Loveleen Rihel Brenna
Head of the “National Parents’ Committee for Primary and Lower Secondary School” (FUG)
What is it important for newly arrived immigrants to know about Norway and its views on bringing up children?
All parents want the best for their children and they want their children to have better lives than they themselves have had.
I think it is important that immigrants know society’s expectations of them, so that they can follow up their child as well as possible.
What do schools expect? What do nursery schools expect? What do public health clinics expect? It is important to think through these questions for the sake of the child and in order to maintain parental authority.
What it is like for children to commute between we cultures and I cultures?
Having to relate to many conflicts of values can be a dilemma for many children. What is considered right at home may be wrong at school, and vice versa. Adults are often more preoccupied with religious and cultural differences than paying attention to their children. It is important to remember that the children have not chosen the situation they are in.
Have you experienced any misunderstandings?
I can give you an example. When I was little and I did something wrong at home my father would say: “Look down when I speak to you. Show respect!” If I had done something wrong at school, the teacher would say: “Look me in the eye when I speak to you.”
What are your hopes for the future?
For the sake of the children, I want us to manage to see the similarities between people and their equal worth. This is more important than getting hung up on differences.
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