Why are Dutch children so happy?

There are 19 comments on the Feb 14, 2007, BBC story titled Why are Dutch children so happy?. In it, BBC reports that:

Dutch children have been rated the most fortunate children in Europe. Their parents go out of their way to please them, and teachers expect less of them than some of their European counterparts.

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Since: Oct 07

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#234 Dec 24, 2011
lowflyingdutch wrote:
Born and raised. The secret lies not in the quality of toys or chemicals or the parental framework upon which these kids rely. It lies in simple geography. Holland is tremendously compact. Most cities/town are compact enough for kids to live near at least a handfull of other kids with parents that have a far more "live and let live" attitude than in most other places i've been. I was free to go outside after school and fall off off stuff, get beat up by bullies, but also experience an all in all great childhood with friends and laughter. We would walk over to friends houses and spend entire days there. Parents would either feed you or kick you home to mommy. either way.
Seems to me that most parents nowadays have become completely paranoid and do not (or in the case of the US, cannot) allow their kids to wander off to anywhere. Theyre caged canaries. Puddingbrains in puddingbodies beeing raised by television and playdates. That may have something to do with it?
It's about the same in the Netherlands. There's a lot of fear and control of children - and adults. I do not think Dutch children and teens are as happy as media and the European "statistics" show. It's just average.
Bartele from Canada

Toronto, Canada

#235 Dec 31, 2011
I think kids are happy in a number of countries not only in Holland .. Who determind that Dutch kids were happier than others??? Kids can be happy without a lot of material things right

Eindhoven, Netherlands

#236 Jan 3, 2012
Hi guys,
Im dutch, and its funny to read your comments :D
Yes, a lot of children use drugs here, but that isnt the main reason.
In my area about 1/4 of the people uses,, i know,, thats a lot, but the remaining 3/4 doesnt use, and is happy without,, another option may be that we are allowed to buy cigarets and alcohol at a age of 16 and >16
About the 'drugs tourism'
We like them and its a good source of money, so why would that be bad?
What do you guys think of this?

Eindhoven, Netherlands

#237 Jan 3, 2012
By the way:
1/4th of us uses drugs at 15 years (though its illegal,, doesnt matter)
9/10th of us uses alcohol at 15 years
I'm that age so i can know it..
These numbers come from a small town, in the well known amsterdam and rotterdam and other big cities, these numbers are way higher..

Since: Apr 10

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#238 Jan 9, 2012
Sheik Yerbouti wrote:
Maybe they are happy because they live in a prosperous country that doesn't start wars for no reason and makes sure everyone has access to great health care. Good schools too and a highly cultured nation.
Are you plain stupid or just high on drugs?

Bellville, OH

#239 Jan 12, 2012
Well, Peace to you all, wether you smoke pot or not, maybe its just the fact that the Gov. is not breathing down everyones necks to see what they are

doing or "smoking" that it reliefs alot of stress in the adults and that in turn reliefs alot of stress put on the children. It is nice to hear that the children are happy there. Peace to you and yours always!!
Stef from holland

Apeldoorn, Netherlands

#240 Jan 12, 2012
If you turn on the tv and go to MTV... there's a 70% chance that you will see a REAL spoiled child

Balk, Netherlands

#241 Jan 12, 2012
Vtxm wrote:
In Holland childeren doesn't use drugs.
Its all bullshit because the Dutch goverment want tourists!
fout jonge man ik gebruik "drugs" wiet en tja toeristen kunnen mei dit jaar(2012)tog geen wiet meer halen door de wiet pas

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#242 Jan 20, 2012
You may call me names wrote:
<quoted text>
Are you plain stupid or just high on drugs?
I agree with all except the "good" health care issue, the "good education" issue, and above all the "cultured nation" issue. It's not true. Those who say that are just dreaming.

A nation that doesn't start wars with no issue, yes, it's true, but that's also because the Netherlands is a tiny country.


#243 Apr 3, 2012
yes we do smoke pot alot, that's why we're happy :D
TravelExplosion- Dot-Com

Bronx, NY

#245 Aug 24, 2012
It's not until I visited the Travel Explosion website did I realize the beauty the Netherlands has to offer!

Amsterdam, Netherlands

#246 Nov 27, 2012
Iīm dutch and no my parents(and most of the people here!!) donīt smoke weed. Itīs all bullshit and yes, dutch childeren use it sometimes too(not all the people), but there are also childeren in other countries who do weed etc xox (`:

Amsterdam, Netherlands

#247 Nov 27, 2012
JoaoP wrote:
<quoted text>
It's about the same in the Netherlands. There's a lot of fear and control of children - and adults. I do not think Dutch children and teens are as happy as media and the European "statistics" show. It's just average.
I live in Amsterdam and if I compare The Netherlands with some other countries, Iīmp proud and happy to be in the Netherlands. and I know Iīm not the only one. And yes, there are people who are unhappy too! but thatīs in every country (`:

Amsterdam, Netherlands

#248 Nov 27, 2012
You may call me names wrote:
<quoted text>
Are you plain stupid or just high on drugs?
Uh, sorry, but i thought the comment was perfect? and If you have another opinion about that, say it nicely, you don't have to insult her/him?


#249 Nov 27, 2012
belle g wrote:
Why is their "happiness" considered more important than their intellectual development, their consideration for others, and their ability to make their way in the world when they become of age?
Sounds from the article that they're a bunch of spoiled brats who have a tough time dealing with adult life once they become of age.
hey man kids grow up fine here they arent spoiled brats... you dont know since you dont live there if you and if you do live there your not looking i am from there btw my age is 24 i have a good job / children

Woerden, Netherlands

#250 Feb 22, 2013
...and it helps to live on the foundation built over time incl. the fortunes East India Company managed.
Obumma shucks

Ciudad De Panamá, Panama

#251 Mar 22, 2013
Maybe because they are rich.


#252 Mar 22, 2013
Because we are as high as kites.
sandra priest the pig

Oosterhout, Netherlands

#254 Nov 14, 2013
The children in The Netherlands are ""happy"" because they are overspoiled,they do whatever the hell they want, they are very very rude,the parents do not care at all about teaching them good manners so, they run around like litle annoying brats everywhere, I Know for a fact,i live in this country ,i have seem it . They are by far the most uneducated spoiled children.

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