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#19 “THE LICE MOTHER” – IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD

February 13, 2019

With 4 million viewers, the Dutch comedy series “The Lice Mother” is breaking all records

Last Sunday was the kick-off of the second season of “De Luizenmoeder”. Social media is exploding about the reprimand of primary schoolteacher Ank to one of the parents: “. . . and I cannot handle anymore curling parents today. So, will you please leave your broom at home this year?” 

For two years now, I am a full time (Dutch) Stay At Home Dad in Switzerland. My very first move to ensure a smooth integration was to enrol in the Parent’s Committee of my son’s primary school. From a Dutch perspective, a no-brainer. But soon I was confronted with an unexpected culture clash. 

Swiss schools tend to keep the parents at arm’s length. While the Dutch actively promote and expect parents to engage in school matters.

It takes a village to raise a child. 

The school playground is the town square. It’s the place where parents, teachers and children meet on a daily basis. This mini-society has its own rules, including: goodbyes-etiquette, class group apps, crossing guard duties … and lice mothers.

Across our entire, though tiny, country, parents recognize themselves and others in the characters of the “The Lice Mother”. The sitcom holds a mirror up to society. 

Just 500 km southwards there is a totally different culture. Living the Swiss life, I realize the value of village building and how it is imbedded in the Dutch culture. 

A special note for all my Swiss readers: the German television station Sat.1 will broadcast “Die Läusemutter” later this year. 

As a full time Stay At Home Dad, curling is the best option for a ticket into the Dutch curling team one day in the future!

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