Tag Archives: Parenting

The Danish Way

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I’m particular. Shocking, I know.

I know exactly the type of people I want my children to be (not specifically, like their professions, looks, sexuality, that kind of thing — but generally). I want them to be loving, kind, patient, accepting, helpful. I want my children to be freaking happy.

In my constant quest for my children’s happiness I come across lots and lots of parenting books. This isn’t fair for me to say and there’s no reason really that I should think this, but any American-based parenting guide or book is something I walk right past. Why? I feel like America, as a culture, doesn’t do the very best in raising happy, empathetic, well-adjusted kids. Don’t confuse this with me saying I don’t know any Americans who are great parents. That’s not true at all. I know lots and lots of really great American parents. But like I said, I’m particular. We all look for things that tailor to our own belief system and when it comes to parenting books, I tend to lean towards un-American. I did it, I said it.

Before reading this book (“The Danish Way of Parenting”) my favorite was “Bringing up Bebe” by Pamela Druckerman. She’s funny and real and I loved how she gave real-life experiences with French mothers to back up what she was saying. I loved it. But then I saw this book at Book People in Moscow and didn’t even read the back cover before putting it on the checkout desk. I read it in one sitting and it’s now my favorite.

The Danes are happy and there must be a reason why. It’s not just a coincidence that all the happiest people were born there, am I right? I am, I’ll answer that for you. I’m right. The Danes know how to parent and now that I’m privy to some of their secrets  parenting ways, I feel like a dumbass. It’s all so obvious. It’s so common sense and easy.

Don’t resort to automatically telling your children they are the best and smartest.

Teach empathy.

Look on the bright side of things.

Help your child find their own solutions to their own problems, don’t do it for them.

Let kids play – imaginative, fun, creative, non-electronic play.

These are all things I know but have a hard time executing. I don’t spank, but I do sometimes yell. Not good. I turn the TV on when I just want peace and quiet. I sometimes dwell on things I’m bad at, not the things I’m great at. I force my kids to share their toys at the first hint of another child’s jealousy instead of letting them figure it out for themselves and coming up with a solution.

You guys, buy this book. Or borrow it from me. Or check it out from the library. Just get your hands on a copy and read it.

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