Want‌ ‌to‌ ‌Parent‌ ‌Like‌ ‌a‌ ‌Dane?‌ ‌4‌ ‌Tips‌ ‌of‌ ‌Danish‌ ‌Parenting‌ ‌

July 10, 2020

Want some parenting tips from the happiest people in the world? 

We’re talking about the Danes who have been officially ranked the happiest people in the world not just once, but twice! 

Hailing from Denmark, a country that hosts about five million people, the Danish not only benefit from a “highly harmonious social system,” but they also attribute their happiness to socioeconomic factors “such as public health, the level of living, … the public’s access to high-quality education, the general morale,” and government and community support for family well-being.

It’s this whole “family well-being” aspect of the equation that is the true secret do the Danes successful way of parenting, especially when it comes to raising happy, independent, and well-adjusted kids. 

Alright, you’re sold! 

While we can’t all pack up our lives and move to Denmark, this doesn’t mean you can’t put to practice their techniques here in the states. 

Want to parent like a Dane, keep some semblance of sanity, and raise a happy, independent, and confident child? 

Here are a few tactics to give a try!

1. Not only allow, but also encourage free play. What’s the difference between the activities you set up and playing freely? Independence, creativity, imagination, cooperation, and socialization. By taking the parent — yep that’s you! — out of the equation and encouraging free play, your child is tasked with overcoming boredom, invoking problem solving skills, and seeking comradery with other children their own age. 

2. Honesty is essential. As a parent, it’s difficult to look your kiddo in the eye and tell them a brutal honest truth. Yet, the Danes have found that honesty over sugarcoating leads to more well-adjusted humans that are equipped to deal with life as it comes. Instead of focusing on sugarcoating, direct your kids to think critically about a task or situation. 

3. Make sure family is prioritized. You’ve most likely heard the wildly popular term hygge, which is a Danish practice where you spend “time of coziness with friends and family.” When it comes to your kids, make your hygge practice a bit more interactive such as playing a game, doing crafts, or building something together. 

4. Learn how to reframe. An essential Danish parenting tool is reframing, generally in relation to negative situations. When your kiddo complains about something, instead of telling them that complaining won’t do any good, simply redirect their thoughts to a positive aspect of that complaint. For instance, “if your child whines that they hate school, bring up the art class that they loved. Or if they think they’re awful at soccer, talk about a week that they felt they played well.”