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How to Raise a Viking : The Secrets of Parenting the World's Happiest Children - Helen Russell

How to Raise a Viking

The Secrets of Parenting the World's Happiest Children

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Published: 15th February 2024

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'Helen has a way to take big ideas and convey them with warmth and wisdom' Dr Rangan Chatterjee

'A well researched study injected with humour and humanity' Mail on Sunday

What do Vikings know about raising children? Turns out, quite a lot...

After a decade of living in Denmark and raising a family there, Helen Russell noticed that Nordic children are different. They eat differently. They learn differently. They run, jump and climb out in nature for hours a day, even though the weather is terrible and it's dark October to March. And then they grow up to be some of the happiest adults on the planet. Her question was: how?

In How to Raise a Viking, Russell takes a deep dive into the parenting culture of Denmark and the other Nordic nations, from parental leave policies to school structure, screen time, and the surprising customs that lead to happy, well-adjusted humans. This fascinating peek behind the cultural curtain allows readers a glimpse of another world, where babies sleep outside in their prams up to -20°C and pre-schoolers wield axes.

Refreshingly funny and unfailingly optimistic about the new generation of humans growing up in the world right now, this is a heart-warming love letter to Russell's adopted homeland and proof that we could all use a bit more Viking in our lives.

'Ditch all the other parenting books. This is the one - funny, helpful, doable and not guilt-inducing. Makes me want to have kids all over again and try it this way' Matt Rudd

'I've long been a fan of Helen Russell's writing (The Year of Living Danishly is a wonderfully uplifting guide to life) and this new book of hers on parenting is top-notch' Good Housekeeping - Best Parenting Books

'Helen Russell explains from experience how Nordic countries put a strong emphasis on resilience, outdoor play, independence, egalitarianism and a balanced approach to education and family life. "Viking parenting" is about raising children to be self-assured, capable and connected to the natural world, and studies suggest the happiest children are in Scandinavia' The Week

In her latest book, How to Raise a Viking, Helen Russell combines humour, personal anecdotes, and a deep understanding of sociology to provide a unique perspective on motherhood in Denmark and other European countries. This engaging autobiography is a must-read for anyone interested in travel, relationships, and the science of raising happy, well-adjusted adults.

For fans of Meik Wiking (My Hygge Home), Kate Humble (Where the Hearth Is), Catherine Gray (Sunshine Warm Sober), and Katherine May (The Electricity of Every Living Thing).

HarperCollins 2024

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