My parents moved to Denmark. I am born and raised here. While I on paper is a Dane, I regard myself as an immigrant because it takes more than 2 generations to fully be regarded as an etnic Dane.
I have two children born in 1993 and 1995. I am married to a beutiful wife.
10 years ago my wife got very ill and since we have struggled to manage daily life.
I have done many things in my life that I regret and some of them was to involve the authorities when we needed help. We got too much help. We have made being a close family our priority number 1. My children had many things on their mind, but unlike most teens they have not turned to drugs or similar things. They have taken their share of responsibility in our home doing their chores without complaints – most of the time.
2008 was a tough year. In the spring our family coach approach us with a “suggestion” about sending our daughter to a continuation school (In Danish “Efterskole”). However these schools are used for criminals and our daughter hadn’t committed a crime. Her problem was that she didn’t interact with her peers like most young Danes.
We appelled her “sentence” and we all were in a state of shock by the though of our daughter leaving the house premature. The illness of my wife has brought us close together and this was breaking our family up. To make matters worse, the school in question has a ban against cell phones the first month regardless of the fect that professionals from the health care system have warned against such ban due to the risk of suicides.
The school was also in another part of Denmark and people who lives in Denmark knows that we don’t have to go more than 20 miles from our hometown before we are regarded as strangers. People who have left Copenhagen for Jutland knows that it can take up to three generations before they are not recognized as the people coming from the “Devils Island”. The local citizens would avoid them while at the same time talking about them behind their back.
We confronted the family coach demanding what it would take for her to avoid her banishment and incarceration. The price was that she entered the social life. Until that drinking and dating wasn’t on her mind. Now where I had some time talking with therapists I realize that the concern was that my daughter was about to develop herself into a nurse for her mother. It was a necessary step for her to be kicked out into the party life.
In most countries it would be of some concern letting a 15 year old drink alcohol and stay out late, but it is not the case here. In fact newer research shows that the youth in criminal court is the one who has chosen not to hang around peers drinking because they want to preserve their own culture. Second the parent corps of nightowls are patrolling the streets securing the town for young people like my daughter.
So she entered the party environment and she had her mistakes ajusting to the 14 unit per week limit recommended by our health care department for females. As parents we were scared but it turned out well in the end and most important at all we avoided the continuation school for her.
2008 both challenged us as family but it did also cause emotional growth for my daughter and she is well on the way to be an independent adult person ready to challenge the world.