The Little Match Girl

The Little Match Girl

When I grew up I loved coming at my grandparents place. Often it was only my grandmother and me having some hygge moments together, because my granddad worked and travelled a lot as a professor at the University. Without saying, I know she appreciated my company – she wasn´t alone and we were just in the moment together. I loved her and very often we sat on the couch, me leaning up at her, while she over and over again read fairytales from Hans Christian Andersen for me.  She always, out of many, suggested reading “The Little Match Girl”, which I loved dearly.

There was no doubt literature did something to my grandmother, it gave her comfort and a way to get away. I´m sure she saw herself in The Little Match Girl, who felt lonely and had to go through so much all by herself, even though I didn´t know at that time. It didn´t end happily, but for me it ended the best way. It was so sad and beautiful at the same time. Like her! 

Here you go:

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When children's loneliness turns into a fantasy world

When children's loneliness turns into a fantasy world

I know that all parents want the best for their kids. We all do. And I know that we raise our children in accordance to what we believe is the right way, but sometimes we also know that it isn't enough. We need some kind of inner guidance we can rely on. Something that will make us feel confident that we are doing things the right way.

Yesterday I had a wonderful conversation with a young girl.....

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Why “hygge” is so important and helps reduces stress

Why “hygge” is so important and helps reduces stress

The Danish word “hygge” is a big part of why Denmark has been voted as one of the happiest countries in the world for over 40 years in a row.

Being in a social group is a very big part of being Danish. Danes like to find ways to work together and support each other in social groups.

The word “hygge” (pronounced hooga) dates back to the 19th century. It is derived from the Germanic word “hyggja”, which means to think or feel satisfied. Because Danes see “hygge” as a way of life, we all try to make it happen. That is, a cozy time together with family and friends. Feeling connected to others gives meaning and purpose to all of our lives and this is why Danes value hygge so highly. The individual is prized absolutely but without the interaction and support of others we don’t think we can be truly happy as a whole person.

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Play develops self-worth

Play develops self-worth

This may sound complicated, but wherever self-worth is fundamentally good, self-confidence is often best when it accompanies self-worth. Therefore, my best advice is to play as much as you can with your children. Go out in the woods, on the beach, in your yard, and in all sorts of places where the child feels happy, but also in places that provide opportunities to be curious, to use their imagination and test out their zone of proximal development.  

The three major benefits of free play are:

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How to recognize the signs of bullying

How to recognize the signs of bullying

Unfortunately it is not uncommon for children to be exposed to bullying. Often children are too young to understand why it happens and what the result is. As a former class teacher and working psychotherapist I have seen how much damage bullying does. It leaves deep scars and most often also destructive identity conclusions about oneself, like: “I´m not good enough”, “I´m not worth anything” and “It´s my fault”. These conclusions couldn´t be more wrong. You are perfect as you are, and you are worth every struggle, pain, sorrow and challenge. You are just wonderful and lovable because you are you. Never doubt that.

I always tell my children, when they feel someone is attacking or treating them wrongly, that they don´t know what´s going on - on the other side. Very often children (or grown ups) who loudly badmouth others, comment negatively on people's appearance, or create rifts in friendships - very often are the ones who have a really hard time themselves. They seek (unconsciously) to make other people feel uncomfortable, so it makes them feel that they are not the person who is worst off. It breaks our hearts every time our children aren´t happy.

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