7 Surprising things that German Mothers do

Have you ever wondered about German parenthood?

For a fact that Germany  has a low Fertility rate of 1.44 ( #206 ) as per CIA World Factbook and is lowest in Europe, it is still so much ahead when it comes to be one of the top Expat destinations in raising a child. .After surviving our first 100 Days in Bavaria, I must say that Germany is a very -kid friendly country but there are so many surprising things that I found that German mothers do when raising their kids.

Last weekend,while my daughter was enjoying her Lauffahrrad, (walking bike), we met a friend. She had a daughter that was quite too eager  to go into the bike as well. After chatting while we ran after our toddlers,we immediately become friends. To my surprise, she left her daughter with me because she had to get her phone from their house.Imagine that! I mean, you leave your 15months old child to someone you’ve just met!?

Yes, German mothers do this without any hesitation.

Anyway,here I wanna share with you why I found German women totally  different & has something to be applauded for when it comes to parenting. As an Expat living here, I see these surprising facts on parenting that a German Mutter (or Mother) does in raising independent kids.

1.Take their Kid’s to Biergartens

We all know that Beer is a big part of German culture and here in Bavaria, Oktoberfest in Munich is a serious business.Last September, we experience for the first time their Herbst festival, locally known as Volksfest. Here I saw how German families enjoy 2 week’s of festivities,drinking beer & the travelling carnival. I was surprised to see parents bringing their kids inside a Biergarten. Imagine a big hall filled with adults in Lederhosen & Dirndls saying Prost while indulging with Maß  or mug of Beer.Of course children don’t drink beer but the exposure on this culture is seen very early in their childhood. I even saw a newborn being carried  while his parents are enjoying beer, Pretzel with Currywürst and Volkmusik. In our local Biergartens, babies and toddlers are ever-present with their parents.They really know how to have a good time despite having kids. It is also no surprise that in some Biergartens, there is a play area for kids.

Childhood in Germany – Playtime is everytime !

2. Don’t push “Reading”into their Kids

Most kids in German Kindergarten or Kita don’t focus on academics such as Reading or counting. Play comes first until they are 6. This is what I found out while searching for a Kita for my daughter. The concept of learning in the Kindergarten is based on Play.Lots and lots of Playing. They learn social and interactive skills through playing.While in Philippines that kids are bombarded with ABC’s and academics at a very early stage, their German counterpart are just out there, enjoying outdoors, taking a walk into the forest, playing in the Wasserspielplatz and spending  class outdoors.After all, a child can only experience being 3 only once in her life!

3.The Birth of a child is celebrated the traditional way

From having the Kindsbaum up to placing a Stork in the garden or balcony up to having the Mutterpass, Germany has a very unique way of celebrating Pregnancy and child Birth. I noticed that here in Bavaria, they are placing the Stork to literally announce the birth of their child in the whole neighborhood.

4.The law on German Baby Names is serious

Germany is one of the few countries to have serious Baby-naming Laws! Here, you must be able to tell the gender of the child by the first name, and the name chosen must not be negatively affect the well-being of the child. Also, you can not use last names or the names of objects or products as first names. Whether or not your chosen name will be accepted is up to the office of vital statistics, the Standesamt, in the area in which the child was born. If the office rejects your proposed baby name, you may appeal the decision. But if you lose, you’ll have to think of a different name. Each time you submit a name you pay a fee, so it can get costly. When evaluating names, the Standesamt refers to a book which translates to “the international manual of the first names,” and they also consult foreign embassies for assistance with non-German names. Within 3 months, I have already met 2 friends with same names!

Doing a walk through the city or a hike in the forest is very common among preschoolers where they enjoy outdoor learning on a daily basis.

5.Taking the kids outside,Everyday, Anytime.

Time spent outdoors is very important to infants and kids here in Bavaria. An average German kid spent at least 1 hour of being outside,everyday! I see babies in stroller being walked around for their naps anytime of the day.Even on grey skies. Germans enjoy their nature so much that their lifestyle is centered mostly on spending family times outdoors. I see families cycling together, hiking in the woods, having picnics, or just walking.No matter what the weather is, children needs to be out.Here , there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.Cycling with babies & Toddlers is a great part of German culture and it’s very normal to transport their tiny humans in an Anhänger ( carriage attached to a bike) or in a Kid’s seat. I myself have got my own Bike and a kid seat for my daughter so we can cycle together same as German parents do with their kids.

6.Laid back attitude of German Mutter

If you see a mother running after her child and behaving like a helicopter Mama, probably she is a foreigner.When I see how laid back and relax Germans are with their kids in the playground, I was really shocked. They instill early independency and freedom with their kids that they let them be alone as much as possible,playing by themselves. German Mutters are just sitting there, enjoying their coffee, or chatting with their friends.They let their kids get dirty, climb , and explore.They have learned the art of letting go.

It is very normal as well to see kids going to school alone and riding their bikes.This is also because here in Bavaria, they have great cycling paths. Children are also exposed at an early stage to obey traffic rules.Nobody jaywalks in Germany!

Welcoming school with delight- German Kids during their Einschulung & their giant Zuckertutes!

7.Kids have a party blast when school starts

Here in Bavaria, I have learned that there are  three biggest life events from childhood up to becoming an adult;  Einschulung (starting first grade), Jugendweihe (becoming a young adult) and getting married.

 Einschulung is a huge celebration at the school, normally held on Saturdays and that includes getting a Zuckertutea giant child-sized cone filled with everything from pencils to watches to candy. Almost all shop Then there’s another party afterwards with your family and friends. Einschulung is something German  children look forward to for years. It signals a major life change, and hopefully, an enthusiasm for learning.This is totally  contrast to Filipino parenting that everything becomes serious once school starts. Remember, no more TV,no more playing, only studying.

What do you think of German parenting?

Good luck in raising your multi cultural Expat Baby in Germany!

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