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Why are Dutch children the world’s happiest?

Following UNICEF’s (2013) report of children’s wellbeing indicators for the world’s richest nations placed the Netherlands at the top of the list, a new book by two immigrant mothers explores what it is about growing up the Dutch way that is so good for their children.

This past weekend, as if the universe knew we were longing for our days in the Netherlands, a story popped into our newsfeed touting that Dutch children are the happiest in the world. The article – an excerpt from a book ( published this week – looks at the lived experiences of two ex-pat mothers (one American and one British) raising families in the Netherlands, relating them to a 2013 study conducted by UNICEF that found Dutch kids topped the list for overall well-being when compared to the world’s 29 wealthiest countries.

Naturally, having recently experienced first-hand why they may have ranked number one, we shared the post with our audience – many of whom liked and shared it themselves. At a time when so many people in North America seem to be focused on raising healthy, happy, well-adjusted children, it looks like the Dutch have figured out the magic recipe – seemingly without much effort

So just what is this well-kept secret that allows the Netherlands – along with many Northern European countries – to raise such happy children? And what steps can we, in North America, take to improve the lives of our own offspring[read more]

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