I know that I haven’t been writing a lot recently, but I also haven’t been sleeping a lot recently, so quit complaining.
The only reason I am writing now is because of something I saw just a few minutes ago. I am sitting at the kitchen table doing homework while my host dad makes some food for our travel tomorrow. He is making frikadeller, which requires some chopping of vegetables. Before cooking, he sharpens a knife. While he is cooking Sofus, my eight year-old host brother, walks over, grabs a knife, grabs the metal sharpening tool, and starts to sharpen. Thomas watches a second before going over to show him how to do it and then goes back to cooking. He keeps an eye on him and will occasionally come over to help but for the most part Sofus is on his own.
This is normal in Denmark. Kids here are more independent than I am. Just today twelve year-old Lærke decided that she wanted to bust out some sweet pastries after she got home from school. So she did.
Contrast this to the hysterical American parents tackling a child in order to get the knife out of the child’s hand.I’m not saying either is right or wrong, but differences are interesting.
The cultural differences between personal responsibility and the treatment of children is incredibly interesting, maybe the most intriguing difference I have found since I have been here, and something that I will definitely plan to explore more in depth at a later time.