Many Swedish dads say they feel more secure in their parental role by taking longer paternal leaves when needing to take time off work to care for a newborn. According to a recent study from the University of Gothenburg, it became apparent that Swedish fathers tend to be happier in their family relationships.
Researcher Monica Lidbeck, a PhD graduate at the University of Gothenburg, wrote in her repot that one of the biggest adjustments in life faced by Swedish men is that of becoming a parent. Ms. Lidbeck discussed how parenting in Sweden can have an effect on the family’s dynamics. As Swedish fathers play an important role in the care of children, those who equally split their parental leave with their spouses profess they are less stressed when compared to other fathers who opted to take a shorter period of their paternal leave.
Emotional Impact of Longer Paternal Leaves on Swedish Dads
Ms. Lidbeck main purpose in creating the study is to find out how Swedish parents divide their parental leave, and of how their individual periods of parental leave affected their life as a family. The study had 280 respondents who participated by way of a survey, which included questions delving into the experiences of fathers during the their children first six months old and to when the young ones turned 18 months old.
Findings of the study revealed that there was not much difference in the stress levels experienced by the Swedish dads during the first 6 months of parenting. However, increased stress levels among those who took shorter paternal leaves occurred when their babies turned 18 months old, which was also the same time when most parental leaves are consumed. Ms. Lidbeck explained that longer paternal leaves enable fathers to obtain valuable care competencies in taking on child care responsibilities on their own, when their their spouse is working.
Longer Paternal Leaves Make Family Life Easier for Swedish Couples
In the research, fathers who equally divided their parental leave with their spouse, said the quality of their relationship and home life were better than those who took shorter leaves. Many of the couples believe that even their relationship, their stress levels, their family life and work conditions had improved by supporting each other in their roles and duties as parents.
How Swedish Parents Make Free Time When Caring for Children
Other researches have showed that Swedish parents usually make free time for themselves to relieve the stress related to taking care of their children. The most common method is to have their babies nap outdoors even if the temperature is below zero. Experts in the country believe that this will allow children to sleep better and longer, even up to three hours. However they make it a point to place their bundled up children in fleece-lined and waterproof protected strollers when placing them outside to nap.
Parents even allow their children to explore on their own as long as they’re within a safe place where they can see them. This can be perceived as odd or even dangerous to other countries, but it isn’t in Sweden as they do so after establishing the parameters considered safe and free from dangers.
Moreover, Swedish parents have video monitoring devices installed in their strollers, which usually include baby monitor cameras, intrusion sensors or even smartphone notifications.
Video cameras allow parents to see their children’s real-time conditions, which allows them to check on their children just to make sure they are secure and safe. Some models of baby monitoring devices even provide reminders about their babies’ nap time, feeding schedule, and other baby activities. Still, due to the broad proliferation of baby monitoring devices in the country, Swedish parents choose from those ranked as “babymonitor bäst i test” or the best in tested baby monitors.