So Dutch teenagers and children are the happiest in the developed world are they? They are according to Unicef. And journalists from the UK, where children are apparently the most miserable, have been falling over themselves trying to find out why Dutch kids have it so good.
For those raising their international offspring in the Netherlands, it is, of course, wonderful news. No longer do you have to explain that in liberal Holland, Dutch teens do not think smoking marijuana is rebellious.
And outsiders may finally understand that teaching teenagers that sex is fun as long as you are responsible is more effective than focusing on warnings about aids and unwanted pregnancies.
Dutch kids do have a reputation for being self-centred and demanding – and try sending out a party invite saying ‘sorry no kids’ and see the reactions you get.
However happy kids grow up into happy adults and hopefully happy parents – and that can only be a good thing. But there is a down side. Faced with the tantrums of the disgruntled child who wants the latest-of-the-latest mobile phone or the sulky face of a teenager who has turned slamming doors into an art form, you may well be left wondering – they are so damn happy, what on earth would they be like if they were really miserable?
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