Swedish men who decide to get married are already psyched into becoming one of thousands of men who don baby carriers or push prams as part of their get up. While these are gears that only mothers in other countries wear or use, it’s not the case in Sweden.
Here, working fathers can get off work early if it’s their turn to pick up their kids from preschool and/or from after-school daycare centers. Still dressed trendily in work clothes, it’s a common sight to see young Swedish fathers making their way across city streets with a baby strapped closed to their chest, or pushing one in a pram and in some cases, holding toddlers at the same time.
The population of Swedish fathers actively taking part in caring and raising their children has grown in numbers since the 1970s, ever since the government made it mandatory for them to do so. That way, employed mothers do not have to carry the entire load of caring and looking after an offspring while needing to report for work at the same time.
In the most recent surveys involving new generations of Swedish parents, about 86 to 94% agree that it’s just right for fathers to be heavily involved in giving care and in raising their children. In fact many have devoted a lot of time to hands-on parenting during the first six years of every child’s growing up period. Lovingly called in Sweden as “papa velours” or “papa lattes,” they say that the only thing they have not done as parents is to breastfeed a child.
How Is It Possible for Swedish Fathers to Commit to Work and Parenting at the Same Time?
While Swedish fathers work in order to provide for the family, committing to actively participate in parenting at the same time, is made possible through the support provided by the Swedish government.
First off, each parent is entitled to take 240 days of paid parental leaves for every child born into a family, totaling 480 days between both parents. They can opt to take their parental leaves together or take turns in spreading out the time off from work. during a child’ early months up to preschool years.
Paid parental leaves though, must be consumed before the child’s 8th birthday, which is usually during the first school year of compulsory elementary education. In addition, all parents whether united by matrimony or simply living together as couples, are entitled to receive a monthly allowance for every child, Currently, the monthly allowance that couples receive is SEK1250 per child, or SEK675 for solo parents.
In addition, compulsory education up to junior high and optional senior high are free. Preschools doubling as daycare facilities are government subsidized, to which daycare fees are capped at a maximum amount on a per family basis. That is regardless of the number of children a family enrolls or number of hours spent by a child in a daycare center.
Swedish parents do not have to worry about medical and health care costs for their children since they are provided free by state hospitals. Still, Swedish parents are quite obsessed about keeping a close eye over their children it’s important for them to install a babyvakt kamera of which the most preferred are those that can send video images directly to parents’ units without need for wifi connectivity. Cybersecurity experts warn that hackers can invade the privacy of homes through baby monitors that transmit data via wifi connections.
In Sweden, it’s important for parents to make sure that the look after the well being and security of their children. Mainly because the government expect parents to give serious and proper attention to their parenting responsibilities or otherwise lose not only their child parenting benefits but their children as well. Child neglect or mistreatment can be a reason for the government to remove a child under a parent’s care.