Helping your teenagers to flourish at the age when everything is boiling in their heads is not a simple thing. But according to a Danish psychotherapist and author, the educational method applied in her country is the key to a teenager feeling good about themselves. Curious, we asked Léonor Philip, a doctor of psychology experienced in educational issues, for her opinion.
Danish education is definitely popular. After the Fri For Mobberi method, these empathy courses applied in schools to fight against bullying, it is a whole Danish education method for adolescents which is now popular. In The Danish Way of Raisins Teens a book not yet translated in France, Iben Sandalh the author, offers 7 ways to approach adolescence so that everything goes well in the family. 7 decidedly Danish habits!
Compassion, listening and trust above all
The method used in the book is based on 7 pillars.
- Guide your angry child. That is to say, it is preferable, according to the author, to accompany your teenager in his anger or any strong emotion with him, rather than sending him to calm down in his room. the challenge is to allow him to express himself while showing him the right path to find a solution.
- Be a reliable source of information for your teenager. Even when the subject bothers you, it is better to open the dialogue and be a reliable source of information for your child, than to let them look for information on the web.
- Leave them alone when they feel the need. The Danish parent knows how to give their teenager space when they need to think on their own. It’s a time he respects.
- Accepting the tumult of adolescence. There’s no point in getting upset when faced with a moody teenager. On the contrary, the therapist invites parents to remember that it is a chemical and natural process that we can do nothing about, and to let them experience their emotions while remaining the calm asset of the house.
- Be patient. The adolescent is still learning, having the codes to behave well cannot be acquired in a few minutes. According to the therapist, parents must continue during adolescence to teach them what is right and what should not be done, with patience.
- Set limits. Despite everything, limits remain necessary and adolescents always need a framework to grow properly. The Danish method invites parents to discuss the limits to be set with their teenager, without the decision being unilateral. It must come from the parents, but involve the child.
- Involve him in household chores. In Denmark, adolescents participate entirely in household chores, whether it is tidying their room, cleaning, shopping, etc. The author believes that it is a habit that helps parents, of course, but which also allows the child to feel useful, to take his place in the family and to forget the worries of everyday life.
For the author, by maintaining these 7 principles, we promote a relationship of trust. A relationship that would allow us to maintain a strong bond, even in the event of a hard blow or a complicated adolescent crisis.
A realistic method for us?
Should we succumb to this Danish method to better raise our adolescents and make them responsible? We asked Léonor Philip, a doctor of psychology who has studied various educational methods, for his opinion. According to her, the principles applied are not new, even if they are now labeled “Danish”.
“This is very reminiscent of the “democratic parenting style” well described in the educational psychology literature. This is a parenting style that falls between parental warmth and supportive supervision. That is to say, we seek to make the child responsible, and at the same time we advocate respect for the rules and discipline, even if it is possible to redefine these with the adolescent.” she teaches us.
Our expert recalls that according to Diana Baumrind, an American psychologist from the last century, there are four parenting styles established in 1967: the authoritarian style, the permissive style, the distant parenting style, or the democratic parenting style.
However, according to various studies, this democratic style used in this Danish method would be the one which would lead to the most ‘positive’ consequences for the child:
“Better social skills, better communication, better self-esteem, greater autonomy and less conflict.” confirms our expert. At least 5 good reasons to be inspired by it.