Secrets of the Sprakkar: Iceland's Extraordinary Women and How They Are Changing the World by Eliza Reid:
But as our offspring multiplied and aged, Gudni’s laid-back yet involved style of parenting presented a happy counterpoint to my obsessive planning and another adult on whom the kids could rely. More importantly, thanks to his parental leave, he was present. He knew their favorite foods, which onesies fit best, which Icelandic folk song made them giggle the most.
Research backs up my impressions from watching Gudni parent. Fathers who take parental leave are more likely to be involved in the care of their children later, including with household duties. They are less likely to separate from their partner. Boys whose fathers were actively and regularly engaged in their upbringing have fewer behavioral problems, and girls have fewer psychological problems. In fact, studies show children’s relationships with their fathers are stronger and healthier in Iceland than in other countries. Although it’s clearly possible to form strong bonds in locations where paternity leave is not available, time is a valuable commodity, and generous, affordable leave helps to give us that time to experience those moments that won’t return.