PARENTING
11/12/2014 11:03 am ET Updated Nov 12, 2014

How Germany's Parental Leave Policies Are Revamping Parenting Culture

Elected officials in Germany are aiming to raise the birthrate in their country, so they're implementing progressive parental leave policies and changing the traditional parenting culture in the process.

Nina Massauk, a writer at German parenting blog Frau Mutter, weighed in on Germany’s parental leave policy, which allows both mothers and fathers to take up to 14 months of parental leave without facing any penalty from employers. The employee is also entitled to earn two-thirds of his or her income while on leave.

“This was introduced, of course, to increase the birthrate and to give mothers the chance to go back early to work,” she told host Nancy Redd. “And also to really get daddies to the changing table, so that both sexes, the man and the woman, experience family duties and also provide for the family.”

Although Massauk said the policy has not yet affected the German birthrate, which hovers around 1.36 children per woman -- the lowest in Europe -- she said it has spurred a positive change in the approach to raising children.

“That was really fantastic. It was a really good thing to do,” she said. “Although it didn’t do much increase the birthrate ... it brought along a change in culture and how we look at parenting.”

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