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Raising kids in Sweden

Madstadlad
post 16.Feb.2007, 12:32 PM
Post #1
Joined: 7.Mar.2006

Saw this article on the BBC and wondered what your views are on on bringing kids up in Sweden.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6359363.stm

As a Brit and having moved to Sweden with my wife and 3 daughters over a year ago I'm much happier bringing them up here for reasons of improved freedom, opportunites, better education, safety and generally less stress! I'm not blind to see that it's not all roses in Sweden but I have no desire to return with my family to the UK. Oh and my kids say the same thing too!
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*Felix225*
post 16.Feb.2007, 01:10 PM
Post #2


madstadlad

Yes, sometimes in the UK it feels like childhood is an unfortunate affliction people have to go through before becoming a real person.
I think the social cohesion is an important factor, increasing inequality causes alot of the problems Britain is experiencing, just hope it doesnt go that way here too.
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Alfredo
post 16.Feb.2007, 02:07 PM
Post #3
Joined: 1.Dec.2005

What I like about bringing kids up in the Swedish countryside are the following:

1) The opportunity to go for a drive, make a fire and roast marshmallows

2) Going swimming, by getting on your bike, and cycling to the nearest lake

3) The long summer holiday

4) In winter, you take the 'spark' and go ice-skating, or walk down to a floodlit 'bana'

5) At the weekends in winter, you get in your car, and hit the slopes. Or you can go cross-country in various places

6) My wife likes the fact that she doesn't have to make the kids packed lunches

7) The kids like not wearing uniforms at school, having a shorter school day, and less homework

8 ) I like not having to drive them to various after-school activities, although we're lucky enough to live near the school, where many activities take place

9) There is plenty of space to swing a cat. We don't have a cat, but if we did have one, we'd swing it. Big time!

10) There are always weirdos and foreigners you get to meet
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Slaphead
post 16.Feb.2007, 02:25 PM
Post #4
Joined: 23.Jan.2007

It has its good points and bad.

seeing as you lot have been focusin gon the good points and im generally happiest when im complaining ill focus on the negatives.

You rarely see kids playing outside from October-April. Its pitch black when they get home from school and the novelty of snow wears off after a week.

School uniforms would really improve things
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Alfredo
post 16.Feb.2007, 02:42 PM
Post #5
Joined: 1.Dec.2005

Where do you live, slaphead?
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Slaphead
post 16.Feb.2007, 02:57 PM
Post #6
Joined: 23.Jan.2007

Uppsala
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Beren
post 16.Feb.2007, 03:08 PM
Post #7
Joined: 12.Jan.2007

To be fair you don't see many Brit kids playing out Octtober-April either. In fact, you don't see many kids in Britain playing outside nowadays any way. Loitering maybe. But not playing.

We have a football pitch in our village. And a nice playground that has just been built. There's also plenty of kids of all ages.

The pitch is used once on a Saturday morning and the playground is always empty.

If it isn't electronic, they aren't interested. Why run around getting muddy when you can play football in your bedroom on the Playstation ?
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Slaphead
post 16.Feb.2007, 03:16 PM
Post #8
Joined: 23.Jan.2007

My lot are out from dawn to dusk literally from April-September, but this time of yr the only really go out for ½ hour here and there, i dont blame them either.
You never see anyone really, once April comes around you realise some neighbour has moved and you never even noticed it until now, Kids come out and you see how much they have grown etc.
To be fair there's not a lot for kids to do in winter. theres only so much ice skating and pulking a kid can take.
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Englishdave
post 16.Feb.2007, 03:25 PM
Post #9
Joined: 14.Feb.2007

I have never been to school in sweden and spent all my life in england and been thought he whole system here (well, almost, im halfway through university on my year in industry). I have a swedsih girlfrind here, and have been over a few times (total of around 4 weeks in sweden)

Schools in enlgand are not great,

there is a reason why we have packed lunches, school dinners are not very nice, unhealthy, and you have to pay for them. Packed lunches means that you can have what you want, wen you want and pay how ever much or little you want for it. that is begining to change, school dinners are becoming healthier and much better in general, however, u still have to pay for them (unless you u come from a low income parent(s) )

school uniforms have their ups and downs. there are some schools here that dont have them, but most do, also, a lot of sithforms dont have a uniform. School uniforms means that everyone is the same, it gives the school and identity outside the school gates. by getting everyone to wear thye same, in theory, it helps reduce bulling (but doesnt work, but feels that more would happen if there wasnt a uniform).

There are a lot of exams in schools in england, some of them important, some of them, not as important. THis is my first year without a single exam for the last 10 years (i am 20, i belive that now, kids get tested even earlier than i did). Also, most exams are at the end of the school year (may/june) and you will get tested on everything u have learnt since the start of the year (spetember). most of the assessments are 100% exam, if ur lucky, it my only be 80% (there is one test thats only 40% exam, but thats before sixthform and is optional, one of the GCSEs for those interested). THis puts kids under a lot of stress as every year, all the teachers make out the the exams are the most important thing that has ever happened to them.

THere is also a high rate of devors here, around 50% of marriages end with divorse. We also have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in europe. Everyone seems to be hugly in debt (not including morgage).

Its not all rosy here.

Alfredo
We have long summer holidays here as well. kids at school get 6 weeks and university gets up to 3 months. Im working this year, and get 25 days paid holiday and its all up to me how i use it.

I dont know how long the holidays are in sweden, but from my childhood days, i found that i was always getting a bit bored towards the end of the summer holiday, and the start of term used to come at the right time.

HAving been bought up on campsites (for here in england we cant just pitch a tent where we want) and in the general countryside, i can understand the enjoyment of

QUOTE
... to go for a drive, make a fire and roast marshmallows


i have to disagree with the swimming in lakes thing though. Over summer, i was invited out on lholiday with my girlfrind and her firends. we went canoeing in some lakes (near goteborg), was great to be able to do that, the countryside and all, was great. however, they said that the water was warm, they were so wrong! i got in and after about a min, i had to get out because i was so cold! i stood on the side shivering and goosebumps (i dont know if this is because im a soft englishman though)

If they had heated lakes or lakes that were warm, these were not!

I have only been ice skating twice, both inside, and at the moment i am in different to it. THe same with hitting the slopes. I was fortunat enough to go out to sweden over new year and go snowboarding. we stayed in stoten and snowboarded in trysil. was up there for 4 days and went snowboarding for 2 of them. THat was nice, would be great to be able to do that more often.

But as its been mentioned on a different thread, it would never happen here as ppl seem to loose the ability to drive when ever it looks like it might snow, even before it starts, i dont know whats wrong with these peiople!!!!!

As i said before, i dont know wot the situation is in sweden, england is all i know.

To be honest, i do have a love/hate relationship with it. sometimes its great, but other times its not. And at the moment, it seems to be getting worse, esp with the unicef kids thing.

If i think of anymoe things to say about kids here, good or bad, i will elt you know, have a feeling, that i wont be able to think of much good to say aty the moment!
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Alfredo
post 16.Feb.2007, 03:29 PM
Post #10
Joined: 1.Dec.2005

We moved from the English countryside (beautiful) to Dalarna (beautiful in a different way) for various reasons, and I would say it took a good couple of years to feel settled.

I like both places, but Dalarna is definitely more relaxed. There's not the same kind of rushing from pillar to post.

If we had twice as much money, we'd still barely make ends meet in the UK, and still be rushing around like maniacs ...

But here we would be living like kings and queens.

Show me the money!
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Streja
post 16.Feb.2007, 03:33 PM
Post #11
Joined: 10.Jul.2006

Awright Dave? wink.gif

The summer holidays here are from around 7-15 june to 10-15 august. It varies depending on where you are and what the council and school boards have decided.

Cold in lakes? Yeah but it depends if it was early June it can be cold...but generally the temperature is around 17-23 degrees and that is not at all bad...so yes you are a whimp.. wink.gif

It's ok my English boyfriend used to be a whimp in the water too but living here has made him strong hehe... smile.gif
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Englishdave
post 16.Feb.2007, 03:40 PM
Post #12
Joined: 14.Feb.2007

i have to say that is was early july so yes i am a whimp. :oops:

i spose im a southen fairy instead of a northen monkey (its and english thing, do u have anyhting similar?)

At the moent, i like where i live, close to centre on london (40 mins by train to the centre), but still in the countryside, lots of surrounding forrests and stuff, very nice during summer! its just the govenment that lets us all down!
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Streja
post 16.Feb.2007, 03:42 PM
Post #13
Joined: 10.Jul.2006

I don't think we really have the same thing as you do, not in that sense anyway.

Was it last year cos last year was SO hot here...the water was like 25 degrees and then I'm talking about the SEA!

smile.gif

Whereabouts are you? Orpington?
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Alfredo
post 16.Feb.2007, 03:48 PM
Post #14
Joined: 1.Dec.2005

You only feel the cold when you're older ...

Young kids especially don't notice the cold.

Swedes have some kind of innate ability to be able to tell you whether it's 15 (that's cold!) in the water, or 17 (that's bearable).

Like Streja says, lakes aren't usually warm enough until July.

July is the intense month in Sweden!
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Amanda Cummins
post 16.Feb.2007, 04:40 PM
Post #15
Joined: 26.Sep.2005

my sambos father goes into the lake almost all year round - even in December :shock: - it's only when it is frozen that he doesnt go in the lake
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