Calling all stressed-out parents: Relax Imagine a place where young children play unsupervised, don't do homework, have few scheduled -activities- . . . Read more...
Calling all stressed-out parents: Relax Imagine a place where young children play unsupervised, don't do homework, have few scheduled -activities- . . . and rank #1 worldwide in happiness and education.* It's not a fantasy--it's the Netherlands
Rina Mae Acosta and Michele Hutchison--an American and a Brit, both married to Dutchmen and raising their kids in the Netherlands--report back on what makes Dutch kids so happy and well adjusted. Is it that dads take workdays off to help out? Chocolate sprinkles for breakfast? Bicycling everywhere?
Whatever the secret, entire Dutch families reap the benefits, from babies (who sleep 15 hours a day) to parents (who enjoy a work-life balance most Americans only dream of). As Acosta and Hutchison borrow ever-more wisdom from their Dutch neighbors, this much becomes clear: Sometimes the best thing we can do as parents is . . . less
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-01-16
- Reviewer: Staff
American blogger Acosta (Finding Dutchland), and Hutchison, a British translator of Dutch literature, provide their own perspective on the 2013 UNICEF study reporting Dutch children are the worlds happiest. Both authors are expats married to Dutchmen and raising their children in the Netherlands. They noticed the countrys relaxed parenting style and the confident, well-adjusted children it produces, so unlike the stressed parents and kids in their home countries. The two women explain that the core idea for Dutch parents is to treat children as individuals rather than extensions of themselves. Free of the demanding helicopter-parenting so rampant in the U.S. and U.K., children are given much more freedom to play and explore. Subjects covered include birth (done at home with a midwife), parental happiness (communities pitch in to shift some of the burden off parents), and raising teenagers (parents and teens set boundaries together.) Along with citations of supporting research studies and interviews with Dutch parents, witty sidebars are woven throughout, discussing Dutch birthday-party ideas, how to cycle while carrying an umbrella, and house rules for teenagers. American parents exhausted by the pressures and expectations of parenting will appreciate this refreshing look at how another culture handles the same issues. (Apr.)