Home Family Early Childhood The Swedish Secret. How One Singaporean Mom Transformed Her Parenting Style

The Swedish Secret. How One Singaporean Mom Transformed Her Parenting Style


Moving to a new country is not only an adventure but also an opportunity to change perspectives, especially when it comes to parenting. For Min, a Singaporean mother of two, her experience of relocating to a small university town in Sweden has reshaped her outlook on raising kids. What is it about Swedish parenting that has Min swapping city life for forest trails and autonomy? Let’s explore the three major lessons she’s learned.

A Culture of Work-Life Balance

The cornerstone of Swedish happiness is its solid work-life balance, according to Min. With a parental leave policy that provides up to 480 days of paid time off and at least 25 mandatory vacation days per year for all employees, the Swedes understand the value of family time. Unlike in other places, where work can intrude into personal life, in Sweden, Min notes, “People are so happy because they have time for family, hobbies, and life in general.”

Why Does it Matter?

What you might ask is the real benefit here? With clearer boundaries between work and personal life, parents can engage their children in meaningful activities, hobbies, and even simple family bonding time. “There’s a larger sense of purpose in life. They love life a little bit more because they know how to enjoy it,” Min observed.

Embracing Nature Through Free Play

When in Sweden, do as the Swedes do — and that means spending a lot of time outdoors. Min’s children now attend forest schools on weekends, learning skills such as tent pitching and fire-building. More than just these practical skills, it is the freedom to explore that Min values the most.

The Problem-Solving Advantage

For example, Min notes that in the forest, her children learn problem-solving skills. They face challenges like overcoming obstacles in their path, learning to think creatively and adapt. “They might not see results immediately, but it’s the problem-solving skill that they gain and grow in,” she said.

The Gift of Autonomy

The third big lesson from Sweden for Min has been about giving her children autonomy. In Sweden, children’s voices are respected just as much as adults. This shift was initially challenging for Min, who was accustomed to more authoritative parenting styles.

Freedom and Responsibility Go Hand in Hand

For instance, in Swedish preschools, children can choose whether they want to nap or play. This level of freedom was initially a point of contention for Min, but she has come to see its value. “If they don’t want to eat their dinner, they just get hungry later. They will learn the consequence of refusing food,” she humorously notes.

More Than Just Parenting Tips

The lessons Min learned in Sweden are more than just parenting tips; they are insights into a culture that prioritizes happiness, balance, and respect. And as Min has found, these principles are not just making her a better parent but also enriching her family’s life in ways she never imagined.

Written by
Clara Underwood

Clara is a lifestyle writer, outdoors enthusiast, and a mother of two. She writes about everything from weekend family outings in nature to fostering emotional intelligence in children. Clara believes that a balanced family life is the cornerstone of a healthy society.

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