Parenting Secrets From Dane: Cultivating Authenticity, Emotional Support, And Hygge For Joyful Family Connections

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Updated: October 14, 2023
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Parenting Secrets From Dane: Cultivating Authenticity, Emotional Support, And Hygge For Joyful Family Connections


Who are the happiest people in the world?


The Danes!


For more than 40 years, worldwide happiness studies have come to this conclusion. But why is it so?


The reason for Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl is clear: it's special parenting. In their book "Why Danish Children Are Lucky and Balanced," the authors describe what constitutes the unique educational philosophy of the Danes.


A recipe for happy children! That sounds a bit presumptuous at first. But we can cut off a slice from the relaxed Danes. Here are 6 secrets parents must know:


1- Children Must Be Allowed To Play


According to the authors, football, dance lessons, and piano lessons Today, children have too many programs and too little space to play. But just good games are incredibly important for children to develop relaxation. "In free play, children learn to be less anxious and to better deal with frustration," the book says. 


Children who could be more confident and better at stress were again more stable, social, and less prone to depression and anxiety.



For children to be able to play these games, parents would first have to let them go. "In Denmark, parents try not to interfere unnecessarily," say the authors. They trusted that children could try new things, giving them the space to learn and trust themselves.


2- Parents Have To Be Authentic


Children need emotional honesty from their parents, not perfection.


Parents should always behave authentically, according to the book. And they should honestly answer when children ask them a question. Even the difficult aspects of life could be explained by parents in an age-appropriate and understandable because children quickly notice when parents are not sincere.


Parents should often tell stories from childhood and describe them with emotion to show children that it is normal for them to be sad, happy, or anxious. These are sometimes tragic or go out bad. It opens a dialogue about different aspects of life. 


Children would be better able to deal with it later if something negative happened or obstacles appeared. "If we teach our children to accept their true feelings, whether positive or negative (...), they will not be overwhelmed by the challenges and difficult stages in their lives."


3- Parents Should Not Throw Praise


Praise should not be a standard reaction, say Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl. Danish parents did not overwhelm children with praise and compliments. So, they did not praise everything that children did. 


For example, every self-painted picture - and did not generally write to children about achievements like "You're great at sports!" Or "He's smart. Instead, they praise work-related or process-related- what children do - when they have strained, engaged, improved, or taken a clever approach. 


So children learned to compare less. And that not everyone everywhere can be the best but can still give his best.


4- Simply Reinterpret The Situation


The authors say whether a situation looks good or bad often lies in perspective. Danes are good at positively reinterpreting situations. It was not hiding negative things in life but giving them less meaning. Parents could help the child to focus on the things it can do. If you emphasize the positive aspects, it also strengthens the child's self-esteem.



How to talk with children plays a big role here. Black and white, as well as limiting and negative language, should be avoided by parents (For example, "always," "never," "I hate," "she is like that" ...). It is important not to put a stamp on children as a personality like "you are (always) aggressive!" but to concentrate on the behavior: "He sometimes has aggressive tendencies."


5- Acknowledge All the Feelings of the Children


Some children have irrational feelings when the day is long. Parents should always acknowledge these feelings and try not to judge them. They conveyed respect to the child and demonstrated how empathetic they are, thus transposing themselves into the other's emotional world. Parents should show children how to name their feelings and perceive their feelings.


6- Hygge For Everyone


In the Danish lifestyle, the principle of "hygge" plays a major role in the cozy get-together in the community. The "Cuddling together" time is very important for families to cultivate relationships. 


It's about enjoying the moment together, letting the stress out, turning off the smartphones, and getting comfortable. You can play or sing together, but also just be together. Because: "To think only about you is not hyggeligt."