The Happiest Kids in the World

How Dutch Parents Help Their Kids (and Themselves) by Doing Less
Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (59 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The secret to raising the happiest kids in the world? Whatever it is, it's somewhere in the Netherlands.

Would parents rather their children be successful or happy? Kids in the US face lots of pressure to excel - often at the expense of happiness. But does it have to be this way? Not in the Netherlands! In The Happiest Kids in the World, expats Rina Mae Acosta and Michele Hutchison - both married to Dutchmen and bringing up their kids in the Netherlands - examine the unique environment that enables the Dutch to turn out such well-adjusted, independent children. With heaps of good humor, and no shortage of amazement, the authors are delighted to find that babies get an average of 15 hours of sleep per day, children learn bike safety and proficiency in school, teenagers are less likely to get pregnant than their counterparts in almost every other nation, and parents really do serve chocolate sprinkles for breakfast!

Along the way, they discover that the most commonly strived-for grade is just passing (6 points out of 10), how to achieve the perfect work-life balance, and that being normal is crazy enough.

©2017 Rina Mae Acosta (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Puts life with kids into perspective

loved this book. I wish I could take more away from it, or apply more of it to my own kiddos. i will do my best with home life, less pressure, more trust. But schools and society in US need to change

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

Full of shallow stereotyping, devoid of clear purpose

At what point do we get to the definition and clear picture of a happy Dutch child? The only (WHO statistically reliant) bit about happiness in the first chapter lacked depth/explanatory detail. The rest of the book never explored or challenged the bit any further, and instead, focused upon shallow anecdotes and aggravated stereotyping.

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Fully engaging & informative

This book caught my eye when I was looking for a kids book in Dutch for my toddlers.

Many of us have heard over the years how the Netherlands is one of the best places to bring up kids - a reason my husband and I have decided to relocate there. We are British who have been living in the USA for a few years but want more for our boys - to be part of the happiest kids in the world group and get that non-traditional style education.

I started reading the sample of this book in the car while my boys napped and was hooked. I asked my husband to immediately buy the audio book so we could both listen.

It did not disappoint and I am more excited than ever to have what we had heard confirmed by everything in this book.

So much great info about the culture, education and general way of life, as well as all the tips. I liked hearing about the different stages as the kids grew.

Very relatable and inspiring.

Bianca

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Brilliant simplicity

A must read for all parents. My kids are happier and so am I! D

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  • 03-28-19

nice view into Dutch life

the combo of experience was interesting. lots of traditions and sayings to take into English life

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I have anxiety

I have anxiety. I constantly feel like I need to achieve. Lately I have asked myself why and I have noticed how this constant striving for perfection was not only stressing me out but also my three kids. This book helped me feel so much more relaxed and happy just by sharing so many examples of parents striving for happiness and independence for themselves and their children by valuing play, trust, and time spent in average existence. What good is it to become a high earning, ground breaking doctor who spends all their time at work if you loose your ability to keep family relationships and never feel satisfied due to drive to get more (be more groundbreaking, earn more money, etc)?!

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Could be more practical

Well I think I have higher expectation on it.
Feels like the book mainly focus on the overall system in the Netherlands instead of parenting stuff, before this I have already finished “the danish way of parenting”. Some content are overlap and I was say if you’re looking for some practical parenting instructions I would recommend the Danish way of parenting

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wonderful parenting book

I can't even begin to describe how refreshing this book is for modern day parenting. Helps to put into perspective life with kids in the Netherlands and how everyday challenges are met. It is inspiring to hear that there is a way to raise your kids without the noise and competitiveness commonly seen in U.S. It certainly reminded me of my upbringing and the level of independence I had. Definitely a must read for its perspective, insight and humor.

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  • AP
  • 05-15-17

The happiest kids in the world

This book is a great introduction to the Dutch culture. It made me want to travel there. I can use a lot of what was talked about in the book in my classroom with my students. I highly recommend it.