Kids Hygge

The most all-consuming lifestyle trend of the last few years, without a doubt, has been “Hygge”. The Danish term meaning “cosiness”, “togetherness”, and “connectedness”, along with many other indefinable things has become something of an obsession in this country. Hygge in the UK has come to mean everything from candles, cushions and cuddles, to wine, long baths, and comfort food. Some of these are possible with young children. Some are emphatically not. But could hygge actually be good for your child’s development, rather than just pleasant and mildly unrealistic?

 

We think so, yes. Even if you strip away all the intangible, or slightly ‘fluffy’ aspects of the concept of “hygge”, you are left with some simple, beneficial things. Children who grow up feeling listened to, cherished, and part of a loving support network (be that family or friends) are far more likely to grow up to be a well-adjusted human than if they grow up feeling ignored, undervalued, or misunderstood. Hygge – if practised correctly – is the perfect way to focus attention on one child, without ever having to worry about them being spoilt, or on your other children feeling left out. Hygge is about “we-time” not “me-time” – everyone is involved equally and everyone works together as a team.

 

Hygge can be anything – from cooking and eating together, to singing or playing games together. Mum blogger “The Mindful Mama” introduced ten minutes of “Hygge time” to her children’s routine every night, where the whole family curled up on the sofa and simply talked about their day. Whatever your activity of choice, the emphasis should be on togetherness and sharing, no one person doing all the cleaning, cooking, or leading.

 

How to Hygge

1)      Leave your drama at the door

One of the most important parts of hygge is that the experience should be negativity-free. Any complaining, any bragging, any fighting should be left outside. Hygge is all about connectedness and togetherness, so make a rule that there be no tantrums during the time set aside for this.

2)      Unplug

Hygge is also a technology-free time, so switch off those phones, put the iPods and iPads away, and step away from the TV – this time is about connecting with each other, and we think this is best done face-to-face.

3)      Keep it short

Part of the reason hygge works so well is that it is dedicated time set aside for that exact purpose, with a set beginning and end. This limits the possibilities of boredom or tension – focussing on quality not quantity. Decide your time frame based on your little ones – even quarter of an hour can be good hygge time for those with short attention spans.

4)      Make it relevant

Not all hygge activities work for all people, so if you’re not a musical family, enforcing a mandatory fifteen minutes of singing a day may have quite the opposite effect to the one you’re after! Pick things you all like doing – from playing silly games, to reading, to just talking to each other.

5)      Get cosy

This is the easy bit – and the fun bit! Get your hands on some nice candles, snuggly blankets, cosy socks, and comfy cushions and channel that warm, contented feeling that hygge is all about.

 

Do you practise hygge with your little ones? We’d love to know! Get in touch on Facebook or Twitter or tag us in your cosy Instagram pics @little_woodpecker.