There's no such thing as bad weather : a Scandinavian mom's secrets for raising healthy, resilient, and confident kids (from friluftsliv to hygge) / Linda Ã…keson McGurk.

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  • Additional Information
    • Edition:
      First Touchstone hardcover edition
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "Bringing Up Bebe meets Last Child in the Woods in this lively, insightful memoir about a mother who sets out to discover if the nature-centric parenting philosophy of her native Scandinavia holds the key to healthier, happier lives for her American children. When Swedish-born Linda McGurk moved to small-town Indiana with her American husband to start a family, she quickly realized that her outdoorsy ways were not the norm. In Sweden children play outside all year round, regardless of the weather, and letting young babies nap outside in freezing temperatures is not only common -- it is a practice recommended by physicians. In the US, on the other hand, she found that the playgrounds, which she had expected to find teeming with children, were mostly deserted. In preschool, children were getting drilled to learn academic skills, while their Scandinavian counterparts were climbing trees, catching frogs, and learning how to compost. Worse, she realized that giving her daughters the same freedom to play outside that she had enjoyed as a child in Sweden could quickly lead to a visit by Child Protective Services. The brewing culture clash finally came to a head when McGurk was fined for letting her children play in a local creek, setting off an online firestorm when she expressed her anger and confusion on her blog. The rules and parenting philosophies of her native country and her adopted homeland were worlds apart. Struggling to fit in and to decide what was best for her children, McGurk turned to her own childhood for answers. Could the Scandinavian philosophy of "there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes" be the key to better lives for her American children? And how would her children's relationships with nature change by introducing them to Scandinavian concepts like friluftsliv ("open-air living") and hygge (the coziness and the simple pleasures of home)? McGurk embarked on a six-month-long journey to Sweden to find out. There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather is a fascinating personal narrative that highlights the importance of spending time outdoors, and illustrates how the Scandinavian culture could hold the key to raising healthier, resilient, and confident children in America"-- Provided by publisher.
    • Content Notes:
      A Swedish mother in rural Indiana -- A right to nature -- Fresh air is good for you -- Just let them play -- We must all take care of nature -- A little dirt won't hurt (nor will a little rain) -- Freedom with responsibility -- Outside, there is a better connection -- It takes a village -- A Scandinavian mother's "get up and go outside" manifesto.
    • Notes:
      Includes bibliographical references (pages 263-284).
    • Other Titles:
      There is no such thing as bad weather.
    • ISBN:
      9781501143625 (hardback)
      150114362X (hardback)
      9781501143632 (paperback)
      1501143638 (paperback)
    • LCCN:
      2017040524
    • OCLC:
      on1003193256
      1003193256
    • Accession Number:
      fay.543331

Reviews

Booklist Reviews 2017 October #1

McGurk was raised in Sweden, where fresh air and outdoor exercise are a way of life. She's finding, however, that her American-born children spend more time indoors looking at screens. When her father's health calls for a trip back home, she and her two daughters spend six months there. Surrounded by kids who bundle up to play in snow and don boots to splash in the rain, her daughters begin to look outside for entertainment. Citing studies that show that Scandinavian students consistently score high on standardized tests and have fewer problems with obesity and lower incidences of ADD, despite less homework and more recess, McGurk develops a "Scandinavian Mother's Manifesto." Tips include playing outdoors in any weather (dressed appropriately), getting fresh air daily, letting preschoolers learn by free play, and encouraging kids to get dirty, take risks, and unplug. Greater exposure to nature leads to greater concern for the environment, according to McGurk. This heartfelt book, filled with examples of kids being kids, reminds parents of the importance of outdoor play. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

PW Reviews 2017 July #3

Journalist and blogger McGurk explores U.S. and Scandinavian cultural differences through her experiences raising young children in this thoughtful memoir. Born and raised in Sweden with an ingrained appreciation for the outdoors, she feels out of step with American culture when she tries to reproduce that childhood for her children in Indiana. Amusing interactions, such as one with a concerned motorist who passes her pushing her daughter in a stroller and walking her dog in midwinter, pepper the story. There are also unhappy experiences, such as when officials fine her for allowing her children to wade in a local stream. These incidents inspire McGurk's lengthy return trip to Sweden. She enrolls her children in class there, leading her to interesting comparisons with American norms; Swedish schools, McGurk discovers, still emphasize outdoor play over screen time. Each chapter concludes with a "Scandinavian Parenting Tip" ("Refuse to give in to the culture of fear that has quashed outdoor play as we used to know it") and a suggestion for further reading. McGurk's work will be encouraging to like-minded parents who feel American culture excessively emphasizes risk avoidance. Those enamored of all things Scandinavian will also enjoy the glossary of terms at the front. (Oct.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.