Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happiest Kids...

The headline in the Dutch Daily News says " Dutch kids are the happiest in Europe".
Various surveys say so.
And this is not the first time I am reading this. I have been coming across quite a lot lately.
Main reason given is Dutch society is very child-centred, parents go out of their way to please kids and parents share a special relationship with their children, and teachers expect less of them than some of their European counterparts.

Once a couple has a kid, i love how they start giving more time at home, working part-times, taking mother day, father day Off.

It always amazes me, parents and kid relationship.

Last week we were at Ice skating and i loved the way parents were trying to teach their kids to skate, and i was more amazed when i saw a mother teaching a toddler, who wasn't even walking properly, to skate.
Reason? He might not be doing it right now, but because he is in this environment and feeling it, it will come naturally to him and he won't be afraid of falling down, amazing isn't it?

Or may be i felt so, because from where i come from, we are very family oriented society, as much that we pamper the kids so much that you will see mom running before kid had actually slipped or fallen down, too protective. Protective is good actually, here i will say over-protective. Touchwood I had parents exception to that in a way they believed loving and caring is to support us in whatever we want to do in stead of restricting us with over-protectiveness on the name of loving more !.

Yes that protectiveness is mother's love after all, but when those kids are grown up with such a protective environment, one can imagine the difficulty and stress they have to go through when they are out there in the competitive world, there is no one to protect and then when they are afraid to fall down, they are restricting their growth themselves by not moving forward.

Yesterday i saw one another such scene at swimming, there were this new parents with their kid, hardly 3 months old. ( Guy works there as an instructor )
They were taking him in water and i was so so so surprised. I asked the instructor if it is possible to teach young kid, and reply came, no but he will not be afraid of water then and he will learn floating and then always can start with dogie style ! Whoaa, i was speechless !

Kids really rule !

Image Courtesy:


Unknown said...

It's very interesting to pay attention and discover all these differences, isn't it? I'm also surprise to see things like those you mention, I guess that Latin families too, tend to be more over-protective and try to keep their kids stay home where it's safer, longer than here in NL.

Droomvla said...

I also come from a society where parents tend to be overprotected, but my mother was less overprotective... so I climbed and fell from trees, and was rushed to the hospital several times. LOL

I think it´s good to let the children be children... falling, learning things with their sense, etc... Have you also noticed that babies/toddlers here don´t cry very often? :)

Droomvla said...

senses (plural LOL)

AmitL said...

Hi,there..thanks for dropping by my keep visiting.:)
This post-something new to learn-and,quite touching-that Dutch parents take time off to be with their kids, teach them swimming(A 3 month old?Wow)..nice post.

~ Lopa said...

@ Aledys Ver 

Definitely... i think that is one of the major advantage while we live as expats, We hardly notice much when we are travelling but when we are actually living there we look at other culture more closely and we can actually feel the differences and we develop a tendency to accept it as a cultural difference without judging what is right and wrong or better way.

~ Lopa said...

@ Droomvla 

Lucky us, ditto same with me. One can still see those scars on my legs and hand which i had got falling down from trees...hehehe

Yes, that's one of my observation too, which i missed while writing this post, thanks for reminding me that.

When kids fall down here, they just look up, smile, stand up and start running again.
I think that is also a bit on parents how you want your kids to feel. Parents play major role in conditioning kids mind reacting and treating as if something happened, something big happened or nothing happened, and i see mostly when their kids fall down they treat it like nothing happened if that wasn't serious and so kids also are tuned to that, nothing happened !

~ Lopa said...

@ AmitL,

Hey thanks to you too for dropping by and commenting :)

Well this post was out of some noticeable differences that we feel when we come from different culture.
And no, it is not very typical of Dutch parents to teach them swimming at 3 months, i think that was the case as father was the swimming coach himself. Normal age here is 4-5 years when almost all kids starts swimming, A few starts a bit earlier than that too but depends.
But that s also not very common for us back home, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Nice observation have brought very good point here on parenting.
I wish it becomes common in India too for parents to give free sky and space to learn to their child instead of being over protecting.
Dream of Winning India lots of gold medals in all International sports competition will become reality very soon then.

- Hetal

Orangesplaash said...

This is an interesting observation Lopa..Coming to NL, I have noticed that the kids are much more on their own from the initial years itself..This freedom translates into learning new things and taking risks which is a good thing.
I believe even back home in India, things are going pretty good in this respect now with the newer generation..
PS: I am glad my parents taught me swimming at the age of 5!!

S.A.L. said...

So cute to see one of your reader calling you Lops! Some of my friends call me the same! Pyar se!

You're right about over-protectiveness. Kids forget to do things with their own will and run after fulfilling the expectations around! Eventually stress and difficulty in life!

~ Lopa said...

@ Hetal

Yes, we are lucky to have parents we have but still India has to work hard on accepting the fact by common man that sports can be considered and work upon as a serious career option, and not necessarily all have to be intelligent enough to score high in science stream. But i guess as we see things changes, it will also come with time.

~ Lopa said...

@ Orangesplaash 

Yes, I agree, back home also things are changing, and that is why we stand here.
But when we talk in a generalised manner, still that number forms relatively smaller fractional part but there is no one to blame as we have social conditions of inequality, still as a biggest issue and as we can see things changing, overall change will also come, just we have to give it time, over the time in a due course it will surely come when there will be more generalisation than exceptions in this areas as well ! :)

~ Lopa said...

@ Mind Writer! / Lopa

hehehe, yeah those are old good close college friends :) And i love the way they call us with every right on us and our name.
Some of them even call me Lopi at times :D

On the very same topic as you mentioned, about expectations and stress, there is so much debate going on after "3 idiots movie", I wonder why do we need a movie to provoke such debate !

vivek said...

oh!!! someone s noticing children so much.... :D

Unknown said...

Indeed very good observation :-)
Great post!

I wanted to also stop by to let you know that I've nominated you for a blog award! Here is the blog entry:

Have a nice weekend!

~ Lopa said...

@ vivek

ya ya, nautanki LIC :D

~ Lopa said...

@ A Touch of Dutch

Thanks Isabella :)

Aaah that's quite an exercise you have given me, hehe. Soon will soon start working on it :)
Wish you a very nice weekend too :)

Pres├ępio no Canal said...

I wish in my country it was like here!
I like the way they care of the children, with time together, and not over protected. It is one of the things that I must appreciate here!
Good post!

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