Family Life

Last updated: 15.04.2013 // Norway is a very child-friendly country, and a happy family life is very important to Norwegians. In most families in Norway, both parents work. Parents then tend to share the childcare, and it is quite common for Norwegian fathers to take time off from work during the first year of their child's life.

Photo: Stein J. Bjørge/ Scanpix .

Photo: Stein J. Bjørge/ Scanpix

Just like in Australia, if both parents work outside of the home, children go to a nursery before they start primary school. Nursery places are subsidised by the state, making it affordable for both parents to work.

As the school day finishes earlier than the working day, children usually go to after-school clubs until their parents get home. At these clubs, the children can play, do homework or join in with activities of their choice, such as a choir, chess, football or drama group.

Children are encouraged to become independent and to play outdoors without adult supervision all year round. Thanks to the low crime rate and safe parks and play areas, they can have fun outside almost everywhere. In the winter they ski and ice-skate, and in the summer they play football and go swimming. Many families in Norway have a holiday cottage in the mountains or by the sea. This is often a basic log cabin, where they love to spend time off together as a family. They also spend time visiting grandparents, or camping, cycling and walking. If they go abroad for their holidays, Norwegians like to visit the warmer countries of Southern Europe, or travel further away to Africa or Asia.

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