- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Touchstone Books; Reprint edition (2 October 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1501143638
- ISBN-13: 978-1501143632
- Product Dimensions:: 14 x 2.3 x 21.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 200 g
- Customer reviews: 34 customer ratings
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: 32,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom's Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids (from Friluftsliv to Hygge) Paperback – 2 Oct 2018
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"Born and raised in Sweden with an ingrained appreciation for the outdoors, McGurk 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....McGurk's work will be encouraging to like-minded parents who feel American culture excessively emphasizes risk avoidance."
--Kirkus Reviews "Linda McGurk offers a perfect antidote to the hyper-vigilant, extra-electrified, standardized-tested, house-arrested, 21st-century childhood and the experts who push it. Practical and wise, There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather proves just that, and much more."
--Richard Louv, bestselling author of LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS and VITAMIN N "There's nothing I love more than an author who gives parents a reason to feel optimistic, instead of telling us how we're ruining our kids forever by (fill in the blank with something you used to do without thinking twice). Linda Akeson McGurk is that optimism-granter. Plus, she's funny. What a great package!"
--Lenore Skenazy, author of FREE RANGE KIDS "What an enjoyable romp through all the pleasures, benefits, and joy that free play and nature offer! Swedish-born McGurk guides the reader through all the delights that a varied outdoor life can afford. The book is packed with personal anecdotes and scientific studies, which provide the reader with nuanced insights into the potentials of open-air life in the most beautiful way. Everyone all over the world can gain something from the valuable wisdom found in this book. As a strong supporter of free play and its importance for children's well-being, I highly recommend this book."
--Iben Dissing Sandahl, author of PLAY THE DANISH WAY and THE DANISH WAY OF PARENTING "Children need fresh air, ample time to play, and freedom to take risks--something other cultures sometimes seem to understand far better than we do. In There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather, Linda Akeson McGurk takes us inside the fascinating world of Scandinavian parenting with its refreshing and essential perspective on childhood. This is a heartfelt manifesto on the importance of the sort of unhurried, nature-rich childhood that every American child deserves."
--Christine Gross-Loh, author of THE PATH "Smart, friendly and Swedish. Packed with sane ideas that will get your children outside, independent, and filled with the joy of living. This book will open your eyes--or maybe tempt you to move to Sweden. Now: Go outside and play!"
--Heather Shumaker, author of IT'S OK NOT TO SHARE and IT'S OK TO GO UP THE SLIDE "I could not put this book down! Linda McGurk not only offers a fresh perspective about parenting and outdoor play from a Scandinavian viewpoint, but she is a fabulous storyteller and will hook you on the first page."
--Angela Hanscom, author of BALANCED AND BAREFOOT "If There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather doesn't make you want to move to Scandinavia, it will at least make you pledge to bring more Scandinavian habits into your life. With abundant warmth, humor, and important research, Linda Akeson McGurk makes the case for getting your family out into nature, no matter the season, and shares invaluable tips for enjoying the benefits of outdoor play, even in the land of mall-walking, videogames, and relentless academic pressure."
--Susan Sachs Lipman, author of FED UP WITH FRENZY "Linda McGurk's compelling book There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather compares the Swedish and U.S. historical and current cultural differences in beliefs and practices regarding young children's exposure to nature. Linda's upbringing in Sweden meant that she had an enormous amount of outdoor time as a child, much like those of us who grew up in the U.S. prior to 1980. Unfortunately, within the last 30-40 years, childhood in the U.S. no longer automatically includes extended outdoor free play. Like Linda, many in the early childhood education field are worried about the well-documented negative consequences from this lack of outdoor time. Besides the obvious physical benefits of spending time in nature, there are proven mental health benefits as well. Additionally, when children bond with nature at an early age, they develop empathetic stewardship qualities which compel them to seek to protect the environment. It is heartening to know that there are still countries like Sweden which actively advocate and culturally support children's right to extended outdoor time. Hopefully we can begin to incorporate some of Sweden's friluftsliv--a love of open air life--into our cultural identity here in the U.S."
--Erin Kenny, Co-founder and director of Cedarsong Nature School, author of FOREST KINDERGARTENS
About the Author
Linda McGurk is a Swedish-American freelance journalist and blogger who lives with her family in rural Indiana. A nature lover and mother of two, she believes that the best childhood memories are created outside, while jumping in puddles, digging in dirt, catching bugs, and climbing trees. McGurk's writings about natural parenting and outdoor play have appeared in a wide range of newspapers, magazines, and online publications in North America as well as Europe, including BonBon Break, Outdoor Families Magazine, and Childhood 101. In 2013, she started the blog Rain or Shine Mamma to inspire outdoor play and adventure every day, regardless of the weather. She is the author of There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather.
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The author does an inspiring job of sharing her observations, her misgivings, and how things are so different here compared to Sweden. By the end of the book, I was ready to pack up and move!
Linda McGurk is a Swedish-American journalist and free-lance writer, and the mother of two girls: Maya (7) and Nora (4). She and the girls leave their home in Indiana to spend six months in Sweden while Linda's father undergoes chemotherapy. She enrolls the girls in Swedish schools (they're already bilingual), and sets out to expose them to a childhood that she remembers fondly from her earlier days - including lots of time spent outdoors - while meeting and interviewing Swedish parents on their perspectives on childhood, education, nature, and environmentalism for her book project.
There's No Such Thing As Bad Weather is a well-written, easy-to-read book. I read it in two days! I was fascinated by the freedoms the Swedish kids enjoyed, and with the amount of time they spent outdoors, even though Sweden is at the forefront of the digital world. (Did you know Minecraft, Skype, and a ton of other household digital names all came out of Sweden?)
For a mom (me), who has been reprimanded for letting her kids play in the woods (where there may be poison ivy) and for letting them roll in mud and jump in a stream (where there may be, gasp, parasites) and for letting her son climb on top of a wooden playhouse on a climbing structure (because you know, 6 feet off the ground is too high for a kid who safely climbs three story tall trees)... well, this book felt like I had found my village.
I realized reading the book that there was a time I had been far more similar to most Swedish parents than to American ones, but that I had allowed myself to be shamed into convergence. :O My younger two kids have never experienced the fun, "outlandish" activities the older ones did, but I fear have long forgotten. I became "safe" and worse, bought into the anxiety-driven rush to produce successful kids, rather than healthy, well-adapted, happy ones.
So, what did I take from the book?
1. I want Linda to be my newest BFF! I want to play in the rain and the snow and go on hikes and get tickets for splashing in a stream in a park alongside her! LOL. There was a time I did those things, well, except for the ticket (I received hundreds of glares and stares over the years, but never a ticket), and I want to do them again.
2. I want to move to Sweden. The way the Swedish people embrace nature and encourage outdoor play and exploration, even during the school day is AWESOME! I'd settle for Finland or Denmark, too, as they also sound like they've got their priorities straight when it comes to education, although there was some indication that Denmark was making changes away from some of this as a result of falling rank in international testing (UGH!)
3. My kids NEED more time outdoors, and since a move to Sweden at this time is unlikely, it means I am going to have to spend a LOT more time outdoors as well because unlike in Sweden where ALL of the kids are outdoors, in our neighborhood, we only see a kid outdoors every now and then. So, I'd better make sure I have the right clothes... "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes."
All in all a good read, and one that I'd love more of my Mommy-friends to read and become motivated to follow... because then we'd have outdoor playmates, and that would be so much more fun for us all!
For families wanting to embrace or rediscover a connection to nature and the outdoors, this book offers encouragement and practical strategies for making it happen.