That was how I spent my Thursday. It was my first day of Children in a Multicultural Context Practicum.
Kids are exhausting as it is, but when they don’t speak the same language as you, it becomes even more exhausting. I don’t want to say worse—it wasn’t a bad experience at all. The kids were absolutely adorable and they seemed to love that I was there, playing with them. The only problem was that most of them were too young to grasp the concept that I couldn’t understand what they were saying. Luckily, smiles, laughter, and funny faces are universal and can cross all language barriers. At one point, a little boy brought a Danish book over to me, and it seemed like he figured out that I couldn’t read it, because he sat on my lap and started pointing to images in the book and repeating the Danish words for them. I already knew how to say, “What is your name?” from Danish class, and I learned that “mere!” (pronounced mia!) means “more”.
Like everyone said, children really are treated a bit differently here. It is noticeable, but not really shocking to me. Adults expect children to do things they are capable of, and there are a few things I noticed that were inconsistent between Danish and American culture:
1) The kids were putting on their own snowsuits and boots with little to no help (Side note: the snowsuits here are the cutest things ever. They all wear one-piece suits, and many of them have little pointy hats)
2) There were three year olds peeling their own oranges. This was actually kind of bizarre to witness.
3) Kids were falling all over the place and the adults did not make a big deal out of it…..so the kids didn’t either.
Other than that, so far, I’ve noticed that the kids have the same tendencies and behaviors that typical American kids have. Nature vs. Nurture???