Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway: The Danish Way of Parenting by Iben Sandahl and Jessica Alexander

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge,from TarcherPerigee, Penguin Random House  for review and giveaway, purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it, all opinions are my own.

back to school button

Denmark, a small northern European country, has been voted the happiest country the world almost every year since 1973. On the other hand, the US – the country with “the pursuit of happiness” built into its Declaration of Independence – isn’t even in the top ten!
The Danish Way of Parenting cover

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 towards 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.


Authors Iben and Jessica believe a large factor in the Danes’ consistent happiness track record has to do with their parenting philosophy that creates adults that are confident, emphatic and socially adept, because of the PARENT philosophy. By making play such an important part of children's lives, the Danes ultimately give kids the skills they need for adults. BUT they learn them at their own pace, in ways they understand, and most importantly in a stress-free environment.

As Back to School kicks off for most of us, the uber-competiveness sneaks its way back in (if you hadn't dealt with it over the Summer too), and the emotional roller coaster that goes along with it comes too. But what if you got OFF the roller coaster. What if you let your kid be a kid? Pick ONE thing they want, and it doesn't matter if they do well. Let the experience count as their education and joy. Takes a second to sink in, right? It's similar to what WE grew up with. When Summer meant fun, not endless scheduling, and after school was just that AFTER time for play. If your kids aren't stressed, then yes, they WILL be more happy.

Add in a commitment for FAMILY time, sans electronic devices and suddenly you have kids who are learning more modeling for social and family situations from parents, who are more imaginative and ultimately stronger leaders, as they are confident in their own abilities. The book may take you back to your childhood, and serve as a reminder of what SHOULD be important in our kid's lives. This is a great book to read right before school starts, to remind yourself of what to put important in your kid's lives this year!

About the Authors:

Jessica Alexander is an American columnist and mom living in Europe, with her Danish husband and kids.

Iben Dissing Sandahl is a licensed psychotherapist and family counselor working for many years in her private practice outside Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Learn more about both at: thedanishway.com.

flashing Win


One BTHM Reader will win this review copy of The Danish Way of Parenting  


  1. This book gives an alternative way to parenting, stressing nurturing the complete child with play. I've had so many interesting discussions with friends and family on the concepts raised in this book. I would highly recommend it to anyone with children or around children. It's a quick, easy and extremely enjoyable read!

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    The Danish Way of Parenting


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