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The Danish Way of Parenting

What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids
Narrated by: Kim Mai Guest
Length: 3 hrs and 28 mins
5 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Discover the parenting secrets of the happiest people in the world

What makes Denmark the happiest country in the world - and how do Danish parents raise happy, confident, succesful kids year after year? This upbeat and practical guide reveals the habits of the happiest families on earth. With illuminating examples and simple yet powerful advice, the authors present six essential principles, which spell out P-A-R-E-N-T:

Play is essential for development and well-being.
Authenticity fosters trust and an "inner compass".
Reframing helps kids cope with setbacks and look on the bright side.
Empathy allows us to act with kindness toward others.
No ultimatums means no power struggles, lines in the sand, or resentment.
Togetherness is a way to celebrate family time, on special occasions and every day. The Danes call this hygge, and it's a simple yet meaningful way to foster a close bond.

A revealing and fresh take on cross-cultural parenting advice, The Danish Way of Parenting will help parents from all walks of life raise the happiest, most well-adjusted kids in the world.

©2016 Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Sandahl (P)2016 Penguin Audio

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    3 out of 5 stars

Useful but misleading and oversimplified

The advice offered in this book is excellent parenting advice, but it is somewhat hypocritical to advocate a "we" mentality and to then promote this as a way for individual success as a parent. For instance, the authors say that these tips for individuals lead to happy lives in Denmark, which blatantly disregards the many communal social structures in place to facilitate happy lives, such as affordable daycare and education. A parent can only be as effective as society allows them to be, and while the tips from the authors are generally excellent tips, the authors ignore major problems in North American society that go far beyond individual parents. I was also disappointed by how often the book focused on mothers, rather than on parents, which reinforces North American images of mothers as primary guardians. The book reperforms many of the flimsy strategies one finds in American "self-help" culture, even as it attempts to break out of those same frameworks.

4 people found this helpful

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Much needed

Some tiger mums may not agree with some concepts of this book but I intend to be More intentional about softening my approach to parenting thanks to this.

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The best parenting book I’ve ever read

This book touches on so much and is a mix of parenting, life tips, and is a bit self-help too because it challenges the way we view things. Seriously sooooo good! Definitely going to listen on repeat

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  • Flint
  • 2017-02-21

Positive and uplifting parenting book

This book was encouraging and positive. Sometimes parenting books can leave us feeling like we are failing. The Danish Way of Parenting is encouraging and simple and full of good ideas to live more peacefully with your tribe.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Jolene
  • 2016-11-18

Wow what an awesome way to go about parenting

loved it what a great concept to parent with realistic optimism.
it was a quick easy listen with a great narrative

4 people found this helpful

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  • meltedarts
  • 2016-09-10

changed my way of thinking not just how I parent

this really had an impact on how I thought about things and the way I spoke and listening to it kind of refrain from the way but I deal with things not only with my child but with myself

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ashlynn Mitchell - Mamabear Fitness
  • 2017-11-16

Changed My Broken Approach to Parenting

I grew up in a home that was very authoritarian meaning it’s my way or the highway. It wasn’t OK to disagree and it wasn’t OK to experience emotions. I also grew up being spanked with a wooden spoon. Does that sound normal?

1 person found this helpful

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  • claudia casallas torres
  • 2017-10-29

great book

I loved it. this book helped me to relax, in moments of parenting stress. I recommend it to everyone and as myself it's a must to read again book for members of stress.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Fern Law
  • 2017-06-02

Delightful and refreshing!

Loved it. Great advise for parenting that works well for grandparents too. Highly recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tamara Aviv
  • 2016-11-27

Fascinating read

Great to get a perspective from such a great culture about on so many important aspects pertaining to parenthood and to fulfilling life in general.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rachel H.
  • 2016-09-24

Obvious parenting tips unrelated to Danes

Do you think it's a bad idea to label your kid, "lazy?" Do you thinking having empathy is a good thing? Congratulations! You already have the level of info that's in this book. Close to nothing in this book has anything to do with Danish culture- it's all run of the mill, common sense (read: obvious) advice.

10 people found this helpful

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  • IR
  • 2020-02-17

Danish way: being average = happiness

The book as a lot of good points, but mostly inapplicable to US life. American parents are stressed and have little patience. They snap at kids and don’t have the capacity to “get down on the kids level and acknowledge their child’s emotion”. They solve kids’ problems with drugs.

Danes have a different life all together. They don’t have to prove anything, they have free medical and education, they leave their stress-less jobs at 4:30pm, they don’t sit in traffic and come home to their kids happy. Good luck doing that in the US!

The life there is bland, climate is awful 10 mo a year and the laws of Jante prohibit people from achieving anything and being better than anyone else. They created hygge, squeezing coziness out of darkness and cold, just so they don’t die of boredom and misery. Good for them.



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  • April Rodrigues
  • 2019-12-19

A useful book, even if you're not a parent

This book has some fantastic advice about parenting and becoming a happier human. I have been recommending it to everyone.

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  • Bonjour Melissa
  • 2018-04-17

Nothing earth-shattering, but great content

I really enjoyed this book. The content was not earth shattering for me as it falls very much in line with brain research and positive parenting. However, the content is very good and a worthy reminder. Very digestible and easy to listen to.