German Parenting Styles, Discipline, Culture and Practices
Germany, officially called the Federal Republic of Germany, is located in Central- Western Europe, is one of the founding partners and one of the major economic pillars of the European Union. Formerly divided into the nations of West and East Germany respectively, Germany achieved unification with the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989.
Germany is the third largest economy in the world and boasts of high labor productivity, low levels of unemployment as well as excellent physical and medical infrastructure. Educationally, German is lauded for her system of training that harmonizes University attendance, Vocational training as well as Intermediate studies which serves as a bridge between the other two categories of learning.
German society is generally regarded as the land of poets and thinkers, because of many of her writers and philosophers are credited with the shaping and the development of thought and direction.
Being a parent in German is a thorough mix of old belief systems that have been tempered with the exigency and demands of the present-day technologically driven world. While the global view of parents in Germany seems to border on Germans being rather cold and reserved, strict and disciplinary; with parents not allowing their kids have a lot of freedom and fun.
However, a careful study will reveal the following standard norms of practice in raising kids in Germany:
1. Parenting in Germany Encourages Freedom and Independence
Parents of German heritage are inclined towards children carry out responsibilities and tasks, with little or no supervision. This freedom is mostly seen in the German school system, where kids go out for outdoor sports at age 5 and above, and participate at indoor games at ages 3 to 4; all on their own.
This strategy is also employed when it comes to the child dressing itself. Kids in Germany are allowed, widely, to pick dresses and wear them all by themselves, mostly from 4 years and above.
Usually, before kids are given this sort of freedom, parents and teachers coach and tutor the kids for a predetermined period before the kids are set on their own.
If however, any child breaks any laid down rules, such a child is prevented from such autonomy and must be supervised, until s/he is readied again, to carry out tasks on hisher own.
2. Parents Harp on Everything Green
Germany is one of the main pioneers of embracing nature and going green. Supermarkets are stocked with organic food, clothes market sell children’s wears from recycled materials, breastfeeding is encouraged in public, and cycling is favored as the ideal form of transportation and exercise.
Kids, from an early age in Germany, have these ideals inculcated in them, such that they make informed choices about what to use and not use, for the good of the environment.
3. Parents in Germany allow their Kids to play and not engage in serious Academic work until the Age 6.
The kindergarten school system in Germany is primarily aimed for play and social learning and interaction. In a particular instance, a first grade class approves of a half-day of formal learning and instruction, laced with two out door breaks/recesses.
And this methodology has proven successful, as an international comparative study revealed that German 15-year olds do better than their counterparts from other parts of the world.
4. Parents in Germany instill Love for the Outdoors.
A German saying goes thus: “there is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. Parents harp on the value that is derived when kids are made to love the outdoors, to embrace curiosity and to love adventure.
Many kindergarten institutions have structured activities that take place in forests and woods, in unique platforms dedicated to exploring the outdoors. This trend also happens in the dead of winter, with the kids and guardians wearing appropriate gear and clothing. The system envisages that the child will be more appreciative of the world around them as a result.
5. Parents in Germany are not Obsessive about Safety
Playgrounds at home and school are not rid of inherently dangerous materials like sharp objects, slippery grounds etc. In some instances, measured risks are undertaken by the child, which could be cutting pieces of wood with a real axe; however these kind of tasks are undertaken with close supervision of an adult.
6. Children in Germany go to most places Unaccompanied
It is a standard practice to see clusters of kids walk to school, without any adults close by. Even commoner, are sightings of kids who go alone to the supermarket to make purchases and children playing, unattended to at parks and playgrounds.