The happiest kids in the world have social safety nets

Rachael Lyle-Thompson's article highlights the stark contrast between Dutch parenting and the American dream's feasibility. It reflects on a tragic opioid incident in the Bronx, emphasizing the urgent need for a shift in national discourse towards support and empathy over blame.

The happiest kids in the world have social safety nets
Photo by Ben Wicks / Unsplash

When I first read the title of this great piece by Rachael Lyle-Thompson I almost blurted out "duh." Awhile back I read "The Happiest Kids in the World: How Dutch Parents Help Their Kids (and Themselves) by Doing Less" and while I enjoyed it, the reality was for an American it's a total pipe dream. All I could think the while reading it was "Yeah this sounds like a great way to get arrested in the US!"

This really stood out:

Here in New York, when news recently broke of a child who died by opioid exposure while at his daycare in the North Bronx, the borough where my partner Mike teaches at a Title I public school, media coverage of the devastating incident quickly turned to our country’s fentanyl epidemic, the uptick in fatal overdoses, and what must be done to crack down on drugs. I remember bristling at the distinct lack of a national conversation around why this boy’s mother was given the impossible choice of either losing her job or leaving her child at a daycare

Boy we sure do love finding someone to blame and punishing them. When it comes to lifting anyone else up, not so much.