What Makes Dutch Children the Happiest in the World?

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Everyone across the world is looking for the key to happiness to some extent. In that sense, many parents will desire to have joyful children, hoping for their smooth growth into responsible adulthood. On this topic, I don’t know if you’ve ever wondered which country has the ‘happiest’ children. in 2013, a Unicef Report uncovered that Dutch children are currently the happiest in the world. The findings of the research said that Dutch children are way ahead of many of their peers in matters of well-being, especially compared to most other industrialised countries. In fact, over 95% of Dutch children considered themselves to be happy. It’s an interesting result, and here are some of the points that were found to add happiness into Dutch children’s lives.

Low-Pressure Schooling

Many educational institutions around the world operate upon the notion that pressure is important to successfully infuse knowledge into the minds of children. However, many are starting to doubt this point and are pushing the need for fun and play to continue through the duration of schooling. Netherlands has a (currently) unconventional educational system that works in favour of the kids, with more focus getting to invest in choosing their own assignments rather than being punished for not doing one. Also, they consider exams a worthwhile opportunity to learn and understand where they still need to improve. In fact, Dutch kids may start school at four, but they wait until age six to begin the more structured learning which entails reading, writing, and arithmetic. This gives the children the ability to explore their interests as they start learning casually, which is an opportunity for establishing a foundation for their education.

Effective Parenting Techniques

The Dutch way of parenting was deemed to be exceptional. To start off, unlike many parents in other countries who can believe that their kids are an extension of their own being, the Dutch view children as individuals. They therefore prefer giving them an opportunity to explore the world on their own terms, as this helps them to learn a lot. They do this successfully by allowing them to engage in varied games with their peers with minimal interference unless it’s really necessary.

At the same time, discipline is still seen as indispensable and isn’t at all left out. The Dutch don’t so much ask their children to do something, but rather firmly point out what they want to get done. Also, the parents are always advised to lead by example, which helps make the children subconsciously follow from what they observe rather than from instruction-based direction. This gives the children a sense of straightforward direction and ultimately, it’s a win-win on both ends of the spectrum.

Perspectives About Life

Whilst money can play a major role in defining comfort and satisfaction, over believing can be dangerous. Unicef’s report suggested that American and British children are potential examples of a more unbalanced life perspective in this area, since they are taught to value luxury, pushing them into fierce competition to outdo each other.

On the other hand, the Dutch concentrate more on valuing time together, and shared joy. This is because they are encouraged to go out to play more than comparative countries. This offers much in helping to reduce stress levels, which can make them happier and approach the idea of wealth with the right perspective.

It was certainly an interesting finding. Hopefully more learning through play can help the UK rise up the charts.