TO THE STATE ADMINISTRATION, THIS IS WHINY

Many Danes think they know Danish norms. And that the term ”common sense” means just about the same thing to most people. But the first meeting with the State Administration (SA) can come as a chock.

In the State Administration, they seem to have installed a whole new standard for what is considered good for kids. And what is considered whiny.

Here are some examples that the State Administration do not seem to find problematic:

Example:
Big child has a 10/4 contact agreement (10 days at home, 4 days with the other parent alternately). Child destroys his room after every contact stay and wets his pants for days after returning.

SA response:
He can be treated for that.

Example:
Child has 7/7-contact agreement. Child becomes very aggressive at school for several years.

SA response:
Can you prove that this is due to the contact agreement?

Example:
Child of 8 years has a 7/7-contact agreement. Child does not fall asleep until midnight during the first 4-5 days after returning home. Child gets into trouble at school.

SA response:
They get used to it. Besides, it is your word against that of the other parent.

Example:
Small child has to travel 10 hours every other weekend for contact stays. The following 3-4 week days, the child fails to thrive in the kindergarten. Address parent has to reduce working hours.

SA response:
Yes. Well, that’s how it is.

Example:
Child of 3 years has contact every other weekend. Child cries for 4 days after each contact stay and screams if anyone tries to touch it.

SA response:
We can send you to a course in parenting.

Example:
Child has been treated for sexual abuse. The police could not lift the burden of proof. Many children lie, they say.

SA response:
Either the mother is lying or she is not fit to be a parent. Hand over the child to contact stays and take classes in trusting!

Example:
13-year old boy physically resists and refuses to go in to see his father at supervised contact.

SA response:
It is your duty as address parent to deliver the child all the way to the meeting room. Even if it means you have to overpower the child and carry him. We have noted your behaviour as non-cooperative.

Example:
Child of 6 years talks about father yelling, pinching and strangling when staying with him. Child often shows blue marks. Child does not want to sleep at night, because he fears that father will come and take him away.

SA response:
It takes more to call it violence. They have to endure a little.

Example:
Smaller child has not seen his father for 1 year due to temporary termination of contact. Child has to go to supervised contact meeting with a child expert the child has never met before. The child is scared. Mother asks to please take a support person, for instance the teacher from kindergarten.

SA response:
We have placed the contact meeting at a time, where teachers are off from work. We have concluded that your hysteric behaviour is transferred to the child. That’s the reason he doesn’t feel safe.

Example:
Child of normal weight has 7/7-contact agreement. Child is weighed in and out at every contact stay. Naked. Child is placed on a diet at every contact stay. Child is scolded intensely if child has gained weight at home. Child becomes afraid of eating.

SA response:
What is the problem? You should not interfere with what happens at the other parent’s house.

Example:
Child has 7/7-contact agreement. Child increasingly fails to thrive. Child gets behavioural problems. Child breaks down and cannot attend school normally. Child is in a bad state. Address parent has to leave the labour market in order to support the child. Address parent applies for a change to a 9/5-contact agreement.

SA response:
The focus is not on YOU. If you cannot handle the job of parenting, we can move the child to the other parent. Besides, I understand why the contact parent thinks of it as an aggression on your part that you apply for change of contact. Stop whining!

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