But the Netherlands doesn't just contain happy adults; it contains happy children as well, as author Rina Mae Acosta explains in an interview for MarketWatch. As Acosta sees it, there are several things which Dutch parents do which promote this happiness, three of which are below:
1. They Teach Self-Control
When it comes to dietary choices, Dutch parents aren't opposed to letting their children indulge in unhealthy foods. This is particularly evident in the fact that chocolate is a staple of the Dutch breakfast. But according to Acosta, "if children are allowed their own indulgences, it becomes less of a taboo and they learn to have more self-control."
2. They Reject Entitlement
Unlike American children who seem to believe that they need to be waited on hand and foot, Acosta explains that Dutch children:
[A]re not children who are entitled – in fact, the children who are spoiled and entitled are often the unhappiest, I find … Middle-class Dutch children would know even if they wanted something, they have to actually work for it.