Why Dutch teenagers are among the happiest in the world
In report after report, the Netherlands tops OECD countries for high life satisfaction among its young people, with schooling playing a big role. Emeritus Professor Ruut Veenhoven, affiliated with the Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organisation of Erasmus University Rotterdam, commented on this finding in The Guardian. Professor Veenhoven believes young people are less burdened by an expectation to "be good".
‘If you look across Europe, the Dutch and the Danes are the most lenient and focus more on developing autonomy than giving priority to obedience – and that fits the society,’ Professor Veenhoven says. ‘Children are more free to do what they want, and in doing what they want, develop an idea of what they really like and social skills. A happy boy may be sometimes not a very good boy.’