The Happiest Kids in the World, Bringing Up Children the Dutch Way

5 September 2016


It’s time to fess up. We’ve been keeping something from you. Nothing bad. We haven’t cheated on you or anything, but we thought it best to wait until everything was official. We’ve written a book and it’s called The Happiest Kids in the World: Bringing up children the Dutch way. The British edition is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Doubleday UK commissioned the book, Dutch rights have been sold to Nijgh & Van Ditmar for publication in the spring, and we have an American publisher too – The Experiment who do cool non-fiction books. They’ll be publishing next spring too.

As expats bringing up our kids here – Rina Mae Acosta is American and Michele Hutchison is British – we realized that something truly wonderful was going on. UNICEF had already confirmed our suspicions: according to the Child Well-Being Studies, the Dutch are raising the happiest children in the world. We’re talking about well-adjusted and healthy kids who rate themselves happy, get on well with their friends and parents and enjoy school. . . And these children have managed to come top the two times the comprehensive study into childhood happiness was conducted.

What exactly are Dutch parents doing differently? Could it really just be all the hagelslag, chocolate sprinkles, that Dutch kids eat for breakfast? Or perhaps it’s because of the chilled-out Dutch babies who sleep through the night and the under ten crowd who are free to play after school because they have no homework. And why isn’t anyone else making a fuss about this? Shouldn’t more parents know about this parenting style that’s actually working?




So we put our heads together to figure out exactly why Dutch children are rated the happiest kids in the world.



In the meantime, come join us on our Facebook page. And if you’d like to support us in letting more people know about our book, please do.