Life Style

Extended paternity leave, short and long term benefits

Olivier, 38, has fond memories of his paternity leave this summer. “In the early morning, I took over from my partner, who had breastfed our baby during the night. I spent several hours with Adam asleep on me, I took care of him, it creates a very strong proximity ”, tells this doctor who was able to take – on his own money – a leave longer than the eleven days provided for by law. In other words, Emmanuel Macron’s announcement to extend this period to one month, including seven mandatory days, delighted the young dad: “It’s a good measure, even if we could have gone further! “

→ READ. Paternity leave: seven days compulsory for the second parent

The announcement, made by the Head of State on September 23, is also welcomed by early childhood professionals. Because many studies show it: the time spent early with the baby plays an important role for the future. In this regard, the recent report on “First 1000 days” of the child is very clear (1): “It takes time, availability and physical and emotional proximity” to build “A harmonious relationship” with the baby and “To best support their socio-emotional and cognitive development”, underline the authors, under the direction of the psychiatrist Boris Cyrulnik.

Continuity in the relationship

“For the father, it is not at all the same thing to take care of his child all day long, to listen to his needs and to get to know him, as it is to ‘relieve’ the mother. , for an hour or two when you come home from work ”, notes the psychologist and psychoanalyst Sophie Marinopoulos, who participated in the report. She believes that this measure will introduce “Continuity” in the relationship. “This is all the more essential as early bonds play a fundamental role in a person’s life. “

That is not all, continues the founder of “Pâtes aueurre” (solidarity reception for families): a longer leave is also a lever for the balance of the parental couple and the involvement of fathers in education. “This makes it possible to build bonds together, to be truly equal vis-à-vis the child: this does not mean that the roles are necessarily the same, but that the father, like the mother, will have his fair share. square. “ Olivier is already feeling it in his own way. “I am not at all stressed at the idea that my partner is going away for a few days and leaves me alone with Adam, because I will know how to do”, says the infant’s father.

“Today, fathers are often involved in the game (…) but it is not only that, taking care of a child”

With long term effects on the family. “Paternity leave offers a crucial window of opportunity for reorganization, negotiation of the division of roles, tasks and responsibilities”, further notes the report, which is based on several international studies.

→ MAINTENANCE. Paternity leave: “This is not a measure that will reassure small and medium-sized enterprises”

We read that such a leave “Favors (…) equity but also conjugal and parental complementarity around the baby and the installation of relational configurations which tend to remain stable over time ”. “Today, fathers are often involved in play, outdoor activities, adds Sophie Marinopoulos. But it’s not just that, taking care of a child. “

Boris Cyrulnik: “For an extension of paternity leave to 9 weeks”

The psychologist also notices certain inertias. “When a child is sick at school, we call the mother first, because we tell ourselves that she will be released more easily … I am convinced that the extension of paternity leave will have beneficial effects on the way companies will, in the future, consider the role of fathers. And in the end, on the whole of society ”, she concludes.


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