Monday to Wednesday talking all day, and the teachers just laughed it off and shrugged her off, they did not know what she was saying. By the next week, she was virtually silent, having gotten the message their was no point talking to someone who did not get it. Right when their language skills explode there is an absence of anyone who understands them in their day, so they just quit talking. I think it is a key time to have a close intimate care giver, at 18 months to 3 years…kids copy, and this is when they learn empathy and gain confidence, which comes from being very understood by their loving caregiver. In a small home daycare or with a nanny it can work, but even in our small 4 to 1 dagis, the teachers just do not know and love the kids enough to make the connections and support their discovery the way a parent can. In the ideal world, kids would have a parent with them until at least 3 in my book. I hate to bring this stuff up as people have no choice, but I am pretty sure you can take it, even if it is close to home being in this stage now with your own kids. All families have to make tough choices…..

  2. Yeah, I think 3 is the magic age. But I have come to terms with the system, I guess. It helps that my son has amazing teachers who understand his toddler speak in both Swedish AND English. He coos about them at home.

    But I totally recognize this is the luck of the draw. My daughter’s first year was, to put it diplomatically, not as nurturing. I get more sad about that now that I see this contrast. But she was more than 2. She has great teachers now and is happy as can be with her preschool.

    Just life.

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