I’m a psychologist in the Netherlands, house to the world’s happiest kids– 6 things moms and dads here never ever do

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As a Dutch kid psychologist who deals with households in the Netherlands, I’ve observed a variety of various parenting designs throughout numerous cultures.

While each method has its advantages, Dutch kids are regularly ranked as the happiest worldwide. This had me thinking of we do in a different way here to raise better and more resistant kids.

Based on my research study as a psychologist and experience raising 2 young children, here are 6 things Dutch moms and dads never ever do:

1. We never ever drive our kids to school when we can cycle.

There is a big biking culture here, and it begins early. As quickly as an infant can stay up, they are secured to the front of a moms and dad’s bike and cycled around in any kind of weather condition.

Biking through the storm– in appropriate rain equipment, naturally– teaches kids that no matter what type of challenges they deal with in their lives, they’ll have the ability to make it through it.

It likewise teaches self-reliance. By the time most kids are 9 or 10, numerous moms and dads trust them to bike to school by themselves or to their buddies’ homes. This flexibility and trust assists youths turn into self-governing, self-dependent and positive grownups.

2. We never ever hover over our kids.

It’s extremely typical to see Dutch kids run totally free on the play area without excessive guidance.

An expat moms and dad informed me as soon as how stunned they were when they went to a Dutch play area for the very first time. All the moms and dads were resting on a bench, calmly talking among themselves, while their kids were climbing up, running and falling all over the location.

But Dutch kids are motivated from a young age to explore their environments, to think in themselves and to dust themselves off when they fall.

3. We never ever work more than 40 hours a week.

One of the most significant factors Dutch individuals are so pleased is that they value work-life balance.

A 2021 research study discovered that almost half the labor force in the Netherlands had part-time tasks. Dutch dads likewise take a minimum of one day off weekly (their “Papaday”) to invest with their kids.

Having that devoted time in your home implies more space for activities for the kids, like playdates, clubs and sports, or additional down time to invest with moms and dads.

4. We never ever consume a lot of meals individually from our kids.

Dutch moms and dads make a point to have at least one meal together every day. It’s a time for relative to link and discuss their day.

Feeling linked enhances the psychological health of all relative and adds to better, more mentally well balanced kids. And it does not harm that chocolate sprays (“hagelslag”) on bread is a popular breakfast alternative in the Netherlands.

5. We never ever get rid of structure.

From the minute their kids are born, Dutch moms and dads are encouraged to offer “rust, reinheid, regelmaat,” which approximately equates to “rest, cleanliness, and structure.”

Dutch kids are regularly provided a clear everyday schedule that enables a lot of naps for the children and focuses on stability.

For kids to grow, they require structure, predictability, rest and health. It assists them feel safe and comfy checking out the unidentified. This kind of more reliable parenting is typically connected to favorable kid advancement.

6. We never ever state our viewpoint is latest thing.

Dutch moms and dads wish to make their kids feel both seen and heard. They include their kids in the decision-making procedure as quickly as they can comprehend language and interact.

This method, kids discover to work out and set their individual limits from a young age. When we request our kids’s viewpoints and genuinely listen to them, they’ll be most likely to establish a sense of favorable self-regard.

Dutch moms and dads likewise do not avoid going over unpleasant subjects like sex, drugs and gender. We comprehend that accepting our kids for who they genuinely are is all they truly require to become positive, pleased and well balanced grownups.

Veronique van der Kleij is a kid and school psychologist based in theNetherlands For 10 years, she has actually worked both in psychological healthcare and at The International School of the Hague with kids, teenagers and their households. She concentrates on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Follow her on LinkedIn

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