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Pros and cons of raising children in Sweden

Comparing this country to, say, Australia

Newk1
post 15.Aug.2009, 03:33 PM
Post #1
Joined: 15.Aug.2009

I've only been in Sweden for a few months so I'm a relative newcomer. Just wondering what others may think about raising their children in Sweden. We have the option of raising our children in Sweden or Australia. Would it be a mistake to choose Sweden? What are some of the pros and cons of raising a child in Sweden? What are your honest views about Sweden's future?
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Miss Kitten
post 15.Aug.2009, 05:00 PM
Post #2
Location: Kronoberg
Joined: 20.Aug.2007

For one thing, it's against the law in Sweden to physically discipline your children in any way:

http://www.thelocal.se/21270/20090812/

Whether this is a good or a bad thing is a matter for debate. In fact, there was a pretty good debate going here on until it broke down to the level of ad hominem attacks.

I suspect that sooner or later Sweden will pass a law forbidding parents from yelling at their children as well.
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IamUnique
post 15.Aug.2009, 05:16 PM
Post #3
Joined: 26.Jul.2009

Haha, yeap, what a country!

I also love the execuse Liberal Party MP Helena Bargholtz come up with to justify the law. She says "Hitting people is wrong - and children are people too".

Using the same kind of logic, how about:

"Wanting to have intercourse with the opposite sex is a natural human desire and is very acceptable - and sons and daughters are the opposite sexes to their respective mothers and fathers, too".

I think many people might find these kinds of arguments rather questionable ...
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Marmi
post 15.Aug.2009, 05:17 PM
Post #4
Location: Not in Sweden
Joined: 8.Nov.2005

Raising children in Sweden (in a swedish way), will make the kids lazy, dependent on the government to tell them exactly what to do, and when to do it, they will also not have any drive to become a better version of themselves as there is no pressure on anyone to perform. When the get a job they don't think "what can I do for this company", instead they think "what will this company do for me, how can I get as much pay as possible for doing the least I can". And so on...

You get the picture. Swedes grow up to believe they're owed a lot just for existing.

I'm saying this kind of with tongue in cheek, but there lays a lot of truth in it too. smile.gif

Also, keep in mind that kids don't get grades in school, so there's no need to try to better oneself. If your kid happens to be bright, he/she will be weighed down in class by the ones that aren't, and will suffer.
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Bisonex
post 15.Aug.2009, 09:29 PM
Post #5
Joined: 10.Jun.2009

I have just moved to Sweden (one week ago) with my wife and our youngest daughter, who is nearly 14. I would not raise any young child in Sweden, or any other country, which wanted to criminalise me for physically disciplining them. Children are not adults; they do not have the same responsibilities as adults and they do not enjoy the same rights as adults (e.g. they can't drive cars, buy alcohol, get married etc), so suggesting that they have the same "human rights" as fully-enfranchised adult citizens of the state is facile.

There are lots of wonderful things about Sweden, but the nanny state that exists here is one thing I don't like. The government here is far too involved in family life and relationships, and that involvement threatens privacy and the independence of people to live their lives without meddling from state employees who nthink they know best.
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Likvid
post 15.Aug.2009, 09:39 PM
Post #6
Joined: 30.Jul.2009

Children are taught from kindergarten the socialistic living, the teacher and the whole system make them the perfect socialists during these years at school.

It's pretty frightening, how can a child know what's right and wrong when the teachers and society teach them to think and act as a socialist?
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byke
post 15.Aug.2009, 09:48 PM
Post #7
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

Its a tough call.

Technically its a much safer state in terms of stability and crime.
However the offset is freedom.

There are allot of rules which are much of the time is embraced by its naturalized citizens as being patriotic without question.

In the past 2 years we have seen a radical change in the system over here which appears to be dividing the nation.
Swedes feel threatened by mass immigration from refugees (NOT high end international working professionals) that bring other cultures to the table, and naturally only go to strengthen the fear of being diluted. And the offset is all foreigners are tarred with the same brush.

If the question was, "as a middle / working class international family, would you wish to raise your kids here?" - the simple answer is NO (not knowing what I know after 15 years here).

As schools here are below the international standard (by a large amount), technically you can go private but most families can not afford it.

Consumerism is terrible, the laws system has huge holes in it, national insurance offset by high taxes doesnt seem very good value for money compared to other european cities.

Obviously there are some good points with Sweden.
But in regards to raising a family over here, there are many drawbacks.
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Likvid
post 15.Aug.2009, 09:51 PM
Post #8
Joined: 30.Jul.2009

QUOTE (Marmi @ 15.Aug.2009, 05:17 PM) *
Also, keep in mind that kids don't get grades in school, so there's no need to try to better oneself. If your kid happens to be bright, he/she will be weighed down in ... (show full quote)


Yep that is the culture here and is part of the socialist thinking where the weakest in society should be taken care of and the bright and clever children should suffer for the weaker.´

There is no turning point for Sweden as majority of the people seems to like it.

Children in Sweden aren't taught any discipline or social competence in school either.
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byke
post 15.Aug.2009, 09:52 PM
Post #9
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

QUOTE (Miss Kitten @ 15.Aug.2009, 06:00 PM) *
I suspect that sooner or later Sweden will pass a law forbidding parents from yelling at their children as well.


Legally you are not allowed to shout at your kids here as its considered "Mental Abuse".
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Likvid
post 15.Aug.2009, 09:58 PM
Post #10
Joined: 30.Jul.2009

Yeah and you better be afraid of that someone reports you as well.

Swedes are brilliant back-stabbers, if they can report someone to authorities they will do it.
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Newk1
post 15.Aug.2009, 09:59 PM
Post #11
Joined: 15.Aug.2009

To those who replied so far, thanks.

To add on what you said about disciplining children, we do NOT smack our children but being a parent is very difficult, and it is easier to make grand pronouncements about parenting when you are not a parent. I can understand the good intentions about making smacking illegal and do understand that smacking can lead to great physical abuse. But I do think recent comments by a minister is another case of Swedes grandstanding about a law that they were first to introduce.

If Swedes are so concerned about children they might also consider the devastating affects that divorce can have on a child and Swedes are champions at divorce. ( I am very aware that not divorcing can also have devastating affects on a child). Swedes are good people, maybe the best, but being too proud, morally pompous, is a fault.
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Likvid
post 15.Aug.2009, 10:23 PM
Post #12
Joined: 30.Jul.2009

QUOTE (Newk1 @ 15.Aug.2009, 09:59 PM) *
Swedes are good people, maybe the best, but being too proud, morally pompous, is a fault.


You will notice the longer you are here that they are not as good as you beleive now.

If you mean Swedes being moral you are totally wrong, Swedes are the least moral people today which you will probably notice the longer you stay here.

In the old days you could trust people here, you can forget that now.

The laws about children is not about moral, it's about protecting the weak.

In Sweden the following are weak groups that needs protection:

Children
Criminals
Women
Immigrants from outside EU
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Lipp
post 16.Aug.2009, 01:57 AM
Post #13
Joined: 16.Aug.2009

As a swede who now lives in Australia I've got a bit of a look on both systems.

Firstly, if you would choose Sweden, would the school have to be an international/english-speaking one?

To compare the two, I reckon that the swedish school system would be better off for the normal public ones, but not if you're aiming for english-speaking schools, and as in all countries there are some schools off and about that are just generally bad (where I went to middle school they closed it down just after I finished and made it into a prison), but that'd be a case of bad luck.

Australian schools are obviously better if your kids would speak english, reckon that they have more of a problem with behaviour though, with less respect for teachers and if in the next few years the more alcohol-oriented culture would kick in. It's probably better for aspiring students (high scores to get into more prestigious universities and such), but unfortunately that is also a case of private schools outperforming the public ones.

And apart from that it would be what your own nationality is.
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brooklynmom2
post 16.Aug.2009, 07:26 AM
Post #14
Joined: 22.Apr.2009

I'm shocked at all the responses to your question, regarding whether to raise a child in Sweden. We just moved here from a fabulous life in New York, for the main purpose of raising our young child (4 years old) here. I think whether this place is good for your child depends on what goals you have for him/her. For us, we didn't want our daughter to grow up in NY, an environment where people are competitive, driven and for the most part quite self oriented. If we had wanted her to be super successful in the American way, ie, go to Ivy League college, or to make a lot of money, then we should have stayed in NY. But we wanted our girl to grow up a kind, honest person, who's going to care about nature and the environment, who will have empathy for others less fortunate than herself, who's going to have the opportunity to explore all kinds of interests, not being bogged down by the pressures of American capitalist culture. That's why Sweden was so appealing to us.

While not being perfect (and no such place is), Sweden is consistently considered to have one of the highest quality of living in all western countries. People here have access to health care, education, clear air, beautiful nature, a simpler way of life. One can argue the pros and cons of the social system, but it is the case that when basic needs of life is taken care of, its citizens feel safer, more secure, and don't feel the need to be super competitive with each other, or to scheme to gain advantages over others.

Gotta run, she just woke up and needs mommy's attention. Good luck with your decision!
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byke
post 16.Aug.2009, 07:50 AM
Post #15
Location: Europe
Joined: 28.Oct.2008

Its a question of how its packaged as usual.
Cuba holds many of those qualities you have spoken about, but again the offset is certain freedoms.

As for "highest quality of life" , I dont know if I can agree on that.
its all about variables.
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