Internationally-renowned public speaker & best-selling author
Iben Sandahl comes from Denmark and is an internationally-renowned public speaker, best-selling author of The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids and Play The Danish Way: A Guide to Raising Balanced, Resilient and Healthy Children through Playand educator who wants to offer parents an alternative to high-stress modern parenting – equipping them with the tools and knowledge to raise confident, happy children. She has more than 20 years of experienced insight into child psychology and education, which in a most natural way anchor the Danish way of practicing parenthood. Her books have been translated into 25 languages and countless books about “Hygge” have been published, as a response to the phenomenon described in her books. You can interact with her on Facebook and Instagram. She is also a columnist on Psychology Today.
My goal is to remain light, bright and positive in my thoughts and in my actions. To fill my heart with confidence that life is a process filled with beautiful moments, which unfold exactly as it is meant to be.
I believe that being authentic and truthful to ourselves makes us more able to give and receive. Parenting (and living in general) with authenticity is the first step to guiding a child to be true to themselves and others, and I believe that’s what the world need. More vulnerability and less judgmental!
Many people feel afraid of really opening up because they don’t want to be judged or rejected, but sharing is good, because we might recognize something through each of our narratives, which creates a connection between us and makes us feel we belong to someone and therefore are not alone. There are too many lonely people walking around, and loneness fosters resentment, anger and fear, which do not do anything good to any of us.
I believe very much in the importance of learning throughout life, and I am passionate about what I do. I have always hoped to be able to make a difference somehow in my life, contribute with my own experiences, or contribute with my professional skills to help people to the better so that more kindness, empathy, and happiness will flourish across the world. And I hope my actions will bring greater happiness to every child, family or human being around the globe filled with love, hope and respect.
To prepare and be thorough in everything I do.
If you have children; let children be children and let them play more! By letting our children explore the world around them without too much parental interaction – we allow them to explore their own zone of proximal development without even noticing it and on their terms. In Denmark, we try to give our children the space to be bored and a chance to relax and chill in terms of what they want. Free play develops imagination and as an important side effect too, it also gives children the opportunity to digest their daily impressions from kindergarten or school. Maybe it is one of the reasons that Denmark has been voted the happiest country in the world for more than 40 year
I love Copenhagen because we have the sea close to us with beautiful sunrises, green parks with playgrounds, sublime cafes and restaurants. We have a Royal Queen and a Crown Prince, culture and beautiful architecture. I feel very safe here.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
Every morning I start the day by eating oatmeal with raisins and chopped almonds. Even when I travel, I sometimes take it with me because the saturation lasts for a while and does something good for my body.
I have no favorite restaurants, but I prefer eating places with fresh organic products.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – I’m still asleep. I will not get up before 6.30 am.
10:00 AM – I’m either for a 90 minute Bikram yoga class, walking with my lovely dog; Vega or in my private practices where I treat children and their families.
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
In Denmark, we are very excited about coarse kernel bread, which we call “Rye bread”. It has spread to the whole world, I think! I like to eat it with, for example an avocado, a little pesto, tomatoes and mayonnaise.
7:00 PM – At this time, the whole family is gathered around the dinner table. We spend a long time eating together where we have time to hear each other’s day, “hygge”, laugh and talk about all sorts of things that happen in our local environment or in the big world. It is the most important and precious point of the day, where everyone is seen, heard and recognized for being an important part of the family.
11:00 PM – Hopefully asleep.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
I might be a little boring. I mainly drink water, which I love – but I also like a cup of green or herbal tea during the day.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
In fact, I’m not very good at apps and social media. I try to keep up with my own accounts, and therefore check Facebook and Instagram daily.
What should everyone try at least once?
To feel free! Free from a place within. To feel the infinite love in all and the gratitude of being connected with something bigger.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
Maybe most in my head! I love learning and being challenged, and I’m having difficulty letting go before I’ve found sense and understanding in what has not made sense before.