I did spend a lot of time with my children in their earliest days because it was the right thing to do, but I don't feel either they or I particularly gained from it (than if I'd spent a bit less, say). Do I feel the time I spend with them now they're older pays serious dividend for their futures? Absolutely.
I own a company and can spend an above average amount of time with my children.. but are companies or the government going to support the majority of parents spending prolonged periods of times with older children? Sadly I can't see it happening, but I think that's a more important task than having two parents on tap for a newborn. All purely IMHO, of course.
I took 3 months leave (wish it was more) when my daughter was born, spread out through the year a month at a time. I loved each month for different reasons and I know each month helped me understand what my wife was dealing with better and the slog of looking after a baby as well as the fun bits, and it helped her understand me better too - she really missed our daughter when she did a month's work and saw how going to work every day wasn't such great a holiday from childcare as she thought!
It's no longer a bigger risk for companies to hire late 20-s women compared to late 20-s men - both will go on leave if they get kids.
At my job, I also see way more dads staying home with sick kids or going to "planning day" or similar, compared to when I was growing up.
True. But now it is a risk to hire people in certain age groups in general. Could this become a "don't hire married people in their late 20s and early 30s" incentive?
Not an economically viable strategy for any company looking to stay in business more than a year or two.
In my experience, employees who are bad employees and blame it on time commitment to their children have usually been bad employees to begin with. I have a child, spend upwards of 4 hours a day with them on average, and work at a FAANG, while hitting promotion tracks more quickly than my colleagues without children. I know a bunch of people doing the same.
Not for a good company. I've had several employees go on maternity and paternity leave. I've given them respect, and time, and money, in order to make this time of their lives as unstressful as possible.
I've done it because it's the right thing, but these people remember being treated well. They've come back to work and done very well. They feel safer knowing that their day job explicitly supports their families.
The time someone needs off work to care for a new family is a drop in the bucket compared with a whole career, or even a few good years spent at one company. Optimize for the humans, and for the long term.
Realistically, 1 person missing from a small business can mean 10% of their workforce is gone - and due to the size of the company they may not have people to cover the missing staff.
10 people or 10,000 people, if you can't afford your staff going on parental leave / long term sick / vacation, you don't have a sustainable business.
You've never run a startup or small business. At the beginning margins can be razor thin, and unplanned or extended leave can have a huge impact.
If you run a business on the assumption that you're going to have all your current employees working for you continuously for the foreseeable future, you're going to have a bad time.
No. The only real way to avoid this is to just not hire folks who can birth or father children. You'd be mostly safe hiring folks over 45 (Though men over 45 would be more risky than women). This probably isn't a good strategy for an employer.
Marriage doesn't lend itself to children: Having sex does. Having a stable relationship does. Adoption does. On the other hand, lots of married folks don't have children, on purpose or by circumstance. There is no real way to sort folks out.
Likewise, trying to measure how beneficial it is for the kids sort of misses the point. I'm sure it can be beneficial, but whether they draw lasting benefits from it or not, they value it there and then.
You do get deeply attuned to your babies as a parent - at least, we did. You got uncannily good at guessing what they want, what they feel, from practice and from the biological connection that they are like you in so many subtle ways most people aren't. And of course, two parents will understand their babies in slightly different ways. They're very capable of appreciating this.
Now if it say "mom has X leave after birth and dad Y", this is discrimination in the law.
Please note im not saying this is bad, im just saying it is NOT equality.
But the biggest benefit of all was in the lives of my older children. When a new baby comes along, their mother is almost entirely occupied caring for the newborn (my wife wanted to exclusively breastfeed our children, so that is a lot of why it played out this way), so having me there to spend time with them each day during those first few months and take them places and reinforce the fact that they are loved just as much as ever was immensely important. I've seen so many older siblings change, develop resentment, begin misbehaving during that transition period. My kids all handled it extremely well and I think I played a role in that.
I sincerely believe every father should have paid time off when a child is born. It's not about one person in the family, it's about how the entire process of bringing a new person into the home affects everyone.
It's amazing and really really hard.
That's how it seemed to me, too. When my second child was born, I was working for Facebook so I got a nice chunk of paternity leave. My wife was breastfeeding, so she was basically with the baby all the time. The most helpful use of my time often wasn't to be the second parent in the same room as the baby, it was to go do something else with our 2-year-old so that he could still do fun stuff that the baby wasn't ready for, and so that at least my wife only had to deal with one kid at a time.
Also, women will still leave the workplace in droves to care for newborns and the young. That's just what a lot of them prefer to do, and I think it's the right ordering of priorities, for both parents. There's really no way to properly rear young children if both parents have full-time jobs and actually try to advance their careers at the same time.
That having been said, I'm glad this is being introduced. In difficult cases like ours, for instance, this would have been huge help, for reasons not entirely related to work.
A man and a woman can decide that whats best for them is that he not take leave, but for the benefit other people he should take parental leave.
Even if he enjoys working, even if the mother has decided she wants to stay home, even if they need opportunity that work brings (such as the opportunity to get promotions). Even if there are a hundred reasons for a man to not want to take leave, even if taking leave is worse for him, his partner and child, he must take leave so that other people who he may never meet have an advantage.
Yes, encouraging a few weeks off work is good for the family, but forcing someone to take 7 months off of work is massively disruptive. Not even to speak of the disruption on small businesses, that may not be able to accommodate a person leaving for that period of time. If you run a business of 10 people, a single person is 10% of your workforce, and just due to the size you may not have staff to cover the missing expertise.
Forced long-term paternity leave is a system, that explicitly harms the outcomes of one group (working fathers) to provide benefits to others (working mothers, and non-working people in general).
What I am against is the government enforcing someone who must take time off from work, that may not be in their best interests.
I support your right to chose to take time off, and I support your right to not take time off too. I don't support the government telling you, you must take 7 months off at the cost of your career, because you taking time off helps others.
But they can! The article talks about 2 months the father must take off.
My understanding of the research around personality development is that something like 80% (BS statistic I know) of the personality is formed in the first 5 years of development. The early few years are when we get conditioned with the core emotional programming: "I am safe" vs. "I am at risk" - "I am lovable" vs. "I am unlovable." etc. which plays a huge role down the line in lifestyle, relationships, and life in general.
Probably not a big deal whether it's the father or mother at the young age, but having adults around to be available to the emotional needs of the young child seems to be extremely important. Maybe easier to split the "full time job" of parenting in this critical period?
If you want to nerd out, check out "Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self - The Neurobiology of Emotional Development" by Allan Schore
There's just a huge difference between a 3-month-old baby, who can't recognize faces yet and spends most of the day sleeping and eating, and a 3-year-old child who is running, jumping, telling stories, making friends, and learning to read. For a 3-month-old baby, I doubt that parents do much more than a random babysitter. For a 3-year-old child, there is a clear difference.
It's this really raw, basic emotional experience which shapes our "core" understanding of ourselves and the world we live in.
"Healthy" attachment in this early stage comes from the caregiver being able to regulate the emotions of the baby. If the baby doesn't feel connected to the caregiver - such as if when the baby cries they don't receiving loving reassurance of their safety - then they form a dysfunctional template for social attachments and poor emotional regulation ability.
If the random babysitter has consistent and parent-like loving connection with the baby then maybe you're right, but I doubt that's the case.
Research apparently indicates that being loved in your first year is key to your development.
It could also be biting, jumping off of tables, hiding poo, poking holes in drywall, poking both ends of the dog, hitting sleeping parents with tools, and learning to scribble in books.
And how much in the first five months?
I honestly don't know how parents who have to go back to work do it (especially in a family where one parent goes back to work very soon). There's so much work for the mother that without the father also being there, it seems to me it would create a major rift in the relationship when it comes to understanding what the other person is going through. I theorize that the father not being there (and being at work) during those early months is a foundation of the collapse of a spousal relationship years down the road, for many couples.
Of course there are people who don't have that but that is a sad state whether you have children or not.
While I agree that the benefits of involved parents are most notable for kids at an older age, I think that the effect on the parent is largest at the beginning. Humans don't demonstrate their love by providing care, they provide care that turns into love. It is in the unrequited acts of service like changing diapers, feeding (bottle or breast), and rocking to sleep that build the parents feelings for the kid.
I have a kid about every 600 days. (have 12 so far) Out of that 600 days, it looks like I'd work just 164 days. It would be 2-day weeks for decades.
That is quite a way to run a country. I think it only works because there are very few births in Sweden.
I mean, I also think it's significant for the baby & dad. But even ignoring that.. holy shit does the mother need support.
Maybe some moms don't, maybe they happen to have an easy baby.. have parents closeby to easily help.
But other mothers have a terribly difficult time, post-natal depression.. you name it. Having the dad around for support means everything during that time- I can speak from experience.
As someone that thought I spent a lot of time with my baby before starting pappperm it was an awakening - but also a wonderful bonding experience.
Yes time as a baby is important. Dad's shouldn't have to wait until their kids grow up before they get to know them.
In a dark humoured way, and beyond the essential need to create an unbreakable bond beyond infant & parent, you can be replaced and better optimised by an iterated Roomba. :)
But with each passing day/year the desire/need to spend time with your kids should grow.
Our kids are teenagers now>
And I agree that it feels like an hour spent with them today provide all of us more value than an hour spent with them as infants/toddlers.
Both are important, but I think I’m less replaceable today than yesterday.
We are now having our second child (now in Norway), and while the father quota is great, they now require the mother to be "in activity" (i.e. working) if the father is to have anything more than his quota. This feels like an unnecessary restriction, which we didn't have in Sweden.
Firstly, we're trying hard to close the gender pay gap. Giving fathers the same amount of free time as the mothers goes a long way here.
Secondly, it's fantastic for the father-baby bond and it makes both life and work as a young parent so much easier.
Thirdly, the cost is not large. Businesses are already absorbing the lost productivity caused by the fathers being exhausted. This formalizes it.
In our project management course we learned a rule of thumb that for new parents you have ~25-30% less FTE available during the first year of the child's life (due to care for sick children, getting sick themselves, being exhausted from lack of sleep etc.)
Exactly! And in both Norway and Sweden you can be part time on leave. For some time I had 25% leave, which meant that I was working, but could go early when tired from a long night of baby cries or stay at home one day when my wife needed to get something else done. And this time I will be on 80–90% leave, which means I am at home, but can pass by the office once a week to catch up with my students.
My wife has roughly 4.5 months between banked PTO and FMLA/disability leave.
I'm sitting at home right now watching/changing/feeding our baby while my wife is out at doctor's appointments taking care of her health. Having the flexibility to practice a modicum of self-care without neglecting the health and happiness of our child has been such a huge boon to our family.
If anyone has any questions about the experience, feel free to ask.
I occasionally log in to read my email to keep up-to-date with happenings among the team, but I haven't needed to respond to anything since I went out.
Our team made an effort in the last year to reduce some of the silo-ization of knowledge and increase our 'lottery factor', and I think those efforts have helped make sure that the team was prepared for one of us going out on leave. At the very least, nobody has called me up saying "hey, your systems are on fire!", so that's been nice.
What we likely would have done instead is staggered my wife's medical leave with a shorter chunk of my own PTO rather than both of us being home at the same time, and put the baby into childcare earlier than we're currently planning on doing.
The basic economic question of giving someone money is that you are taking it from someone else. Is it childless employees? Is it taxes? Is it the unemployed?
Moreover money is not zero-sum. The way you talk about it, there's only a finite number of dollars in the US and he's stealing some from someone else. This is not even remotely how our economy works. And frankly that's a crazy idea that could be applied to all kinds of things. For example, by working you're stealing money from your employer who could easily spend that money on himself. How dare you work?
Then his salary, and the salary of all the employees have been lowered to provide the benefit. That means employees without kids pay for the parents.
> Moreover money is not zero-sum.
A handout is definitely zero-sum. But even if it isn't, the entire benefit of that handout is captured by the receiver, not by the giver. So its an even worse reason for an employer to give parental leave.
My employer can either pay me for 6 months of work and get a substandard work product while I suffer sleep deprivation, or they can pay me for 6 months of leave and get me back recharged and ready to work at the end of that leave, when my child is sleeping through the night.
My wife's leave comes from our state's short-term disability insurance program, which I believe draws its funds from state taxes.
There are many reasons, it seems to me that external circumstances are shaping a lot of them.
edit: To expand ultimately societies and governments need women to have kids, as of now they're the only ones who can after all so I think eliminating as many downsides as possible to that is something that should be done.
I think that this is much better to left it to parents to decide how to split that based on their personal preferences, than to force equal split in all cases.
As parental leave is a legal right (not given by the employers), employers simply have to comply with the parents' wishes. In the past employers often frowned upon men taking parental leave, but the younger generation has absolutely normalized this behavior.
It should also be noted that during leave, the government picks up (part of) your regular paycheck - so you don't cost your employer anything while you're not there. (except administration overhead etc)
The parental leave doesn't have to be taken in one block and you can also convert it into 'parental part-time'. A somewhat common pattern that double-earning professional parents choose nowadays that I've seen with some of my team members is something like:
1. simultaneous leave for both partners in the 1-2 months after birth
2. leave of one partner for a few months after that while the other partner works full-time
3. a few months of simultaneous part-time (e.g. 3/days week) where on any given day, one partner is at home
4. full-time work of both partners for a while once the kid is old enough for day-care
5. another month or so of simultaneous parental leave after 1-1.5 years that's used for a vacation.
This is broken.
If you've been with your company for less than a year, you are legally entitled to zero days of paternity leave and if you take unpaid time off, your job is not protected.
Now, this is talking in general and not about tech per se, so if someone is really lucky they work at somewhere that doesn't expect them to do work every week to keep their job.
There is a reason the entire Silicon Valley doesn't pack up and move to Finland. The money is in California right now.
exactly! Single payer universal health insurance will also take care of the numerous doctor's visits that follow. Oh wait...
The main reason is fight against the discrimination from employers who think hiring women is inconvenient because they can go on parental leave for very long.
I noticed for my two sons how much of a difference it makes being around your kids when they are young. You cannot cannot substitute short time with "quality time." The amount of time you are there matters a lot to small kids.
I think it is healthy for children to have both a mother and father who is actively present in their lives. You need a gender equality oriented society for that. If women are offered poor pay and opportunities it encourages women to stay home the whole time while men do all the work. That is bad for both parties. Men see little of their kids and kids don't get the experience with dad that they benefit from.
Meanwhile the mother may get a lot more time with the kids but she also suffers from having no career or independence. The relationship also suffers as one does not have a work life experience and child caring experience to share and talk about.
"Globally, paternity leave can increase fathers’ involvement within families and this has benefits for the children, the co-parent, the father himself, the economy and society."
There was so many dads just walking around the city/parks in the middle of the day pushing prams. It was so nice to see.
I suppose none of them have to deal with people dismissively describing spending time with their families as "babysitting", either.
Not sure how literally this was meant (and a lot of the rest of the thread assuming a mother/father) but studies show kids do just as well with two parents of any gender.
We shouldn't exclude them either.
Every mention needs to include a long list of every possible combination, no matter how rare and edge case. /s
You mean when someone says -or signs- that we should build a wheelchair ramp?
Some people are deaf and can't speak. Let's not exclude them.
You also have to consider that women are sometimes bullied into breastfeeding even when it's very hard for them and that is the author's main message. Otherwise she still thinks that "breast is best": "Breastfeeding seems to improve digestion in the first year, lowers rashes for infants and is especially important for preterm babies. It also seems likely that it has some impact on reducing ear infections in young children and lowers the risk of breast cancer for the mother."
"Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect" - https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6...
Breastfeeding is one of many variables and formula has come a long way.
* it's study not studies
* it refers strictly to educational performance
* it's likely detecting something else entirely: "The researchers found that same-sex parents are often wealthier, older and more educated than the typical different-sex couple. Same-sex couples often have to use expensive fertility treatments to have a child, meaning they are very motivated to become parents and tend to have a high level of wealth. This is likely to be a key reason their children perform well in school, the economists found" [...] "When the economists controlled for income and wealth, there were a much smaller gap between the test scores of children of same-sex parents and children different-sex parents, although children of homosexual couples still had slightly higher scores."
A basic google query will get a ton of results. Here are a few.
Overview of 75 studies: https://whatweknow.inequality.cornell.edu/topics/lgbt-equali...
If you're making the effort of linking to studies that support a specific statement, please link to the actual studies and not opinion articles about them.
In any case, I would not expect kids with same sex parents to do worse in school or have noticeable psychological issues, which is what these studies were looking for - these are pretty heavy issues after all.
But I would expect that they are slightly worse for subtler reasons: maybe they're a bit more prone to infections in the first years because they weren't breast-fed, maybe they're distressed in school because they're being subtly bullied (mentioned in one article, btw) and so on. Remember that the original claim was "they're no worse", not that they're not much worse. I agree that they're probably not much worse, but a male-female couple has thousands and thousands of years of social support and nature on its side. Of course it's going to be in some ways better.
I agree as well, but not so much in the ages of 0-6 months. The biggest bonding for me when I was on parental leave was definitely with my older children, who I was now the primary caregiver. That time was really special and meaningful to all of us.
Don’t get me wrong. I love holding my new born, but (for me) it wasn’t the same type of bonding experience.
If the parental leave policy were taken away, would parents take more or less time to spend with their kids than before the policy took place?
> What is so wrong with being dependent on your spouse when raising children together that it should even come up as a consideration?
Seems obviously bad to me. Should your spouse leave you or die, and you are totally dependent on him, that would suck. But that was not really what I was thinking of but rather the ability to be financially independent later in life because you actually had a career.
> Raising children well is hard enough and time consuming enough as it is. Why try to make it harder by also trying to make sure neither parent is dependent on the other?
I think you misunderstand what I said, or thing about this in a very different way from me.
With the system we have in Norway with leave for both parents and both parents having a career, we are able help each other out MORE! Child raising is LESS work for my wife because I can help her out. Meanwhile I would have less stressful work life because my wife also has a job and can help out the family financially.
It seems to me like we are making life easier for both of us. It is hard for me to grasp how you conclude that this will make things harder.
Your logic seems to be that depriving my wife of any career or financial security she is forced to stay with me. That is some pretty screwed up logic. I want my wife to be with me because she wants to not because she cannot survive without me.
And for children it is better. I know what Norway was like in the old days where the mom stayed home and the dad worked. By not involving the dad, and only have him provide financial security, a lot of men back in old Norway were big assholes. They ran away from their family responsibilities.
You don't see modern Norwegian dads do this. Families may be divorced but dads still participate in child raring. They have been their from the start and child raring is seen as a shared responsibility. There are a lot more divorced families in modern Norway but there are a lot more dads taking responsibility and looking after their kids.
They take turns through the week picking up kids at school. They stay part of the week with their dad. It means mom gets more spare time to live her life. And ultimately you get happier families because people live together because they want to, not because they have to.
A) Don't have children with someone that is going to leave you, B) life insurance.
>But that was not really what I was thinking of but rather the ability to be financially independent later in life because you actually had a career.
Why is that desirable? Would society not be a better place if many more people were dedicated to helping their communities rather than making money for corporations?
>With the system we have in Norway with leave for both parents
To be clear, I'm not opposed to the idea of family leave for fathers.
>Your logic seems to be that depriving my wife of any career or financial security she is forced to stay with me.
Choosing to marry someone and have children with them is a permanent choice, and one that should not be done flippantly if you want what is best for your children. I don't understand why you think it is beneficial to optimize for enabling spouses to divorce. It seems to me that it would be a better idea to optimize for having people marry and have children with someone that they are very unlikely to want to divorce later.
>I want my wife to be with me because she wants to not because she cannot survive without me.
If you want what is best for your children, you should pick a spouse that would not consider divorce except in the most extreme circumstances, and you yourself should not consider divorce except in the most extreme circumstances.
>And for children it is better.
It sounds like what really changed in Norway is that fathers have changed their attitude toward child rearing. That, I think, is unambiguously positive for children, but seems to me to be entirely orthogonal to having both parents be independent. Parents can be sole financial providers and still take a very active role in raising the children. That is more about the attitude of the parent than anything. If you believe it is not your job to rear children, you are going to do it poorly whether you work 60 hours per week or 0.
I don’t see low divorce numbers as a direct goal. I view happy families as the goal. Lower divorce numbers will follow from that.
If you optimize for low divorce numbers you simply force women to stay in unhappy marriages.
You seem to advocate a sort of 1950s style family life. I don’t think that is good for anyone.
I don't see why that should be so. Men need to think that it's important for their children's growth for them to be heavily involved in raising them, but I don't see why that should necessitate women being financially independent or achieving "gender equality", whatever that means. For example, if men believe that there are some critical aspects of child raising that simply cannot be done correctly by women, I think men would take a more active role in order to make sure they're able to provide their needed input, but I would guess those sorts of beliefs are contrary to "gender equality". I could actually see it making things worse to tell men that women are as capable of all aspects of child rearing as are men, because then why can't the woman just do it all?
>I don’t see low divorce numbers as a direct goal.
I don't either. The goal is a stable and happy society full of adults who were raised in stable and happy homes. Low divorce numbers are an essential element of achieving that.
>If you optimize for low divorce numbers you simply force women to stay in unhappy marriages.
That depends on how you try to lower the divorce rate, I suppose. If you make divorce a crime punishable by death and change nothing else, ya that's what you're going to end up with. If on the other hand you encourage people to avoid lifestyle choices that are associated with divorce, you will end up with fewer divorces and happier marriages.
>You seem to advocate a sort of 1950s style family life. I don’t think that is good for anyone.
Women reported being happier back then, so it seems like it was good for them at least. Who do you think that wasn't good for, and why?
The current systems are not just suboptimal, but actively harmful - they make parents enemies, in case of divorce often one "wins" and the other "loses" (depending on the legal system, either the higher-earning parent wins by not really having to pay any child support, or the lower-earning parent wins by earning huge child support + alimony on top). A better system would penalize both parents, thus motivate them to cooperate to maintain the family unit.
The other issue is, this would have to be balanced out by the fact that sometimes, it's likely better for parents to split/divorce... obviously in case one of them is violent, but even in other cases, they might just not be a good fit, in terms of interests, lifestyle, personality, ... and splitting gives each of them the opportunity to find someone better fitting, and lead happier lives (which should likely carry over to a more positive influence on their kids).
I think shared custody by default does part of this, it keeps both parents in the kids' lives.
Edit: I'm not a lawyer, so my comment "depending on the legal system" above is only based on anecdotal evidence from friends and/or media... the "not having to pay child support" is an example from Slovenia, the "huge child support + alimony" is based on some examples from the US.
Of course at the end being in a relationship and having kids is a partnership and people should rely on one another, nobody ever argues against that. But when people want, they should have the option to do it in a new way, especially if that leads to more opportunities and happiness.
One of the problems in particular is that it is far too hard for people to come back to the workplace after taking a 5 or 6 year career break to look after children while they're young. People know this and it too often forces them into one of two paths - give up on their career entirely, or go back to work much sooner than they wanted to.
Sounds to me like we should make a conscious effort to reverse the changes that have been made lately, then, and also take a hard look at the motives of the people that have pushed us in that direction.
>One of the problems in particular is that it is far too hard for people to come back to the workplace after taking a 5 or 6 year career break to look after children while they're young.
I don't see how that is a problem. It takes a lot of work to maintain a desirable society, and I would guess most of it is not done at the behest of a corporation.
Perhaps, I don't know the numbers, but either way, that is not the way it's always been, and it's clear that many people for a long time have been actively trying to increase the number that pick that option. We should carefully look in to who those people are and what motivates them, and then ask ourselves if we want our people taking their lead.
Raising children well is enormously time consuming and difficult. Parents who want to do a good job don't have the luxury of abundant time and energy. Any effort spent maintaining these other options is done at the expense of the children.
Or to rephrase it in your way: there are costs to maintaining these other options, and I am happy to see that there are governments trying (and occasionally succeeding) to pay these costs.
- daycare (including fancy stuff like daycare on your work's campus where you can join your kid in between work activitie)s is a great idea that has already been tested
- it is perfectly reasonable for the extended family to help with child-rearing, especially in location where there is a history of that
- It seems crazy to me to suggest we change the ways we raise children, without suggesting changes to the ways careers progress. Even without my hippy suggestions about idealistic version of childcare, a comparatively trivial thing to do is to realign employee and employer incentives. And there are governments that do that successfully. This is why I am calling your comments "defeatist".
Stop projecting your view of the world on everyone: yes, your view is consistent and reasonable, if the homemaker is happy with the arangement, but it is not the only possible way to have a healthy family.
Yes of course it's great when the extended family can help. That doesn't happen much in the modern world. It would be great if it did though.
>a comparatively trivial thing to do is to realign employee and employer incentives. And there are governments that do that successfully.
What does that mean? I think it's defeatist to want so many people slaving away for corporate masters rather than spending time with their families.
>Stop projecting your view of the world on everyone
I don't know what that means. I'm not going to stop advocating that people make lifestyle choices that I think are best, because as a father of a young child, my child is going to grow up in a world populated by the children that are the result of the lifestyle choices people are making today, and I would prefer for him to be surrounded by people that have been raised as well as possible.
>but it is not the only possible way to have a healthy family.
It is by far the best way to ensure you have a healthy family that we know of.
Why do you assume that daycare staff are minimal wage workers as opposed to well paid professionals that know more about intellectual enrichment and child psychology than the average parent?
Why are you assuming a career means "slaving away for corporate masters" as opposed to a myriad of ways one can work to enrich the world around them while at the same time being paid (academia, small business, art/design work, community work, the vast majority of lifestyle business, social purpose work, solving intellectually interesting technical problems, etc)? There are people that love their creative jobs, and we should not pretend they are unicorns or that they have to sacrifice their child's upbringing.
What you describe sounds borderline selfish to me. I get you are trying to suggest something good, but a person can make the world better (and even be paid for it) without compromising how much they care for their child.
Maybe I am talking like that because I am privileged and have an easy life. But then why not advocate that our communities try to make more people's lives easier?
I didn't assume it, I looked up what they tend to get paid and what qualifications are typically required to have that job. They tend to get paid around minimum wage, and they typically only need a high school diploma.
>Why are you assuming a career means "slaving away for corporate masters" as opposed to a myriad of ways one can work to enrich the world around them while at the same time being paid (academia, small business, art/design work, community work, the vast majority of lifestyle business, social purpose work, solving intellectually interesting technical problems, etc)?
Because that's what most people do.
>There are people that love their creative jobs, and we should not pretend they are unicorns or that they have to sacrifice their child's upbringing.
I'm sure there are some people like that, but the vast majority of children do not have two parents that fit in that category.
>What you describe sounds borderline selfish to me.
It is explicitly so.
>I get you are trying to suggest something good, but a person can make the world better (and even be paid for it) without compromising how much they care for their child.
Maybe some can. Most people aren't going to make the world better through their corporate job, and are going to compromise on how much care they give their children in order to do it. It doesn't make much sense to set society's expectations so that they only really work for exceptional people. They will do fine. They need to work for regular people.
>But then why not advocate that our communities try to make more people's lives easier?
I do advocate that. Raising children well so that they are not a problem for other people later in life is part of it. Encouraging stay at home parents to work to build their community once their children are old enough not to need full time care, rather than going back to being a corporate drone, is another thing I advocate.
Both of those take time, and that's time taken away from the children, which parents do not have in abundance. Do you need a source for that?
Not particularly 'quickly', really.
Keeping it so both parents are able to be employed only requires corporate culture changes, and minor ones at that. The cost is very small and does not hurt children.
You could try to stop corporations from preferentially hiring people who have recent relevant experience, but I am not going to hold my breath on that.
The preference for someone having zero gaps in employment is extremely overrated, and giving many more people gaps in employment to disrupt that idea is great.
The paid parental leave is up to the parents to decide the split between them.
I think it is a great idea for fathers to be encouraged more to take a share of the paid parental leave.
This could go some small way in helping remedy income disparity between genders.
I was deployed and/or travelling a lot when our boys were young.
Another poster questioned the value of time with infants as opposed to when they are older.
I do think bonding with infants and toddlers is super important for both parent and child.
But it can also feel like a robotic and laborious grind.
As my boys enter high school, I most enjoy our ritualised time together during daily school drop offs and pick ups.
Engaging with them, guiding them on their own journey, and observing how far they have come.
I have few regrets, but one of them is not spending more time wth my kids when they were younger, which probably feeds the extra effort in recent years to spend more time with them as they grow into young men.
You can’t get time back. Make the most of every minute.
(It's crap, but it's the same crap.)
No, I mean most workers, under FMLA.
> How long is the leave?
> Is it paid?
That's working days or what? In Latvia (Estonia neighbour) you may get 12 months (60% of money calculated from amount BEFORE taxes) or 18 months (43,75%). And dad can leave, too.
Section 10.6. Amount of Parental Benefit
Yes. And +171 Eur no matter what.
With the current direction of US politics, as a US citizen, I find myself increasingly entertaining the thought of becoming an ex-pat.
Top countries I've thought about have been the Nordic countries - Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Greenland, Iceland and have considered the Netherlands as well.
They seem to have reasonable blended economies with social policies that make (more) sense.
No country/systems is perfect and I'm always willing to try something new for a time.
Dads get 6 month non-trasferable paid leave.
They were not going to be able to fire him without repercussions. He was not required to let them know during the interview.
Now they don't have to pay that money, which is fine, but they then need to find someone on a 14 month contract that will do it for the same salary as the person they just employed.
Then at the end of it they are left with paying an overlap from the contractor to someone new
Second, the whole thing can be way more complex. In Germany a mother has her job secured for the moment she announces to be pregnant to until the child is 3 years old. So one could decide that will take the Elterngeld for 12 months but actually just go back to work 18 months, and the employer has no way of stopping it.
Third and final point: NONE OF THIS MATTERS! Trying to find the "fairness" in this is nothing but some incredibly naive exercise. Like most things in life, salaries are not determined by the amount of value produced but rather by market value of labor. Risks when dealing with labor force should be already priced in.
If it were a three person company, one person is now gone for 14 months and legally can’t be replaced? A nightmare for the other two employees.
If your company can deal with an employee getting hit by a bus / winning the lottery and quitting, then it can deal with an employee taking maternity/paternity leave.
Example: our childcare facility employs two people, and replacements are VERY difficult to find at the moment.
Like with any other law regulating worker benefits and worker safety. But companies know that starting out and have to plan and act accordingly. That's the cost of doing business.
Businesses are not at fault for their employees getting pregnant, so why should they have to shoulder the risk? If society wants to protect mothers, society should pay up, not the individual businesses.
Are you saying people shouldn't run childcare facilities? Or only huge childcare facilities are allowed, which certainly wasn't the intention of the laws for maternal leave?
Then don't hire employees in a region/country that has good employee protection laws/regulations. If businesses want to operate in such a region/country they will have to comply with ALL the laws and regulations there. If they don't, they should operate in a (in this respect at least) third-world country like the US.
> Businesses are not at fault for their employees getting pregnant, so why should they have to shoulder the risk?
Reproduction is integral to society. I businesses don't want to have that "risk" they should only hire people old enough that they can be sure they're barren/impotent but then they're discriminating in their hiring process AND get employees that are already relatively close to retirement (i.e. not a good idea).
> If society wants to protect mothers, society should pay up, not the individual businesses.
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parental_leave#Europe_and_Cent... -> Germany since it would to me if I had children. 14 weeks maternity leave with full pay, 14 months parental leave with up to 67% or the maximum (1800€ per month according §2 (1) BEEG) specified by the law. In Germany this monetary responsibility is mixed (social security AND employer).
> Are you saying people shouldn't run childcare facilities? Or only huge childcare facilities are allowed, which certainly wasn't the intention of the laws for maternal leave?
???, this was never part of my argument. Going back to your comment I originally replied to, many many businesses and branches of business have difficulty hiring people but that doesn't really matter here.
Not very practical for childcare facilities?
" If businesses want to operate in such a region/country they will have to comply with ALL the laws and regulations there"
The point is that laws can be changed. Here in Germany especially, we are very aware that laws are not automatically good. We went through this period of time where a lot of bad laws were in place.
"they should only hire people old enough that they can be sure they're barren/impotent"
Or, you know, men? Which is exactly what the feminists governments want to avoid, but they bring it about with their paternity laws. Also, what you suggest is technically illegal in most Western countries (discrimination).
Sorry, but I get the impression you haven't really thought much about these issues yet.
"14 months parental leave with up to 67% or the maximum"
Yes, the government pays mothers, but it doesn't compensate businesses for the losses they incur when women they hired leave for motherhood. They just have "punishing" laws like the job position has to be kept open in case the mother wants to return. That is a punishment for businesses, who are not at fault for women having children.
"this was never part of my argument."
You just dismiss it if certain types of businesses struggle. I explicitly mentioned childcare facilities because I have experienced the problem firsthand.
The point is that laws can have unintended consequences. And those don't go away by simply saying "the business should just go bankrupt or operate in another country".
"many many businesses and branches of business have difficulty hiring people but that doesn't really matter here."
Of course it matters, it means the cost of hiring women is even higher, because replacing them is expensive.
What about the case where the guy leaves because is cool in software engineering to change jobs very often? or because now language X is cool and the guy wants to add that on the CV and not your old boring language Y.
In any case your employee can leave so make sure you are not dead because most of the value is in this person head. Though you might as always make a counter offer and pay him much more if he is so valuable.
Don't these fall under "experimentation/probation" period, where you can fire without reason?
The mother gets 14 weeks (6 weeks before due date, 8 after) that is the "proper" leave and is mandatory for the mother.
After that, one or both parents can choose to take a leave where the government pays you 2/3 of your net salary, capped at 2000 EUR. If only one parent takes then it is limited to 12 month and it is extend to 14 months in case both parents decided to take it.
>14 months paid leave
Certainly you meant weeks... FMLA only covers 12 weeks of unpaid leave here in the United States.
I can understand having to "insure" against the risk of becoming too specialized. Like if you work for one company for years or decades, it might be difficult to find employment elsewhere. However, that insurance should be factored into the contracts "employees" are willing to accept. Likewise as a freelancer, I have to ask for a certain minimum amount of money to cover my risks.
Even for employees the protection might have downsides. They are stuck with inefficient coworkers who can't be fired.If you are young, you'll have to leave before people who are older. And employees might stick to jobs where they are not doing their best for too long. And overall, creation of business is hampered, which hurts everybody.
Just some thoughts.
Forgive them, Milton, for they don't know what they are saying.
To be treated with respect like a human being and having overall a good life is still a privilege in 21st century.
This is so far from the point of my comment, it really illustrates how people will view and comment based on the their preconceptions and worldviews before any attempt at rational thought.
I am not saying that the social program is bad. What I did try to point out is that there is no real "giving" of anything. That is all. We cool?
I don't get what is so difficult or controversial about my statement here. Whether Elterngeld or "free" childcare, there is no "giving" by the government of anything, that is all.
Yes, the government doesn't "give" money, it redistributes it. Some other people are paying for your Elterngeld. Even if in your head you assume that it is paid from the taxes you paid, the money you received for Elterngeld is now missing for other things, they are a loss for the rest of society.
I just want to disabuse you from this idea you seem to hold that the money I received is from "other people".
It is not. It is from the Government. Sure it was taken from all of society via taxes, but once it is taken it is no longer yours or mine to determine what to do with it.
There is no point in trying to argue who-paid-for-what in this redistribution made by the Government. If there were a choice for tax payers to say where they want their taxes to go, sure let's go and talk about "Who is paying for my wife's Elterngeld". But there is no such rational and efficient resource allocation method in any Big Welfare State, is there? There is no way to pull apart who is "me and my family" and who is "the rest of society", is there?
There is just - like you said - one big redistribution of wealth driven by bureaucrats who are (allegedly) working in the best interests of the people. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
In the case of family support, it is clear the non-parents receive less than parents. If there are no things (or fewer) things that non-parents benefit from that parents don't benefit from, then it is a net loss for non-parents. (Non-parents could for example benefit more from government sponsored care of the elderly, which might in part be taken care off by children of parents).
So, let me try different words: of course this redistribution is uneven. The point of socio-political programs is never to be "fair", no matter how much they say it is. So stop worrying about it.
At a gut I feel like I’d be less likely to have kids, not more, if I felt like I was burdening other people by accepting benefits like this. I have no worries as an American having as many kids as I want because I make a good salary, can afford them, and won’t take more than a weeks, maybe two weeks time off, as my wife, despite being just as qualified for software engineering as me, wants to stay at home and raise children. Heck, I won’t even be “overburdening” the school system as my wife is home schooling them, despite living in a “good” school district.
Being charitable I’d hazard the point of this is to encourage population growth, but I suspect it’s playing out more like “have two kids and that’s as many as you should have”, and any more would introduce strong social pressure to stop.
Maybe it’ll work out that lots more Finns will be born, I’m curious to see how it goes in twenty years.
Don't take this the wrong way, but that is such an American way of thinking. You guys are so preoccupied with thinking about somebody getting something they don't deserve that you forget about thinking about what is good for everybody else.
Consider this, Nordic countries have generous public services in all walks of life. If we applied American logic to Nordic countries we should expect the following outcomes:
1. Nobody works, because unemployment benefits are so generous.
2. Everybody is on never ending education, because education is next to free.
3. Everybody has 10 kids because of long parental leaves.
4. Everybody is sick and unhealthy because nobody cares about their health because hey health care is free.
Of course no Nordic countries is anything like this. We have the highest work participation rate in the world (more than supposedly hard working Japanese). Nordic people are quite healthy and live long. Most people just have 2 kids. The average birth rate is something like 1.7 to 1.8 in Nordics. In other words we are under replacement.
So our system definitely helps getting more kids as countries with less generous services have much lower birth rates. Look e.g. at developed asian countries how terrible their birth rates are. Yet the generous system does not lead to some abundance of kids.
Let us get real. Having kids is a lot of work. I love my kids to bits but I don't want more than two. I also enjoy my work and other things. So does my wife. Why would we want tons of kids? Some weirdos probably do, but so what? Why should not I and other Norwegian benefit from a great system because a couple of oddballs exist than abuse the system?
Put some trust in your fellow man. People are not all selfish and self centered assholes ready to take, take and take whatever they can get their hands on.
As to your gut feel: once you get used to the idea that the Welfare State is something that you can not opt out of and how strong it is at leveling out society, I am sure you wont feel like you are "burdening other people". After I moved here and started leaving 43% of my paycheck to the government, 14% to income-based (not actuarial risk based) health insurance and paying 19% for VAT and seeing how little I was keeping of that "good software engineer income", I started worrying less about my burden and more about how I could get some of my fair share back.
I live in Denmark (but I suppose it's somewhat similar in Finland), there is very little social stigma to recieving support from the state.
Because such support is everywhere: child care is supported, parents are given money for each child under 18, when you turn 18 you get educational support, university is free (in fact you get educational support), when graduating you get unemployment support the next month while looking for a job.
I don't think we think of receiving benefits as burdening others, it's more a matter of solidarity. Most people more or less pay off the cost they incur to the state through taxes. So accepting benefits isn't shameful.
Note. it is possible to not get benefits, my little brother said no to educational support during highschool (while he was living at home). It was ~200 USD/month -- but he is a special case, most 18 yearolds do not say no to free money :)
(My little brother later did accept educational support during university ~1k USD / month).
The thing is, kids are damned expensive today. When you are not working, you are forgoing "normal" salary. The mother will get ~80% of the pre-pregnancy salary, up to a limit which is not very high. There are afaik no "virtual salary increases" here, at all. We even have "barnbidrag" and "flerbarnstillägg" meaning you get a small amount of money per month per child, and that amount goes UP with more kids. So if you have 7 kids you get even more money per child than if you would have 2 kids. Still nobody has 7 kids to "make money", because its still a loosing proposition. There is a template about how much a kid costs here until theyre 18, and its about $104,000.
Sure, you could stay at home and being poor for 10 years or so but how much fun is that really? =)
Immigration moves people about quite well.
I mean, really, how do people think like this?
When I was in the EU, I knew a woman who had 4 kids, each ~1/1.5 year appart. So she would have a kid, be out 6 month, go back to work for 6 month, have another kid, rinse and repeat 4 times :) .
It was a total nightmare for her employer because they couldn't let her go, and they couldn't hire anyone permanently to do her job. They could only use short term contractors who would stay 6 months (barely enough time to get up to speed) and then leave. I don't know if she was "abusing" the system, I mean, it was her right by law to do that, but after popping the 4th one she left work to be a stay at home mom. I don't know how well her employer took it :)
Looks like it would lead to bloat & waste
So women had to chose between family and career, which partly explains the low birth rate.
Actually it is still the case because school finishes around 2 pm, so many parents (often the mother) have to work part time because of that.
An indirect consequence maybe a decrease of the gender salary gap, but I doubt this was the main purpose...
Every child has the right to spend time with their parents. Every child has the right to an education. And so on. You should not be given less parental time just because you were born with nine siblings. It's not your choice.
I believe the "unwashed masses having lots of children and draining the wellfare systems" is a quite popular far right anti-immigration trope. And while that may even be true somewhere, as long as it remains individual cases, the economic impact on society is still net positive as long as those kids get an education and a job.
So it's all connected, free school and good social support.
As a parent you can never make a profit from it anyhow. There are of course people who don't know how to work and actually don't want to contribute. But they are far apart.
The easy solution would be to have this set up for the desired number of children. 1-3 children: 100% of the benefits, >3: 20% or something similar.