Soft Swedish parents raising nation of brats – psychiatrist
SWEDEN's liberal approach to raising children has bred a nation of ill-mannered brats, an expert has warned in a book which calls on parents to seize back control of their families.
David Eberhard, a prominent psychiatrist, claims in 'How Children Took Power' that Swedish parents are unwilling to discipline their children.
In 1979, Sweden became the first nation to ban smacking.
"We live in a culture where so-called experts say that children are 'competent' and the conclusion is that children should decide what to eat, what to wear and when to go to bed," Mr Eberhard said.
"If you have a dinner party, they never sit quietly. They interrupt. They're always in the centre, and the problem is that when they become young adults, they take with them the expectation that everything is centred around them, which makes them very disappointed."
Mr Eberhard said Sweden's young "don't say thank you. They don't open doors. On the subway, they don't stand for elderly people or pregnant women".
He points to Sweden's growing truancy rates, a rise in anxiety disorders and the country's declining performance in international educational league tables as the results of liberal parenting.
To cure the problem, he advocates a return to an "authoritarian" approach.
"You can take command in the family," Mr Eberhard said. "The family is not a democracy."
Mr Eberhard criticised influential Danish child psychologist Jesper Juul, whose 1995 book, 'Your Competent Child', called for the overthrow of the traditional hierarchical family with its "destructive values". (© Daily Telegraph, London)