As parents, we often find ourselves living in the present moment, whether it’s navigating through sleepless nights with a newborn, mastering the art of swaddling to calm a fussy baby, or even breastfeeding while on the go. However, time passes quickly, and before we know it, our little bundle of joy becomes a toddler. If you’ve ever wondered why Denmark, consistently voted one of the happiest countries in the world, has such contented parents, then it’s worth delving into the Danish parenting style. In their book, “The Danish Way of Parenting,” Jessica Joelle Alexander, an American mom married to a Dane, and Iben Dissing Sandahl, a Danish psychotherapist, reveal seven valuable Danish parenting tips that can benefit American families.
Tips for Parenting in a Danish Style
1. Encourage Unstructured Play
Danish parents prioritize allowing their children to play freely. Instead of dictating activities, they believe in giving kids the freedom to explore playtime independently. Jessica suggests getting them outdoors to connect with nature and play with a diverse group of children of varying ages. “Child-led play not only boosts self-esteem but also allows them to learn from their peers,” she says. Iben recommends taking your little ones to the beach and observing what naturally captures their curiosity.
2. Foster Honesty
While it’s tempting to sugarcoat things for our kids, Danish parents believe in honesty. “Being honest with children means expressing your genuine thoughts, whether positive or negative,” explains Jessica. For instance, if your child shows you a painting, instead of showering them with exaggerated praise like “You’re an incredible artist,” engage them in a discussion by asking why they chose specific colors.
Iben emphasizes that parents often struggle with their child’s anger, aggression, or anxiety. However, teaching them about these emotions through means like discussing the movie “Inside Out” can be powerful. “Reading good children’s books together and having honest conversations equips children with more vocabulary to express their feelings,” says Iben.
3. Embrace Togetherness
In Denmark, the practice of “hygge” is ingrained in everyday life, which refers to cozy moments shared with loved ones. Danish parents actively foster togetherness by engaging in activities that involve the entire family, such as organizing scavenger hunts or tournaments. Even a simple game can create unforgettable moments. If you’re looking for inspiration, you can find fun craft ideas to enjoy with your little ones.
4. Reframe Negative Situations
Reframing is a valuable skill to teach your children. When your child expresses a complaint, take the opportunity to discuss the issue with them. “It’s not about wearing rose-colored glasses,” explains Jessica. “It’s about actively listening to your child’s stories and helping them focus on the positive aspects.” For instance, if your child complains about hating school, remind them about the art class they enjoyed. If they feel like they’re terrible at soccer, highlight a week they felt proud of their performance. “Guide your child to focus on what they can do, rather than what they can’t,” advises Jessica.
To discover the remaining two Danish parenting tips, please visit the full article on Thumbuddy To Love.