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Swedish parenting style

Is let-kids-be-kids the norm, and why?

burlison
post 27.Dec.2012, 06:03 PM
Post #1
Joined: 26.Jan.2010

Hi

I'm struggling to understand parenting standards that are - allegedly - common in Sweden. Most of the current generation of parents, and a lot of their parents that I've met (mainly middle- working-class people in the Stockholm area) don't seem to assign any value to behaving properly. By "behaving properly", I'm deliberately using an Anglo idea of "proper" to represent saying please and thank you, not hitting, pushing, shoving, interrupting, and such for children under 5. At playgrounds in Sweden and anywhere else where children and parents gather, there isn't a lot of active intervention on the part of parents when kids misbehave, and I just don't get it.

Is this hands-off approach backed by some sort of research, cultural norm or is because the children are expected to be taught in school, or what?
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Seamus Sean
post 27.Dec.2012, 06:13 PM
Post #2
Joined: 4.Oct.2009

It´s not only in the Stockholm area!
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burlison
post 27.Dec.2012, 06:36 PM
Post #3
Joined: 26.Jan.2010

@seamus - thanks for responding in. I should have been clearer: the only observations I have are from the Stockholm area because that's really the only area I've spent time in. I guess from your reaction that what I've observed is true for other areas?
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Coolrunnings
post 27.Dec.2012, 07:04 PM
Post #4
Joined: 15.Jun.2012

Parenting skills are weak in Sweden. Bullying and misbehaving is unofficially accepted in the Swedish school system. It's a cultural thing, swedes don't like to deal with conflicts.
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Coolrunnings
post 27.Dec.2012, 07:06 PM
Post #5
Joined: 15.Jun.2012

But I may add that I've come across worse. In Dublin I've seen Irish kids throw stones at an old man without people around reacting.
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intrepidfox
post 27.Dec.2012, 07:08 PM
Post #6
Location: Gothenburg
Joined: 18.Jul.2012

QUOTE (Coolrunnings @ 27.Dec.2012, 07:04 PM) *
Parenting skills are weak in Sweden. Bullying and misbehaving is unofficially accepted in the Swedish school system. It's a cultural thing, swedes don't like to deal with conflicts.

It´s no wonder when as soon as the kids are born they are put into "Dagis" and when the parents finally meet their children they stick them in front of the TV or computer.
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byke
post 27.Dec.2012, 08:16 PM
Post #7
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

+1
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Yorkshireman
post 27.Dec.2012, 09:11 PM
Post #8
Joined: 22.Nov.2011

QUOTE (burlison @ 27.Dec.2012, 06:03 PM) *
By "behaving properly", I'm deliberately using an Anglo idea of "proper" to represent saying please and thank you, not hitting, pushing, shoving, inter ... (show full quote)

Exactly!... You are comparing to Your interpretation of manners and behaving, Anglo style, unfortunately, or maybe even fortunately, Sweden was not part of the British Empire ... If You have understood anything about Swedish it is that there just isn't a standard manner-phrase for "please" .. that is similar to English please ... which in all honesty has nowadays become a throwaway phrase.

Sweden long ago got rid of the concern of what others think and slapping the kids stopped a while ago ... so, I am just wondering, if kids should be kids is considered to be wrong ...just what should kids be???

On the otherside, in Sweden whilst kids can be kids, they are also expected to become adults much faster, and leave home at 18, which is why there is such a high accomodation per capita than most other European countries.
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Abe L
post 27.Dec.2012, 09:15 PM
Post #9
Joined: 20.Jul.2011

QUOTE (Coolrunnings @ 27.Dec.2012, 07:04 PM) *
swedes don't like to deal with conflicts.

Or taking responsibility for their (or their children's) actions.
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Yorkshireman
post 27.Dec.2012, 09:21 PM
Post #10
Joined: 22.Nov.2011

QUOTE (intrepidfox @ 27.Dec.2012, 07:08 PM) *
It´s no wonder when as soon as the kids are born they are put into "Dagis" and when the parents finally meet their children they stick them in front of the TV or computer.

I really do wonder sometimes just which Sweden many of You live in!!! ... I live in Stockholm, and in the circles I move, it certainly is not like this! ohmy.gif ...Mind You, this is the stereotyped picture of the Western World!!!
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Seamus Sean
post 27.Dec.2012, 09:37 PM
Post #11
Joined: 4.Oct.2009

QUOTE (Yorkshireman @ 27.Dec.2012, 09:11 PM) *
Exactly!... You are comparing to Your interpretation of manners and behaving, Anglo style, unfortunately, or maybe even fortunately, Sweden was not part of the British Emp ... (show full quote)

So at least on some subjects you don`t try and tell us what happens in the UK will happen in Sweden also...nothing like being consistant I guess???
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intrepidfox
post 27.Dec.2012, 09:50 PM
Post #12
Location: Gothenburg
Joined: 18.Jul.2012

QUOTE (Yorkshireman @ 27.Dec.2012, 09:21 PM) *
I really do wonder sometimes just which Sweden many of You live in!!! ... I live in Stockholm, and in the circles I move, it certainly is not like this! ...Mi ... (show full quote)

I wonder which Sweden you live in. Is it Stockholm in Pepin County, Wisconsin USA. I wonder which bubble your world revolves around as it certainly isn´t a real world going by your recents posts. Have you had a few too many during the Christmas period?
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jack sprat
post 27.Dec.2012, 10:05 PM
Post #13
Joined: 15.Sep.2006

Swedish parenting seems to consist of feeding the kids, clothing them, giving them some money, then letting them do whatever the hell they want..

Not only do many Swedish kids see nothing wrong in being bad mannered, abusive and thieving, but their parents seem to think it's quite the normal thing for them to do when such things are brought to their attention.

When I say kids I'm talking about all ages between 5 and 20.

I have a Swedish school teacher friend who has finally had to pack it in after many years, as their behaviour has become increasingly worse with each generation and she has no one to turn to, as basically the kids more and more realize that they can do as they wish with virtually no form of effective retribution available to keep them in line ,whilst their parents continue to think the Sun shines out of their asses regardless of what they get up to.

Oh yes and if the Swedes haven't got a word for please, I reckon it's long past the time they found one.
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intrepidfox
post 27.Dec.2012, 10:10 PM
Post #14
Location: Gothenburg
Joined: 18.Jul.2012

QUOTE (jack sprat @ 27.Dec.2012, 10:05 PM) *
Swedish parenting seems to consist of feeding the kids, clothing them, giving them some money, then letting them do whatever the hell they want..Not only do many Swedish kids ... (show full quote)

Well said but unfortunately the kids off today are all the same even in other countries. The parents expect their teachers to raise their children and many are so busy with themselves that they should never have conceived in the first place.
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jack sprat
post 27.Dec.2012, 10:47 PM
Post #15
Joined: 15.Sep.2006

I agree, but what amazes me is the degree of indifference shown by Swedish parents when they are confronted about their kids bad behaviour.

Elsewhere you can expect a mixed response as in the UK. Some parents take complaints very seriously and do their best to take firm action, whilst others just don't seem to care a toss.

However my own experience and that of teacher friends in Sweden is that there is just a general acceptance by parents that their kids will do whatever they wish to do, regardless of what problems they cause to other people.
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