All posts filed under: Children

Interview with Iben Sandahl: Play – The Danish Way

It is a beautiful sunny day in August and I am going to meet bestselling author Iben Sandahl for cafe hygge and an interview about her new book Play – The Danish Way. Excited to finally meet one of the two authors behind The Danish Way of Parenting I show up early at Cafe Mig og Annie in Lyngby, Denmark. Before I even begin to get nervous if she has forgotten about me, I see her arrive outside right on time. Even though I have never met her before I just know it is her. There is something radiant about her – the way she carries herself. She is stylish and beautiful yet relaxed and friendly and I immediately feel comfortable knowing that this is going to be a pleasant and interesting interview. We find a table outside in the late-summer sun. While we warm up on big cups of cafe latte and green tea we start talking. Mostly about me. Iben is so engaging and warm that I almost forget that we are also …

Fairies, Merpups and Finding Joy When Things Don’t Go as Planned

In my last post I promised to give you an update on my use of the playguide in the book Play – The Danish Way by Iben Sandahl. I am not sure what happened but we went on vacation to Cape Cod and now suddenly half the summer has gone by. I am so excited that we have been electronics free for two entire weeks now (two hours after I published this post my kids were watching “Chuggington”… oops)! The absence of electronics has definitely made room for a greater imaginary universe but the summer still has not been as perfect as I imagined: me sitting in a garden chair, reading books while my children would play joyously for hours by themselves. A lot of times, I have had to dig deep in order not to get (too) frustrated with constant requests for help, questions about every possible thing (“why do people have swimsuits?”) and cleaning in 95 degrees fahrenheit with what seems like max air humidity (Maryland summers are tough for a Dane!). But I …

A Summer of Free Imagination – Let the Kids Be Bored and Play

  “Mom I’m bored, can I watch something?” says my five year old like it is the most terrible thing that could have happened to her. We have just been out for a kid event and now five minutes later she is already bored. I feel highly tempted to turn on that pony show so I can get half an hour to get some stuff done. But I stand firm and say “No, it is good to be bored – now you can come up with something yourself.” She looks at me perplexed but leaves the kitchen. Sure enough, ten minutes later I hear her singing and talking while she plays with her dolls in the family room. Yet every time she catches a glimpse of me she tries to talk me into entertaining her and I have to neglect all my feelings of guilt and let go of my inner pressure to constantly stimulate her. It helps me to know that letting children be bored and play by themselves, or with other children, is …

Review: The Danish Way of Parenting

  When American mom and columnist, Jessica Alexander, visited Denmark she noticed how Danish children were much more calm and hardly ever threw tantrums. Their parents talked to them in a calm way without yelling. There seemed to be an unspoken Danish way of parenting and together with psychotherapist and family counselor, Iben Sandahl, she set out to investigate how the Danes raised happy and balanced kids. Based on more than thirteen years of experience, research, supporting studies and facts this resulted in a book about how the happiest people in the world raise their children. The Danish Way of Parenting is my new parenting bible. As a Dane raising my children abroad I am eager to bring this parenting style with me and raise happy little Danes. To me the book is very useful and keeps me straight when I doubt my instincts surrounded by different cultural practices. But the book might be even more useful to non-Danes who wishes more calm, independent, creative children who do not constantly need entertainment and praise. In …

Danish Children’s Clothes

Let me just say it right away – I LOVE Danish children’s clothes!! The designs are so cool and cute and it is practical at the same time. And I just discovered a web shop that sells almost all of my favorite Danish children’s clothing brands worldwide! Copenhagenstyles.com Check out the Smafolk and Katvig brands which are my personal favorites with fun prints. Or Melton which offers the cutest hats and mittens in a wool blend that makes them soft and warm at the same time! I love how Danish children’s clothes not only looks good but is designed for comfort and play and for being outside in all kinds of weather. Copenhagenstyles.com also sells the famous Flensted mobiles and toys for babies and kids. bObles is a great brand producing toys to develop motor skills and are highly appealing to kids! For some reason the foam material is very attractive to them and when my kids’ friends come over to our house they always want to play with our bObles toys. They look so simple …

Parenting the Happiest Children

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 …