Creative Child

Two Parenting Secrets of the Happy Danes

by Rebecca Eanes


Hygge (pronounced hooga) means “to cozy around together.” For the Danes, togetherness is a way of life. They play games together, eat meals together, and enjoy being in each other’s company in a “cozy” atmosphere. Compare this to the overly stressed and busy lives of Americans who barely seem to have time for anything off the “to-do” list. Research shows that quality time spent with friends and family has a huge impact on our happiness, and yet how much quality time are we spending?

The Danish Way of Parenting book urges us to take a “hygge oath” which can be downloaded from their website. Here are some ways you can begin practicing hygge in your home.

  1. Set aside screen-free together time daily. Turn off the phones and iPad and cozy up together on the couch for a story or around the table for a nice meal. Cultivate a “family first” atmosphere, making it clear that relationships are more important than devices.
  2. Make your special “together time” free of drama and complaints. There are times, such as at a family meeting, when problems can be discussed, but hygge is a time for positivity and gratitude.
  3. Make it a team effort. Have everyone pitch in to prepare the meal and to clean up afterwards. This promotes the “we” before “me” attitude of hygge.
  4. Cozy up the atmosphere with soft music and candles. Try to keep it simple and encourage the kids to keep it simple as well. Having a ton of toys present will take the children’s attention away from the family, and the goal is to be present and connected with one another.

The Danish Way has much in common with Positive Parenting. This gives me much hope that positive parents are raising a generation of happy kids right here in America and around the world.


Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 


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