Kids in the Netherlands are among the most joyful around according to research there are several reasons for as to why this happens.
A UNICEF report released in the year 2000 found that children from the Netherlands were the most optimistic in terms of their sense of well-being. It was the United Nations children’s agency analyzed the data of 41 countries with high incomes by comparing the countries in accordance with the score they received on the mental health of children physical health, as well as the development of academic and social abilities.
The Netherlands were the top-ranked country on the table for the three outcomes of wellbeing followed by Denmark and Norway.
Chile, Bulgaria and the U.S. were at the lowest of the list.
In addition, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s 2020 Better Life index showed that the Netherlands achieved above average in several aspects, including income housing, education, and health.
Anita Cleare, author of “The Working Parent’s Survival Guide,” explained that it is crucial to comprehend the significance of socioeconomic factors that influence children’s happiness. She said how if the child is able to have certain requirements met and is to be in a wealthy country it is more likely of being happy.
An assertive parenting style, which sets “clear boundaries with lots of love and warmth … has consistently been shown to correlate with positive outcomes for children,” Cleare said.
Additionally, Cleare said shame could be a real danger to children. She also noted that the Dutch have a reputation of being open to discussion on subjects that may be less comfortable to discuss in other nations.
This UNICEF report also pointed out the fact that children in countries with high incomes have an excellent childhood.
“Even countries with good social, economic and environmental conditions are a long way from meeting the targets set in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” UNICEF said in the report.
To address these issues, UNICEF urged high-income countries to engage with children about how their lives can be improved and make sure that policies that improve their well-being are well-integrated. UNICEF also suggested that countries increase their efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, like the reduction of poverty and improving the accessibility to childcare.
Cleare said the Dutch had a reputation for “valuing diversity [and] being very inclusive.”
She added that considering the quantum of pressure encountered by children these days both because of academics and socially, in terms of social media, it was important that this kind of approach to parenting be adopted.
“So I think that growing up in a culture where everyone’s unique gifts are celebrated, and children feel like they can be who they want to be, and they’re not being judged, is likely to make friendships more positive, playground culture more positive, and is going to help children’s happiness levels,” she said.
The UNICEF study found an average of 81% teens in the Netherlands who were 15 years old felt they could make friends quickly, which was among the highest levels of the 41 countries that were included in the report. It also found that for teenagers in the Netherlands who felt an incredibly strong sense of school affiliation the satisfaction with life was the highest.
Amanda Gummer, founder of the organization for developing skills, known as the Good Play Guide, said that schools are “non-competitive” in the Netherlands and that instead there was a focus on fostering a love of learning.
She encouraged parents to remember the fact that “exam scores aren’t the be-all and end-all,” and parents should be focused on helping their children develop their curiosity.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)