Tag Archives: children

Swedish children’s literature

Swedish children’s literature

Who haven’t heard of Pippi and Astrid Lindgren? But there’s more to it when it comes to Swedish children’s literature. When I was living abroad Swedish children’s books – in Swedish – were very important to me and hopefully to my kids too. Luggage was heavy every time we returned after a visit to Sweden. I bought tons of books.

Today, being back in Sweden, we enjoy the libraries and spend less money – not time – on books. We still carry loads home every week.

Read about Swedish children’s literature here. Did you know difficult subjects are often brought up and dealt with? Personally, I love Goodbye Mr Muffin (Adjö, herr Muffin) by Ulf Nilsson.

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Growing up in Sweden

Growing up in Sweden

What does it mean to be a child in Sweden? Growing up in Sweden has many benefits.

Learn about school and vacation, family and leisure time, culture, hobbies and joining a club. What is Swedish children’s literature and do all parents work? Is there a support system for the young and how many children really play an instrument?

www.sweden.se shares the full story on Growing up in Sweden.

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Protected flowers and plants

Yesterday I took the international playgroup to enjoy the early spring in the forest. There’s a special place I know of where you can find the beautiful and rare spring flower Anemone Hepatica (blåsippa). We spent the afternoon in a natural clearing, enjoying the sun, nature and of course fika (fruit and biscuits). Climbing tree trunks and rocks, picking flowers (the non protected vitsippa) and learning about the Swedish nature made a great start of the weekend.

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket) issues national protection orders for wild plants and flowers. Additional regional rules may also apply. Together these regulate how you may handle certain protected species; pick but not collect to sell, no digging up by roots, no picking at all.

The Anemone Hepatica is protected in parts of Sweden. In some counties it must not be picked at all. The blåsippa is a rare and cherished spring flower in Sweden. It even has its own children’s song “Blåsippan ute i backarna står”!
Link to protected plants and wildlife in Sweden; Swedish only.

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Cultural parenting – of course! But which cultures?

Parenting styles can vary from family to family. But there are also differences between countries, or should I say cultures. We appreciate different values, which are likely to impact our upbringing of the children. Sometimes they are easily spotted, sometimes they are not. Concept of time for instance is a good example. Coming from a culture where being on time is considered important and a courtesy, I found it annoying at times as a foreign student working in groups with others that were happily an hour late for study meetings. No surprise that we soon found out that Germans and Swedes worked well together!

As always, awareness of the values and set of rules can lead to a better understanding, and less annoyance; tolerance. In the case of time, I simply learnt to agree on another time with the students I knew would be – in my world – an hour late.

Being a parent or not; moving into a new culture you will be exposed to the impact of cultural differences. As a parent a playground is a perfect location for observation and “study”. It´s fascinating that you often can tell from the parents’ responses to their children’s behavior from which country they are. I have encountered societies where one believes that adults should not interfere when children are “playing”. In the beginning I just assumed they did not care; now I hope they care but still want the kids to solve problems on their own. I have also experienced children being constantly corrected and taught. Swedes are normally somewhere in between these two parenting styles; of course, I would like to add with a touch of irony– after all we are the land of “lagom” (just enough) and “mellan” (in the middle).

There are also differences when it comes to physical punishment (illegal in Sweden) and scolding in public. Some people want other parents to know they are dealing with the matter, and some don´t.

Another, always hot, topic is whether it is considered acceptable for a parent to deal with someone else’s child.

I do believe that the culture you are currently living in influences your parenting. It is a way of fitting in, of accepting the hosting society but also grabbing the good stuff!

It is interesting once you start thinking in terms of cultural parenting. What are the cornerstones of your culture/-s when it comes to raising children? Which are the strengths? Have you added anything from your host culture?

Perhaps you are even a slightly different parent in another location! And by that I am not referring to the newly relocated, stressed and culture shocked parent …