Top positive review
Not a "Crime and Punishment" novel
Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2016
An upfront confession: When we want to change something about ourselves, say our style of parenting, it's often very difficult to do with nothing more than desire. I've found, however, that if I can see the issue differently it often becomes much easier to operate differently, even when the circumstances are the same.
The Danish Way of Parenting encourages us to take a long view in children's development, and this can allow us to see our role as parents in a new way. For example, the authors claim that in Denmark there is no such thing as the "Terrible Twos." Of course two-year-olds in Denmark are not some placid freaks of nature, but the Danes call this step in children's development the "Boundary Age," and don't see it as something to dread or get upset about. In other words, while we in US tend to see a two-year old at a defiant, willful stage that we must deal with by establishing our authority, the Danes see this age as the time when children start growing and experimenting to find out about the world and their abilities. Part of that experimentation involves the child learning where his boundaries are. No one argues that the child should get his way through temper tantrums, but it's easier not to overreact to children's behavior if we don't frame it as a direct challenge to our authority, but instead see it as an attempt to find out where their boundaries are.
Much of the Danish way to parent seems to depend more on both parents being more involved in hands on parenting than we usually see in the United States. And their culture seems to encourage more interaction with the extended family than ours does, with their socializing appearing to be more child centered than ours. Those sorts of conditions require a larger number of people being on the same page to support children, and may not be useful as a model here. But the general way Danes see children's development and their relationship to their children might shed a lot of light on child rearing practices we can, and perhaps should, change.