Children’s policy is a national legislation initiative in the United States that gives a family a time off from work to take care of their newborns. This is a pattern that takes place in many developing countries as well as in the USA. The childbearing phase will accommodate a tired new mother and give her ample time before returning to the workplace. In today’s culture, childbirth leave tends to increase the concentration of children for a stable, egalitarian family. Child rearing, on the other hand, is a policy that governs the appropriate parenting practices in raising their children. In this article, there is a discussion on the effectiveness, impacts, and complications associated with childbearing and rearing policies concerning the same procedures in most industrialized nations like Canada and Germany, and its connection to the society. Childbirth is the first and the most critical stage of a person’s life, and therefore, the government should embrace and support the childbearing leave and rearing for the well-being and success in the existence of the new creation on earth.
In the industrialized countries, paternity leave and maternity leave is a crucial part of development. In Canada and Germany, the policy offers employees on leave a fair percentage of their earnings. It is opposite of the US where the law does not apply wage compensation apart from three states, New Jersey and California, for six weeks and Rhode Island four weeks. In the European nations for example, there is supplication of about 20 weeks maternity leave, with a provision of between 70 to 100 percent wage compensation. This mainly helps to raise the standards of women in the labor force and help spouses address the work-family responsibilities. It gives the parents enough time to bond with their little ones and provides care through the provision of the needs of the young ones for example breastfeeding. In the US, they grant an unpaid short leave of about three months with job protection to give care to the newly born or adopted kid. However, there are work leaves in case of a sick child, granted to a person to care for them before returning to work.
Parenting practices are different in various regions, based on social ethics and beliefs on children upbringing. In China, for example, love, concern, and involvement of a kid comes together with discipline, obedience and high expectations in parenting. In America, there is an encouragement of collective behavior where children from wealthy families concentrate on the worries for their kids’ anxiety while those from deprived backgrounds worry about the safety of their children. The growth of a child is affected by the environment of their upbringing, whether a secure or insecure surroundings. Paternity and maternity leave help in supporting kids, where the early child development experiences have tremendous and long-term consequences on the emotional, cognitive and social development of a child (Rossin-slater, 2017). Paid leave is an integral participant in the well-being and growth of a kid.
The US is one of the few nations without pay on maternity and medical leaves alongside with Papua New Guinea and Oman. According to the statistics, just 12% are beneficiaries of accessing paid job leaves based on their employers. This leads to suffering of working-class women, which may result in labor force drop out hence loss of income for the care of their families. Studies reveal that about 43% of females with kids leave their professions willingly at some point due to the competitive work-family responsibilities. Short leaves give inadequate time for the parent-infant bondage, increases the chances of the mother’s depression after childbirth and makes breastfeeding difficult which is risky as it is essential for the infant’s health.
The maternity leave policy increases the gap of the American working force of women with that of men, which widens more as a woman starts a family of her own (Clark & Gallagher, 2016). This has contributed to delayed marriage by ladies because they find it essential to first concentrate on their careers before the emergence of the barriers that come as a result. The American policy on leaves has participated in widening the economic gap which mostly affects the low-income population, therefore, making them weaker where most beneficiaries are from the high-income class. In America, childcare is a luxury affordable to some individuals based on one’s ability to adjust to parenthood. Instead, it should be an inclusive policy that shows concern for the fostered children. It ought to cater for the needs of every US citizen irrespective of race or background, for the growth and development of the country’s economy. Paid leave contributes to the growth of businesses, where 2011 research by California’s Centre for Economic and Policy Research reported that it led to about 91% of enterprises’ positive impact (Baum & Ruhm, 2016). The reason being, employees with paid leaves benefits before and after birth have a higher likelihood to go back to their careers after the termination of the leave period. Denmark gives a childbearing leave of one year and Italy five months, where the extended session is for the overall benefit of the Americans. There are many benefits, new baby packages, and paid childcare leave systems in a country like Finland. It increases employee retention, profoundly boosts job satisfaction, and promotes the rights of employees in the workplace.
Childbirth leaves should grant women with kids the ability to prosper and should also be part of the social norms. Bearing an infant is an expensive exercise for expectant American mothers and those with children. The government should execute better policies in their support given that it is a highly competitive economy compared to other developed countries like Cuba which has better systems. They may do so, through the company’s granting the leave pay, or the state financial aid through the public funds. The government should moreover put the low-income inhabitants into consideration as the beneficiaries of the child leave benefits and job security. It compares poorly with other regions in the world, being an advanced economy that doesn’t cater to the needs of the newborn and the productive and maternal health of the new mothers. Workplace protection provisions on paid work leave is a dream to Americans for even long-term and short-term ailments. California offers a State Insurance Program, which gives workers an extended period of up to six weeks annually, to get time to attend to their family issues, as maternity leave, and as medical leave purposes. The American system gives one an opportunity to choose between looking after their family matters for their loved ones when the need arise and maintenance of the jobs they need.
Different forms of raising and training a child introduce them into separate directions which in turn widens the socioeconomic gaps. This is due to various educational institutional systems the children attend, dictated by their folk’s careers that links to their earnings. Children adapt to learning the skills in what they are subjected to, which determines their ability to cope and succeed in their economic status in their immediate and not any other environment. Poverty and social inequalities affect educational and career success. Low-income parents have fewer resources and time, therefore no or less investment for their young one’s future (Gornick & Meyers, 2003). American parents want the best things in life for their children. They want them to have a proper lifestyle, caring, health, ethical, honest and compassionate. There is more concentration of their efforts towards the generation of income for investments meant for raising their kids.
A child’s wellbeing impacts on the society and the economy of a nation as a whole. Fortunate upbringing, which may include better education, health, and growth and development into adulthood results into a productive generation. When the citizens of a country are prosperous, it contributes to the economic stability of that country. Toddlers’ progress begins from an early stage, from school performance to completion thus determines their destiny. Children’s nurturing dictates the benefits accrued in their day to day routine in their lifespan and the community’s growth and progress. It is, therefore, a concern to the state on the policies that govern the rearing of kids hence a responsibility of every member of the society. Failures in bringing up a healthy child increase the burden to the whole community and such kids may opt to other negative means of obtaining their daily bread. Proper rearing policies with the help of the government help to curb the criminal activities they might engage in when they grow up.
Different developed nations have various ways of parenting. Early childhood development stage is a critical period for the growth of toddlers. According to a report by Unicef in 2013, there was a rank of Dutch as the country with the happiest kids in the world. In comparison, with the world’s 29 most developed and wealthiest nations, US took the 26th position and UK was the 16th country in the research study. It intended to assess children’s well-being, safety and health, education, risks and behaviors, and housing and surroundings. Dutch babies are more relaxed and calm, unlike American babies who exhibit fear, forlornness, and anger as a result of child-rearing styles.
The vast differences between the Dutch kids and those from the US and other industrialized nations are due to their practices in children raising. This includes; enough sleep, less or no homework at primary level, and their folks listen to them more. Moreover, they are left to go about their games unsupervised, regular meals and more time with their parents. Dutch kids enjoy more freedom which is not a guarantee for other kids from most countries. They value their traditions and culture, where a kid is placed at the central point and have healthy relationships with their parents. US parenthood practices concentrate more on the modern day child rearing, which carries their meaning of a fit and proper kids’ upbringing (Clark, & Gallagher, 2016). Dutch, however, tries to curb such expectations and distress in keeping up with the demands of the present age in raising their babies.
Most American parents are too busy working and therefore spending less time on parenthood. The Dutch work for twenty-nine hours in seven days, thus a work-life balance which gives them ample time to spend and bond with their children (Gauthier, Smeeding, & Furstenberg, 2004). Dutch parents learn to encourage kids of self-independence at the right age for early age confidence and survival. Mothers in the US worry more about the success and development of their kids and perform all the duties for them even at late teens’ age. According to the Dutch, kids are expected to have the right conduct, respect their elders and meet the societal moral and ethical behaviors. Children have the right to play, and it is an essential stage in child development, which countries like Britain, France and America term as noisy and disorderly.
Sweden is one of the family-friendly nations where despite the high-income taxes, raising a family is favorable. It has a great policy of extended childbearing leave for either the mother or father, free education forum and friendly public environment for children (Wells, & Sarkadi, 2011). There is gender equality and therefore fair women treatment and hence an ideal nation for raising up children with a long-term mental health. Sweden’s parental support is perfect and one to be envied, compared to a country like the US without a proper law on paid and extended childbearing leave. In the native America, grandparents play a prominent role in rearing their grandchildren and enhancing culture-based knowledge whereas it is a cultural norm in Italy and Asia for them to inhabit in the same homestead as an extended family. It is, however, an excellent trend in that it unites people related by blood, and help educate the young ones on the customs, beliefs, and values of the society.
In conclusion, there is no perfect method of childbearing and raring. It therefore, calls for interaction and good relations that will benefit nations to enhance learning from each other. There are similar factors and challenges that all parents encounter in parenting globally. The recent times upbringing has a general over-reliance on technology, which parents should give limit from children spending more time on the technology gadgets. The government of the state should also play a role in the incorporation of fair rules and regulations governing the childbirth leave and upbringing, to ensure the well-being and safety of the young generation who are the future of a great nation.
Baum, C. L., & Ruhm, C. J. (2016). The effects of paid family leave in California on labor market outcomes. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 35(2), 333-356. doi:10.1002/pam.21894
Clark, C., & Gallagher, S. K. (2016). The influence of state maternity leave policies on US mothers’ employment. Community, Work & Family, 20(4), 459-478. doi:10.1080/13668803.2016.1227769
Gauthier, A. H., Smeeding, T. M., & Furstenberg, F. F. (2004). Are parents investing less time in children? Trends in selected industrialized countries. Population and development review, 30(4), 647-672.
Gornick, J. C., & Meyers, M. K. (2003). Families that work: Policies for reconciling parenthood and employment. Russell Sage Foundation.
Rossin-Slater, M. (2017). Maternity and family leave policy. Oxford Handbooks Online. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190628963.013.23
Wells, M. B., & Sarkadi, A. (2011). Do father-friendly policies promote father-friendly child-rearing practices? A review of Swedish parental leave and child health centers. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 21(1), 25-31. doi:10.1007/s10826-011-9487-7