THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS BAD WEATHER: A Scandinavian Mom’s Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids by Linda Åkeson McGurk is a fascinating personal narrative that tackles larger childcare and environmental issues, highlighting the importance of nature-centric parenting and schooling—and why spending time outdoors is imperative for a developing child. The memoir is supplemented with hands-on tips, sidebars, outdoor activities, and advice on how to dress for the elements.
When Swedish-born Linda Åkeson 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. The playgrounds, which she thought would be filled with children, were mostly deserted. American children, Linda discovered, preferred to stay indoors glued to their screens and smartphones. When she took her two young daughters out for walks in winter, people pulled over to offer them rides. She was even fined for letting her children play in a local creek, setting off an online firestorm when she later blogged about the incident.
In contrast, Scandinavian culture celebrates the outdoors and children are raised to appreciate nature; Swedish babies often nap outside year round—a practice that is not only common but recommended by the government. (A practice that could also send the Child Protective Services knocking on the door in the U.S.). Love of the outdoors has also made Scandinavia a world leader in renewable energy, recycling, and sustainable living.
Some of the benefits of nature-centric parenting include: