North Americans are presented with a vision of heavenly perfection in Swedish daycare but in reality, education outcomes are declining, teens are anxiety-ridden and misbehaving and the quality of parenting is suffering. Let's start with the ever deteriorating psychological health of Swedish youth, which has become a major concern in Swedish public debate today.
Somewhere along the way, we've adopted some goofy misguided idea that children's psyches are inherently, staggeringly fragile, prone to devastating and irreversible damage from any number of relatively benign phenomena -- like honour rolls, sporting activities where only the winning team gets a trophy, or track and field days with actual competition (oh, the horror!).
As the nicotine leached out of his system, the emotional outbursts started. Think of the terrible twos except with a terrible two-year-old that could bench press you. He was like someone suffering from Tourettes Syndrome. He would just started swearing and freaking out for no reason. No, I don't want to do the dishes. No, I don't want to go to bed. No. No. No.
Caregivers don't need great riches to support their children. A strong, supportive adult figure can help children overcome otherwise unhealthy environments. This figure need not even be the child's parents (though of course this helps). A grandparent, and aunt, a family friend, even a dedicated teacher can have a tangible, long-lasting impact on a child's development.
Rarely a day goes by where I don't come across a headline or blog post that celebrates failure in some way and while I agree that it can serve a higher purpose, I remain skeptical that failure is always a good and necessary part of our development. Sometimes, failures just hurt and we need to mourn them before moving on.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I had a list of all the "dos and don'ts" required for effectively achieving the status of perfect parent. As I swapped my hopes for a career in nursing, and instead chose countless hours of time bonding with my children, in those early days of motherhood when I was stumbling over the educational toys strewn about my home, nobody could have convinced me then that I would become what I am today.
We've all heard them. Those annoying phrases that our parents said to us growing up and now that we're parents ourselves, we've decided to inflict them our own kids. The reality is that the true meanings behind these messages that parents tell their kids are often not as straightforward as they appear to be. Following are the top 10 phrases that parents use on their kids, and what they really mean.
Being a mother is just part of a woman's persona, not the be all and end all of a woman's life. Mothers need not check their goals, dreams and aspirations at the hospital door when they go to deliver. And for one to suggest that you might have days where you'd rather not be around your children -- and actually admit it out loud -- is okay. Most importantly, moms don't always have to like the job of being a mother. Because quite frankly, many don't.