"Sweden is suffering from a national panic syndrome," said David Eberhard, a Stockholm psychiatrist who is writing a book about what safety has come to mean to the Swedish national psyche. "And the consequence of this is that we've become safety junkies."
The first sign of backlash against an ever-safer Sweden came in 2004, when the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet set off a furor with a profile of the Danish psychologist Bent Hougaard, who had coined the term the "curling parent." The reference is to the sport of curling, played on ice, in which players frenetically sweep the ice to remove any obstacles in the way of a heavy stone gliding toward a target. Modern parents, the article suggested, similarly remove all obstacles for their children, depriving them of the important insight that difficulties and dangers are natural parts of life. (International Herald Tribune, 01/24/06)
[Editor's comment: What is the term for "curling parents" in other countries?]
Related: My post, ANNIVERSARY OF THE TSUNAMI DISASTER.