I just read “The Danish Way of Parenting”. I loved it and finished it in a few days! This is something that never happens when you have two small kids. It was that good and it was that interesting to me. It is written by American author, Jessica Alexander who is married to a Dane and by a recognized Danish psychotherapist, Iben Sandahl. They claim that the reason why the Danes have been voted as one of the happiest people in the world since 1973 is their way of bringing up their children. Based on years of research the authors discovered the special Danish way.
The book clearly lays out this method of bringing up some of the happiest children in the world. I don’t want to reveal too much but strongly encourage everyone with children or planning to have children or just anyone wanting more harmonic family get togethers to read this book! You don’t have to be a Dane to learn from what has proven to work well on Danish children. Anyone can take some of these postitive changes with them and try to practice them. The authors write that just adopting some of these new “settings” will improve your reactions when you are pressured and stressed as a parent. Not only does the book give you some methods to use as a parent but also a guide on how to change your own cultural perspective and the default settings we return to in stressful situations.
I was so happy and relieved to have my cultural background reenforced with the help of this book. As an immigrant it is easy to forget some of my cultural background and of course it strengthens me in my own view on upbringing that it has cultivated some of the most resilient and happy people in the world!
When I am in Denmark I do notice how children rarely get tantrums and generally seem well adapted and calm. Later in life, Danes are also often more resilient and better at coping with life’s stresses and staying positive. But this is all much better described in “The Danish Way of Parenting”. You can read a lot about the Danish way of parenting on their website thedanishway.com or buy their book electronically or in a paper copy.
All I can say is that I have started being a more “Danish” parent after reading this book and I have immediately seen results! Not as many meltdowns as usual, our children play better together, and my 4-year old trusts me more – she even shared her Valentines candy with me! – it is like our family becomes more of a team when I really try to be as “Danish” a parent I can be…