Denmark has been ranked as the happiest country in the world for three decades now, and you have to wonder how they do it. As it turns, it all boils down to great parenting skills. The book The Danish Way of Parenting by Jessica Alexander and Iben Dissing Sindahl, M.P.F., reveals the secrets of Danish parents on how they riase confident, resilient, and happy kids. Time to take notes.
1 They let the kids play. According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, play is essential to a child's development because it help develop their cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being. It's how children learn, retain information, and develop social skills. It's also the perfect opportunity for parents to engage their kids. In Denmark, free play, whether alone or with friends, is important.
2 They don't hide reality behind fairy tale stories. Danish parents put value in honesty, whether it's a sad ending to a story or a tragic event in the news. If the kids are too young, they won't go into details but it won't stop them from talking to their kids about it. They encourage the kids to express their thoughts and feelings.
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3 There's always a positive outlook. For the Danish, the glass is always half-full. A problem requires solutions, but also opportunities.
4.They know how to empathize. It's easy to say, "You should have done this or that,” but it takes extra effort to stop yourself from judging other people’s actions. The Danish try to understand where the other person is coming from. Instead of commenting on someone else’s actions or decisions, ask your child “Why do you think he did that?” This practice paves the way for kindness rather than contempt for others.
5. Aim to problem-solve, not win As they grow older, kids will always test our limits and boundaries. The Danish see misbehavior as an opportunity to nurture, teach and guide kids towards the right path.
6. Spend time together The Danish call it "at hygge sig," or simply "hygge" (pronounced "hooga"), a tern they use for spending quality time with the family. Danish families hang out often, even at the expense of work hours. Unplug, clear your mind, and be in the moment--really engage and connect with your kids. Get to know them as individuals. Play games, and most importantly, have fun!
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Source July 28, 2015. "Why Danish Parents (And Their Kids) Are Happier Than Americans" (fatherly.com)