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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 listeners say about The Happiest Kids in the World

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Insight

I love this peek into Dutch Culture! performance was good with narration switching for the two authors and wasn't dull.

3 people found this helpful

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Interesting, but not practical

I thought this book was an interesting look into Dutch culture. I did enjoy it, but I didn’t find it helpful as a parenting book. Many of the reasons the authors give for Dutch children being happy cant easily be put into practice in the US where I live. For example my child is going to have homework. That’s not something I can change. I totally understand why having less school pressure and no homework is beneficial to children’s happiness, but it’s nearly impossible to implement here in the US. There are many examples like this one that aren’t practical to for foreigners. If you’re looking for a parenting books with tips and tricks you can implement this misses the mark. If you’re interested in Dutch culture this is an interesting read.

2 people found this helpful

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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

2 people found this helpful

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Don’t read it if you don’t want to hate your life.

I don’t recommend this book to US readers. Every moment I envy the life of Nederland and little by little questioned my life. I even checked if I can live there. Don’t read if you don’t want to question your life.

1 person found this helpful

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Insightful

I appreciate the view offered by women who did not grow up Dutch, but are raising their kids in the Netherlands. The contrasts are offered simply and in a candid manner. If we want to do a better job of raising American children into happy, functional, positively contributing adults who didn’t feel the need to rebel in adolescence, then this should be required reading for parents, teachers, and anyone who interacts with our children.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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varied

The two narrators read at different speeds.

The story is fine, but no real way shared to apply to anything to your parenting. More about the two authors and how they learned to parent in a different culture, but not much connection between them and you. Hearing their stories was fun.

1 person found this helpful

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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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Great connection to my culture

I can see who I am in this book. And I can see my family heritage.

Great advice. Successful if implemented! I use a lot of this already, passed down from my childhood. One voice sounded robotic, but once you get over that it makes a great read/listen.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Worth a listen

I found this book to be worth a listen just to find out how other countries do things. I have visited several European countries and it has taken my American exceptionalism a bit off the table. I really like the way they do things in Europe and I’ve switched a lot of my views. Not just from this book but from my visits and from reading this book and others.

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Interesting

The voice of “Ina” is so robotic. It took time to get used to it. It’s a great book, though.