How to Raise Happy Children the Danish Way

Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world, and this is due to its parenting method. In this article we'll talk about the basic principles of the Danish way to raise happy children.
How to Raise Happy Children the Danish Way

Last update: 11 May, 2021

In this article, we’re going to see how to raise happy children the Danish way. All parents want their children to be happy; that is one of our greatest concerns. Since 1973, Denmark has been one of the happiest countries in the world. And according to the authors of the book The Danish Way of Parenting, this is due to their way of raising children.

Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl state that, according to their research and experiences, “Children are stronger and more emotionally secure and later become secure and happy adults who repeat the same parenting process with their children.”

In this article, we’re going to see how we can raise happy children according to the method used in Denmark, where optimism, empathy, value for things, togetherness, responsibility, and not obedience make this method a parenting success.

Raising happy children the Danish way

Danish therapist Iben Dissing and American psychologist Jessica Joelle Alexander studied the basis of the Danish method and what makes this one of the happiest countries in the world. From this study came their book The Danish Way of Parenting

In this book, they reveal the 6 basic principles for raising happy children. Children who are in touch with their emotions, who have a high self-esteem, and who always see the positive side of things.

Keys to raising happy children the Danish way

How to Raise Happy Children the Danish Way

Teach them to play

Sometimes, parents, in our eagerness for children to be the best at everything, forget the importance of play in their development. Children need to have time to play, explore, get dirty, run around, etc.

Through play, children learn about the world, play different roles, and imagine. And all this will greatly improve their abilities to overcome problems and adapt to the different circumstances they encounter.

We must avoid the excessive use of television, cell phones and tablets – in short, of new technologies. With them, little ones don’t develop their imagination.

Encourage their authenticity

Let them be themselves, don’t compare them with anyone else. They’re authentic as they are, so let’s promote that individuality that makes them unique. This will make them happy children.

We need to teach them that we’re not all the same and that we all have our virtues and defects. This makes us human, although we’re all imperfect. Observe and accept their feelings and emotions, and be honest with them and with others.

Focus on the positive things in situations

The Danish way also indicates that we should teach children to look at situations from different points of view and thus be able to find the positive things that each situation can offer them, especially when something hasn’t turned out as they expected.

Here, it’s important to use positive language that helps them to motivate themselves. This way, we’ll give them the tools to be able to emerge victorious from any situation. And, above all, they should focus more on the process than on the result. Sometimes, the results aren’t what we expected, but we used the right process.

How to Raise Happy Children the Danish Way

Creating empathy

It’s very important to teach children to put themselves in other people’s shoes, to understand how they might be feeling and, of course, to know that you also put yourself in their shoes. This will help them establish healthier relationships with others later on, and these relationships will bring them greater wellbeing and happiness.

Do not use ultimatums

We can’t resolve situations based on ultimatums like “We’re going to do things my way because I said so and that’s it.” This phrase, which we’ve all used at times, isn’t at all healthy in raising children.

For children, it’s essential for parents to talk to them about our values, to discuss what things are important in the family, and why they should or shouldn’t do certain things.

Reinforcing togetherness and hygge

Hygge (a Danish word) means to share quality time with the people we love, friends, family, loved ones… Therefore, it’s important that we encourage this concept in our children, that we all have some time to spend with the family or with the people we love, enjoying the wellbeing that this brings us.

Regarding raising happy children the Danish way

As you may have seen, it’s really not that difficult to raise happy children the Danish way. By keeping these keys in mind, you’ll surely promote the happiness of your children, which is the most important thing parents can do. So let’s put it into practice!


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.