Here’s What Lessons Can Be Learned From Parenting In The Netherlands

Children in the Netherlands are the happiest in the world, research has suggested, and experts say there could be a number of reasons why this happens.

a UNICEF report Published last year found that children in the Netherlands had the highest sense of well-being. The United Nations Children’s Agency analyzed data in 41 high-income countries, ranking the countries based on how they scored on children’s mental well-being, physical health, and the development of both academic and social skills.

The Netherlands were ranked highest in the league table of three wellbeing outcomes, followed by Denmark and Norway respectively.

Chile, Bulgaria and the US were at the bottom of the table.

separately, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s 2020 Better Life Index showed that the Netherlands scored above average in several areas including earnings, education, housing and health status.

Anita Clear, author of “The Working Parents’ Survival Guide,” told CNBC via telephone that it’s important to understand the role socio-economic factors play in influencing children’s happiness. She explained that a child is more likely to achieve happiness if certain needs are met, which is more likely in a prosperous country.

Clear said assertive parenting style, which “sets clear boundaries with lots of love and warmth … has been consistently shown to correlate with positive outcomes for children.”

In addition, Clear said that shyness can actually be harmful to children, and that the Dutch have a reputation for being open to talking about topics that may be considered more uncomfortable to discuss in other countries. Is.

The UNICEF report also highlights that not all children living in rich countries have a good childhood.

“Even countries with good social, economic and environmental conditions go a long way in meeting the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” UNICEF said in the report.

To combat these shortcomings, UNICEF urges high-income countries to counsel children on how their lives can be improved and ensure that policies are integrated to promote their well-being. . UNICEF also recommends that countries accelerate efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, such as reducing poverty and improving access to child care.

non-competitive schooling

Clear said the Dutch had a reputation for “valuing diversity”. [and] Being very inclusive.”

Such an approach to parenting was important, she said, given how much pressure children now face academically and socially in the context of social media.

“So I think growing up in a culture where everyone’s unique gifts are celebrated, and kids feel like they can be who they want to be, and they’re not being judged, friendship.” more positive, is likely to make the playground culture more positive, and is going to help children’s happiness levels,” she said.

UNICEF research showed that 81% of adolescents aged 15 in the Netherlands felt they were able to make friends easily, which was one of the highest rates among the 41 countries included in the paper. It also showed that life satisfaction was found to be greatest for 15-year-olds in the country, who had a high sense of belonging to school.

Amanda Gummer, founder of skills development organization The Good Play Guide, told CNBC via email that schooling in the Netherlands is “non-competitive” and, instead, the focus was on developing a passion for learning.

She urged parents to remember that “exam marks are not everything,” and they should try to focus on fostering your child’s curiosity,

Gummer said lessons can be learned from other countries that are considered exemplary when it comes to children’s well-being.

For example, in Norway, which ranked third on UNICEF’s list, Gummer said there was a “culture of living together”.

“Helping others is great for your mental health, so think about how your whole family can contribute to the community,” she said, suggesting that volunteering is a way of fostering a sense of togetherness. was the way.

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