The Danish Way of Parenting” a book review

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What have you been reading lately? I have recently loved Delancey, Carry On, Warrior, Why Not Me, and The Danish Way of Parenting. I tried to get into The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but she lost me on, ‘you’ll never have to tidy again.’ How?? I have children…laundry…mail that arrives everyday. If you’ve read her book and this is true…do tell!
Side note, by recently (re: reading all these books), I mean the past couple years…just so we are clear! I’ve been too busy having all these babies.

I remember when I first became a mom, I could not handle reading parenting books. I did not want to spend my free time reading something that felt so structured (about how I was supposed to do things). So I gave up on reading parenty things.

Until recently… I have become (perhaps a little obsessed) with the whole play-based focus to early childhood education and free time for kids. And then after my cousin, Monica’s post on the Danish term, hygge. I was totally drawn in to what these Danes do to be so happy all of the time, especially in their parenting style.

I read this book, and LOVED it. Everything just made sense and totally resonated with me. I love the realness of this book. They use the acronym, PARENT to describe the pillars of their concept. Here, I’ll paraphrase the acronym and my favorite ideas from the book:

PLAY
More free play for kids equates to more resilient adults.
Let kids test their boundaries, this is how they learn independence
and how to manage difficult situations.
(Let those kiddos go play, get scraped up, and do their thing.)

AUTHENTICITY
Be real, be thoughtful, be honest (don’t sugarcoat life), be vulnerable. Kids learn how to be in touch with their real emotions when we help guide them through the shared experiences we have together. A growth mindset over a fixed mindset is very important (i.e., Saying ‘wow, you worked so hard on this, great job!’ Rather than ‘you are so smart.’) This helps kids to learn that they are always capable instead of I’m smart or I’m not smart.
(To quote Emily Henderson, “Perfection is boring…”)

REFRAMING
We can all benefit from reframing. In simple terms, it’s about continually helping them see things through a different lens. (Bad weather or bad clothing?!!)

EMPATHY
This is so useful in all relationships. People feel heard and comforted when people listen and understand them. Don’t discount your kid’s feelings. (I love the quote from the top picture!)

NO ULTIMATUMS
Create trust and talk to your kids in the same way you would talk to your partner or other adults. Ultimatums create power struggles. When you don’t use them, you can explain what you need and create meaningful solutions. (This one is tough!)

TOGETHERNESS
Creating a social network and creating coziness (hygge) is a gift…for all of us. Also I love that they talk about singing and its proven power to lower stress and increase feelings of trust and bonding. (I have in the bag! I totally, sing to my kids all. the. time. (winky face))

What do you think…will you read this book?
Image from The Danish Way of Parenting’s Instagram feed. Follow them on Instagram or Facebook for great quotes, messages, and articles.

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