Top critical review
I was surprised to be disappointed.
Reviewed in the United States on May 18, 2019
It's hard to know where people are "at" in their parenting journey. But I'm already doing 90% of the things in this book. And so are most of the parents I know.
I had such high expectations. But, alas, it's not particularly helpful. I'm in the trenches with twins. Our biggest parenting challenges? Sibling fights, Bath time, Dinner time, Bed time, crying, whining. So I rush to the table of contents and the index and look for these very specific items. Uhhhh... nothing. Except dinner time. Which the advice is essentially "don't worry about it."
It seems some of their perspectives about American parenting seem to be a bit behind the times. I literally know zero parents who are raising their kids the way the authors describe American parents.
Helpful: Reminder for mom and dad to know their limits and take time for themselves. Yadda, yadda, yadda... that's on every talk show and every advice column and every Facebook parenting page. Parents can only self-regulate to a certain degree. After awhile, come on... the kids have to step-up to levels of maturity to match their development.
More helpful: The most helpful section is deep towards the end of the book. "Hygge time". We've modified it and it is helpful. We call it Cozy Time. Time when the kids and I simply sit on the biggest bed in the house, lower the lights and we talk and laugh and find out what's up in their heads. We won't be expanding it to the complete Danish Hygge thing (they're only 5) but time-out to breathe together, sit together, with no agenda and see what pops up for laughs and interest -- this is very valuable.
Our kids are already 99% screen-free, TONS of time outside climbing trees, discovering nature, extensive play time, no-pressure for school, lots of laughs, tons of creativity, tons of drawing, making stuff, mom volunteers at school to see them in their element, constantly educating ourselves as parents and trying to justify babysitting expenses for nights out.
If you're in the Danish culture and you have literally hundreds of people around you who have been brought up this same way, then these ways probably work. If you are an American parent, looking for parenting advice, I don't know if this book will help you. I'd suggest you borrow from the library or a friend and if you find it enlightening, then buy it.
I too, love Danish things, simple furniture, philosophies, etc - but when you realize that Denmark is right behind the United Kingdom in alcoholics per capita, (Data from World Health Organization) one has to have a clue that there is a lot of repression in the Danish culture. Repressing true feelings and repressing social or other innovations in order to "get along". Alcohol certainly looks like a "helper" when one is emotionally repressed.
My favorite and most helpful parenting book continues to be: HAVE A NEW KID BY FRIDAY. Following most and then modifying some of his hard lines in parenting when the kids are younger has been very helpful for us.