11 Child Rearing Rules From Northern Europe the Rest of the World Should Pay Attention To
Each culture has its own upbringing tips and methods that the rest of the world would be wise to adopt. Scandinavians can be really great role models. The children are obedient and the parents are relaxed. Their priorities and the balance of their values make children happy and let them enjoy each moment of their lives.
Bright Side is truly inspired by the upbringing methods of Scandinavian parents, and you can start using them right away.
11. Don’t buy too many toys.
Scandinavian moms and dads think that their kids concentration worse if they have too many dolls and toy cars. A small amount of toys gives children a chance to use their imagination and appreciate what they already have.
10. Encourage your child’s desire for self-expression.
On a playground, you’ll never see a mother screaming, “Don’t go there, you’re going to stain your shirt!” Scandinavian parents encourage their children’s urge to express themselves: they’re allowed to touch a dirty stone, jump in a puddle, and so on. Kids are allowed to play the way they like, without any restrictions. If a child comes home wearing clean clothes after a walk, parents will say the child hasn’t gone for a walk at all.
9. Let children go for a walk, even if the weather’s bad.
In Norwegian, there’s a special word — friluftsliv — that is literally translated as, “free air life.” In other words, it’s the ability to stop and enjoy nature and the surrounding beauty. Today, this word refers to a certain philosophy that is common for this culture. Scientists claim that this approach helps us reduce stress, improve our relationships with our relatives, and increase our endorphin levels, which are responsible for happiness.
What’s more, good weather is rare for Scandinavia. So people aren’t afraid of bad weather: they just put on warm clothes and believe that bad weather that helps the immune system get stronger and deal better with different viruses.
8. Don’t forget about the father’s role in a family.
Dads are responsible for all everyday duties and this has all started with government programs encouraging fathers to take paternity leave. In Norway, paternity leave lasts for 6 months, in Denmark — for 4 months, and in Sweden — for 3 months. All of them are fully-paid. These conditions encourage fathers to spend more time with their children. As a result, they take part in their children’s lives and don’t see responsibilities according to patriarchal principles.
7. Enjoy sports, and don’t chase golden medals.
Children start playing different sports in childhood. Parents don’t judge the results and don’t control their “suitability” for this or that sport. If a girl who is overweight wants to do gymnastics, her parents won’t be against her desire and her coach will also support her.
6. Forget about physical punishment.
In 1979, Sweden became the world’s first country to officially ban physical punishment both at home and at school. All quarrels should be discussed.
For example, if a person sees a parent even slightly hitting their child, they’ll call the police. In this case, a child can be sent to another family, and the parent may be sentenced to pre-trial detention. If the court proves that the parent has regularly hit their child for several years, the parent will be sentenced to 1.5 years in jail.
5. Don’t follow gender stereotypes.
When a baby comes to this world, their parents don’t buy them pink or blue clothes. Children are dressed in clothes that are neutral colors. And it has a practical idea behind it: these clothes may be passed down to smaller kids.
Parents also buy toys regardless of their children’s gender: they don’t want to impose any stereotypical gender roles. Scandinavians have gender-neutral kindergartens where children aren’t divided by gender.
4. Teach your child to love their body.
Scandinavian parents allow their children to run in their backyard naked (even if the weather is bad.) They don’t say that being naked is shameful, they encourage their child to discover their body so that they don’t feel awkward if they have to take their clothes off in a public place, like a swimming pool or a beach.
3. Teach your child to be independent.
Scandinavian moms and dads prefer to allow children to make decisions on their own and be free. Children are allowed to do some household chores: like washing the dishes and so on. No, a child won’t do it better than their mother, but they’ll do it on their own, and that’s really important. Freedom and parental trust teach children to be responsible.
2. Make sure your child takes care of their teeth.
The healthier a child’s teeth in childhood are, the less money they’ll have to spend in adulthood.
In Sweden, there are even special state-funded dental care programs for kids. They also use different tricks so that a child won’t be afraid of dentists. And parents do everything to teach their child to take care of their teeth properly.
1. Don’t dwell on child development courses.
Scandinavians follow a “relaxing parenting” approach. This means that they don’t dwell on development classes and courses, they don’t try to teach a child a foreign language and synchronized swimming at once. Parents appreciate the time spent with their kids. According to Scandinavian philosophy, children should have free time when they can do nothing or just play. They think that it helps children develop important skills, manage their emotions, and develop their imagination.
Which upbringing methods would you like to try?
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