raising happy childrenThere’s a brand new book out in the ocean of new books that is doing quite well. The reason is, it tells the secrets behind why the Danish people are some of the happiest people on the planet, and how they successfully raise their kids as happy campers – yes the real skinny on why there is generation after generation of positive, well adjusted, happy-as-clams Danes.

The book is called The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids.

Amongst page after page of fantastic wisdom, the authors, Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Sandahl, give a great acronym, P-A-R-E-N-T, which encapsulates the principles behind how Danes cultivate happiness in the home. Here’s the lowdown:

P is for Play. The Danish people don’t like to over-structure their kids’ lives and believe play is crucial to their development. Since 1871, when research revealed that free play is a very good thing, Danes have subscribed to it as an essential every-day practice. They do this because free play teaches social skills, self-control, empathy, coping mechanisms, and wires children’s brains for wonder, fun and creativity, among other things. It’s a fantastic way for kids to discover and learn about their world.

A is for Authenticity. The Danish people are extremely honest with their children about life – they like to ‘keep it real’. Even their bedtime stories and movies are very ‘real life’ – in other words they don’t always have a happy ending – the princess doesn’t always get her prince, sometime a beloved character actually dies at the end. These things happen in real life and studies show that children knowing and hearing about these things are helped to develop empathy and a gratitude for their own circumstances.

R is for reframing. The authors say, you can “Ask a Dane about the terrible weather and they will say, ‘There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.’” The Danish are crazy good at reframing what we might perceive as negative. Their techniques for looking at the bright side of any situation is a cultural phenomenon that has been passed from generation to generation and is one of the strongest reasons for their authentic happiness. As a shameless plug, there are several very good reframing techniques in my book, Lunchtime Joy Magnet, if you are interested in learning more about developing this type of mindset.

E is for Empathy. Denmark teaches empathy in their schools and thus is arguably the most empathetic culture on the planet. They feel it is as important as reading, writing and arithmetic. This forms a basis for children to grow up with the ability to better work with and relate to others.

N is for No ultimatums. If you are a Dane you actively strive to avoid conflict and power struggles. They work from a no-ultimatum parenting style. As a result their homes are happier and their kids are well adjusted with more win-win attitudes.

T-is for Togetherness and Hygge. You’re going to love this word for togetherness that is a deeply entrenched part of the Danish culture. Hygge, which is pronounced hooga, means “to cozy around together.” Much like our hangin’ out, it’s all about being together with your dear ones in a safe (drama-free) and cozy environment. No words are needed to tell you how nurturing and good for your kids this practice is – your time is the best gift you can give your kids.

In summary, I think you will absolutely adore this book. raising happy kids book coverOne reviewer said, “I found this book to be a clear-sighted, very useful and smart guide on how to improve your own happiness level as a parent and how to foster happy children the Danish way.”

If you love good parenting books, here are my top five others that are also incredibly great on the subject:

Sandra M Bell
Author of “Lunchtime Joy Magnet”

Related Products:
The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting – audio

The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children – book

Related Content:
Be Whole – Your Beautiful Self – Article

Adrian Peterson, Flying Monks and Redemption – Article