What can I learn from the foreign education?

Father: “I will be a father of our first child in January and I am reading a lot about parenting. Is there a successful parenting principle in our neighboring countries that we overlook here in the Netherlands? Which effective parenting technique should we import? I am thinking in particular of the Scandinavian countries.”

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Keep poldering

Bass Delivery: „From abroad we have been presented with all kinds of alternatives for a children-may-everything education. Without exception they preached a rehabilitation of an authoritarian approach including the crackdown. That applied to the Chinese-American Amy Chua with her book Tiger Mother’s Battle Song in 2011 and for the French-American Pamela Druckerman with Why French children don’t throw food. That also applied to the advertisement for Surinamese education of comedian Roué Verveer in his book Why? Therefore! Criticism of Dutch polder upbringing was also heard in this, in which the wishes of children are taken into account from an early age and consultation with children as soon as possible.

“Education is not a technical matter, but there is no doubt that the so-called authoritative parenting style, a combination of benevolent understanding and setting boundaries, which has emerged in the Netherlands since the Enlightenment, is most appropriate and appropriate in our non-hierarchical and cooperative culture. is most effective. Reports about the superiority of the Dutch approach are now widespread. For example, the expats Rina Mae Acosta and Michele Hutchison who live in our country published in 2017 The Happiest Kids in the World. Bringing up Children the Dutch Way in which the finer points of the Dutch approach are widely measured. The question arises, however, whether these authors are not celebrating an upbringing that is disappearing here. The import of the emphasis on ruthless competition puts pressure on the collaborative approach.”

Know yourself

Stijn Sieckelinck: „As a father-to-be you would like to know as much as possible about the upbringing, perhaps also because you are afraid of falling short. Many men hope in this way to reduce the distance with the baby in the mother’s tummy. But instead of looking externally for an unknown parenting principle that can be imported, it is good to know yourself very well, and your relationship.

“The most important thing is that the bond between you and the child and between you and your partner remains good. That band can easily come under pressure. Think chronic sleep deprivation. Or if a child refuses to brush their teeth when you have to go to work. No book can prepare you for that, only self-knowledge and the ability to put things into perspective. Then it is not so nice to radiate dissatisfaction and frustration. So where are your boundaries, what do you think is important, what do you expect from parenthood and family life? Would you be willing to adjust your dream career? What do you like to do together? And how are you as partners? How will you divide the tasks to create peace in the household? Good preparation starts there.

“One of the most successful parenting principles is moderation in expectations. Being content with sub-optimal conditions is really important. It is certainly also known in Scandinavia that education does not have to be perfect, but may be ‘good enough’. It is good to look for information, but the wisdom about what is good for your child often lies within yourself, you can rely on that.”