There’s no such thing as bad weather by Linda Åkeson McGurk



Published on October 3, 2017 by Touchstone

Genre: Memoir

Rating: ★★★★★



“A perfect antidote to the hyper-vigilant, extra-electrified, standardized-tested, house-arrested, 21st-century childhood.” —Richard Louv, bestselling author of Last Child in the Woods and Vitamin N

Bringing Up Bébé 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.


Disclaimer: I would like to thank the Publisher for providing the copy. This will not affect my opinions on the book.

I’m 20 year old but I still give it a try to read the book even if I don’t have a child on my own. However, this gives me an insight about the effects of nature to the children –  especially now in the modern era where we often see children at a young age much prefer to play on their gadgets instead of playing outside.

Linda McGurk is a Swedish mom who moved to America to be with her husband. She observed the differences of the parenting of an American and Nordic way. That in America, parents are overly protective of their children that letting them play outside without their supervision is not allowed. While on Sweden, it is their norm. they usually let their babies stay during winter season or giving them their time playing outside and the parents will do their own works.

One of the things that struck me the most is the educational system. I agree, children shouldn’t pressure themselves studying too hard because at their age they loved to play. In Nordic, the idea of studying is having fun while learning. They include playing while doing math and science subjects. These things will help them to express themselves and to be creative.

Another thing is the effects of social media and gadgets to the children. We see them spending more hours playing to their tablets or phones rather than connecting to other children. Lots of research says the impact to them could be harmful.

Overall, the writing is pretty good and well research. And I absolutely recommend this book because on how well thought out and will open your eyes on the possibilities of nature to children and for us.


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