I’ve just finished reading ‘The Danish way of Parenting’ by Jessica Alexander and Iben Sandahl.
I read this book with two ‘hats’ on. One from the point of view of a mum. The other as a teacher/tutor. And I must say I gained a lot of strategies that I could put into practise for both parenting and teaching.
My stars (favourite aspects) of this book were:
- Reframing- Basically putting a positive spin on situations to help avoid or de escalate conflict and to help children have a more positive outlook on situations. For example, if someone complained about the weather you could say ‘There is no bad weather, only bad clothing’
- Hygge- This is my favourite concept mentioned in the book and something that I can, hand on heart, say I’ve put into action in my own house. Hygge means: ‘to cosy around together’. And in practise that means having time as a family to talk and enjoy each others company with mobile phones etc switched off, lights dimmed and stressful topics of conversation put to one side. It’s about giving your children and your partner your full attention and relaxing, just for a few minutes each day.
- Free play- I’m guilty as a mum of whisking my children off on play dates, out to the park, classes etc. For fear of my children being bored and not stimulated enough at home. It wasn’t until my toddler, once old enough to be able to talk, told me he wanted to ‘stay home to play with toys’ that I realised that there is nothing wrong sometimes with doing exactly that!! This book highlights the benefits of free play and reminds us that children don’t always want to be dashing to and from extra curricular activities, and do in fact learnt a lot from free play.
My wish for this book:
- The book talks a lot about the comparison between Danish parenting and that of Americans. Quoting statistics from the US. For example stating how many children in the US are on Ritalin and how perhaps up to 90% of Americans still spank their children. It would have been nice, and more relevant for me as a reader, to compare it to British stastistics too.