All posts filed under: Children

LEGO Movie 2 – The Danish Way of Awesome

  It has been a long time since my last post but Happy as a Dane is still here and has lots of things to share with you! First of all, my family and I just went to see the new LEGO Movie 2 and we all thought it was awesome in a very Danish way as not everything has to be awesome and happy all the time. As they sing in the theme song: “things can’t be awesome all of the time, it’s not realistic expectations but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to make everything awesome in a less idealistic kind of way…” What a great message to send to children and adults, that you can’t expect life to be sugary sweet at all times. If that’s the expectation you will only get disappointed in life which is not the same to say that you shouldn’t try to make life as great as possible. An important aspect of Danish happiness and childhood is realism where children through stories are prepared for the unavoidable …

Review: Play -The Danish Way

Iben Dissing Sandahl, one of the authors behind the international bestseller The Danish Way of Parenting, is out with a new book Play – The Danish Way. This book follows up on the wide interest in how to help children enjoy unstructured free play. It is such a great book to read here at the beginning of the summer holiday where children have what seems like endless time. It provides the readers with a great opportunity to encourage free play both for the sake of their children’s healthy and happy development and for the sanity of their parents! Free play is so much more important to children’s development than many of us parents realize! I have to admit that before I read this book I viewed play as a way children pass their time. Just fun or maybe even waste of time compared to going to a sports class or storytime. I did not take it as seriously as I should. In fact, play is so much more than passing time. It is one of …

Hygge is… Watering the Flowers

  My toddler son was screaming and protesting – he was not ready to go inside. I let him stay in the backyard longer and he went to get his little blue watering can. As soon as he started watering the flowers he was in a zone of peaceful hygge. I believe he was even humming to himself. It was such a pleasure to watch him that I instantly felt the calm of this hygge event in the warm afternoon sun. That same evening after the kids were put to bed, instead of cleaning dishes I went outside and watered the flowers. It was a very nice feeling, just being outside on a quiet warm spring evening helping the flowers grow. There is something satisfying about watering plants. Perhaps because it reminds us to appreciate nature and its beauty. It brings happiness and a peaceful patience to watch plants grow and makes us feel like we are doing something meaningful and rewarding. If you truly take your time to enjoy the task of watering it …

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 …

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 …