Here are the lessons that can be learned from parenting in the Netherlands

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Studies have shown that children in the Netherlands are among the happiest children in the world. Experts say that there may be many reasons for this.

A report published by UNICEF last year found that children in the Netherlands have the highest sense of happiness. The UN Children’s Agency analyzed data from 41 high-income countries and ranked these countries based on their scores in children’s mental health, physical health, and academic and social skills development.

The Netherlands ranks highest in the three health outcomes rankings, followed by Denmark and Norway.

Chile, Bulgaria and the United States top the list.

In addition, the 2020 Good Life Index of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows that the Netherlands scores above average in income, education, housing, and health status.

Anita Clear, the author of the book “A Guide to Living for Working Parents,” told CNBC over the phone that it is important to understand the role of socioeconomic factors in affecting children’s happiness. She explained that if some of the children’s needs are met, which is more likely in rich countries, then the chance of happiness is greater.

Clearly said that a self-confident parenting method that sets “clear boundaries, full of love and warmth… has always been shown to be related to the positive outcomes of children.”

In addition, Clear said that shame can cause real harm to children, and the Dutch are known for openly discussing topics that might be considered more uncomfortable in other countries.

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

UNICEF said in the report: “Even countries with good social, economic and environmental conditions are far from achieving the goals set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

To overcome these shortcomings, UNICEF urges high-income countries to consult with children on how to improve their lives and ensure that policies that promote their well-being are included. UNICEF also recommends that countries accelerate their efforts to achieve sustainable development goals, such as reducing poverty and improving childcare opportunities.

Non-competitive education

Clear said the Dutch are known for “valuing diversity” [and] Very tolerant. ”

She said that this kind of parenting method is very important considering the academic and social pressures children are now facing on social media.

“So I think growing up in such a culture, everyone’s unique talents are respected, and children feel that they can be who they want to be, and they will not be judged, which may make friendship more positive, playground culture Be more active and will help improve the happiness of children,” she said.

A study by UNICEF shows that 81% of 15-year-olds in the Netherlands think they can easily make friends. This is one of the highest rates among the 41 countries covered by the paper. Research also shows that domestic 15-year-olds who have a high sense of belonging to school have the highest life satisfaction.

Amanda Gummer, founder of the skills development organization Good Play Guide, told CNBC via e-mail that Dutch school education is “uncompetitive.” Instead, the focus is on fostering a passion for learning.

She urged parents to remember that “examination results are not the whole and the ultimate goal”, and they should work hard to cultivate their children’s curiosity.

Gumer said that in terms of children’s well-being, other countries also have lessons to learn from.

For example, Norway, ranked third on the UNICEF list, Gummer said there is a “culture of solidarity.”

“Helping others is good for your mental health, so think about the ways your entire family can contribute to the community,” she said, implying that volunteerism is a way to cultivate this sense of solidarity.

Check: This “gentle parenting” master gave her the secret to nurturing self-confident children


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