books on parenting in scandinavian countries - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-31-2012, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

 

I'm looking for information on books on parenting and family from Scandinavian perspectives (in English). Any recommendations are welcome. Thanks!

 

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#2 of 6 Old 09-01-2012, 03:38 AM
 
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Do you mean a descriptive book on how parenting is done 'the Scandinavian way', or self-help books written for Scandinavian parents? I don't know any of the former kind (though you may come across references in books about Scandinavian culture), but books I've enjoyed written in English are those by Danish author Jesper Juul. And of course, in those you will also find references to how things are generally done, and was done in the past. The last one I read, and loved, is Your Competent Family (I'm pretty sure that's the English title also). 

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#3 of 6 Old 09-01-2012, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, kmamma! Jesper Juul's books look good. I have a really general interest in just learning about differences between US parenting/family practices & beliefs versus those in the Scandinavian countries. Juul's books look like they will be a good start. I'm open to any other suggestions as well. Thank you!
 


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#4 of 6 Old 09-01-2012, 03:46 PM
 
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I would say it's fairly similar, but American parents tend to hold on to traditional practices more so than at least Swedish parents (can't speak for the other Scandinavian countries). I myself fall somewhere in between, and I kind of think that Swedes have gotten way too lazy about guiding their kids. I like to give my kids space to figure many things out on their own, but I'm not afraid to tell them if something is just plain wrong, such as throwing rocks on a nursing home. My husband, who's American, watched as a bunch of kids were doing this once, and had no qualms about yelling at them to stop. One of the kids' parent approached the scene and said nothing, just acted like nothing was going on. 

 

This is pretty common. Swedish parents don't want to make a scene, so they don't normally scold children in public. I don't necessarily advocate scolding, but Swedish kids truly lack guidance and often misbehave. There's a huge distance between kids and parents these days, much more so than in the US. I'd even say it's to the point that kids are afraid/suspicious of adults.

 

Of course, there are plenty alternative type parents here too, but probably mostly in the bigger towns and cities. I haven't spent much time there since I've been back in Sweden so can't really comment on their parenting. I suspect it's the same as with US attachment parents.

 

As you probably know, Swedish law prohibits spanking, and while I'm far from an advocate for spanking, I think it's gone overboard and now every form of discipline is abusive.

 

Well, that's my take on it! I hope there are others who can chime in. I'm certainly no authority on the subject as I've been living in Sweden as a parent for only three years now. Though I did grow up here and so experienced it from a child's perspective obviously. It seems to have gotten way more lax than it used to be in the 80s. And some parents still do spank. Just not the belt type of stuff you might find in the US still. 

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#5 of 6 Old 09-02-2012, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, thanks again, kmamma, for your input! I'm surprised to hear about the distance you speak of between child and adult. That is quite interesting. I have a 3.5 year old boy and so my husband and I are moving into the childhood stage of parenting.

 

My husband's family's heritage is German on both parents' side (though we do suspect some Swedish ancestry), and mine is German/Danish and Norwegian, but we're both US citizens, as well as our parents and grandparents. It would have been our great-great grandparents and beyond that were from the old world. I have a strong desire to visit the countries that were our ancestral homelands, and I'm using my career to hopefully get us there for conferences, in hopes that in the long term we could even live there permanently.

 

My career is still in its early stages (I have a master's degree and 3 years of management experience), so I figure it'll be some time before I gain enough connections and experience for any big opportunities, so in the meanwhile, I want to spend my free time learning and thinking about things. I've even started learning Norwegian :)

 

Kmamma, any suggestions or comments you'd feel comfortable sharing about diet/foods/meals or anything else in general about life in Sweden? I'd love to hear your insights! :D


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#6 of 6 Old 12-27-2012, 06:02 PM
 
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I can recommend "Scolding: Why It Hurts More Than It Helps" by Danish Erik Sigsgaard. It is presented on Amazone as a book for professionals working in daycares, but I see it as just as much a book for parents. I find it both useful, funny, and interesting.

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