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When binational couples become parents

Becoming parents is a major turning point in the life of a couple. This applies for binational couples just as it does for all mononational couples. For this reason it is important to discuss in advance fundamental questions of life as a family and to define a joint path. It is important to address the other culture’s value systems and views on child-rearing. These must be questioned, discussed and clarified just as the matrimonial relationship itself must. Differing basic assumptions on the part of the Swiss parent and the foreign parent can be seen, for example, in the question of what the child can already do on his or her own. The Swiss parent more often emphasizes independence, while the foreign parent more often emphasizes protection of the child. Or the question of respect, obedience, laissez-faire or authoritarian child-rearing.
However, a child also changes the parents’ relationship as a couple. Expanding from a unit of two to a unit of three is frequently not easy.
This also involves clarification of how tasks should be distributed within the family in the future.
How will tasks be distributed in the planned family? Who will take on which roles? Who will take on childcare and who will take on gainful employment? Can the areas be divided up fairly?