— to say the least.

The parenting by the Dutch is as exquisite as it is alluring. It’s the same alluring supervisory spirit exercised in their animal training — and I’ve seen the outcomes of both! The kids are (in general) well behaved and the dogs are (exceptionally) well trained! But how….

In confidence, I think it’s the water. Yes, it must be, as that is the one variable held constant across all parents. And after that, I believe it’s the followthrough of respect exercised between the parent and the child. From my anecdotal observations, independence and dependence seem to work together in a ‘push pull’ manner, where the parents ‘push’ the child to extend themselves in say ‘play’ (e.g., learning to bike, walk, dance, exercise in general) with strict guidelines to then provide the ‘pull’ of arm around their shoulder or a quick hug.

Uniquely, the hug and arm around the shoulder are not ‘clingy’ ; that is, they additional hurrah beyond the climatic experiential success enjoyed by the child in the activity doesn’t linger. And their’s an eye contact from parent to child that occurs that may be the added sauce: It’s promoting an awareness, I suspect of ‘Guess what: you DID it’.

The environment where the events and activities are stationed are different as well: You don’t see the ‘wide open’ spaces of America that speak to the inner spirit to find freedom. Rather, the activities are confined within meters of space with the direction to find ‘freedom within’. Or at least, that’s my take. There’s plenty of activity happening around with other people, biking, running, car traffic within narrow streets and walkways, requiring ‘alertness’.

So, in the end, successful parenting is ‘likely’ due to both nurture and nature. It reminds me of Watson & Skinner behaviorism where the antecedent stimuli pairs with the motivational state of the organism under certain schemes (interval, intermittent) of reinforcement — with something like hereditary tucked in there somewhere.

Want to consider boarding options in the Netherlands? Anywhere else in the EU and in the UK or US / Canada we can help. We provide psychological and educational evaluations to help transform your talented young one into a successful, focused and motivated global citizen. We’ve done it for hundreds of families, so why not yours?