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About zwiebel

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  • Location Berlin
  • Nationality USA
  1. Feeling harassed by children's Kita

    Knowing someone does not mean that you are mandated to leave children with them.  Trust is earned, it is not gained by fiat--even in an Elterninitiative.  Again, the history and current state of these Kita is to provide a smaller forum and certain types of learning practices. It was not about and is not about instilling an insistence that parents avail their times to a bully or to ignore their child's dietary habits.  I appreciate you are trying to sell these Kita as somehow exceptional of the rules, but they simply are not.   
  2. Feeling harassed by children's Kita

    Islamophobe much?  The issue is that, as I have learned, people want compromise for their kids as well (read up) and they are not getting any compromise for their diets as well. It is not that difficult. But you surely seem to have issues with other cultures.  It seems like you out to become more relaxed and learn a bit about these other cultures which you so clearly dislike. :)
  3. Feeling harassed by children's Kita

    To repeat from an earlier post, nothing is to be heated. It is really simple what I send as food--no mess, no worries.  From what I have been told thus far, the teachers are (or one) is feeling resentful of having to accommodate a family that came last year.  This too is not right. But that is the backstory.  
  4. Feeling harassed by children's Kita

    Yes, the irony is that I got hit with the "fed up stick" so to speak. One parent wrote me that they had "already changed so much" to accomodate Muslim children.  I was a bit surprised honestly since most of the Kita I met with in the summer were 100% veg due to the profound numbers of Berlin hippies  So this was weird and frankly, out of line.  We accommodate people because we should regardless of religion or peanut allergies, etc.  I have seen far more restrictive diets in creches in other countries.   I send food cold, not heated.  And like you I see Kitas making compromises happily. I seem to have landed the Kita with a grudge about the compromises it made before we arrived.  
  5. Feeling harassed by children's Kita

      This was the teacher, not the parent. She seemed to think that I should pack pretzels for my child. It was very odd since I have been feeding my children for some time and know what they like and dislike. And the Kita does give chocolate to the children. I was surprised to learn this from my eldest who can talk. They don't ask parents if this is OK either which is a shift from other countries where often, for instance, in the case of a party or birthday, will put all sweets in a bag and hand it to the parent at the door.  But I don't mind this so much (even if I am strict about sweets). I am just concerned that I have essentially been told to bring a German meal. When she said this, my reaction was to state that he likes the food I give him. She said she gave him a pretzel because he saw others with pretzels. So I said that it is inevitable that children will want to eat what others have when they are so tiny.  So where they give chocolates and we have no say, I am willing to concede. Where I send non-German food, they want to shift this.  We shall didn't feel right to me to be honest.  
  6. Feeling harassed by children's Kita

    Yes, the same rules apply. I found this document because it is referred to a dozen times in my contract.  I have also consulted with a lawyer who specialises in human rights, and parents do have certain rights concerning their child's diet. And freedom from a dozen missives sent to them when having made such a request. :)
  7. Feeling harassed by children's Kita

    I will argue against silly cultural relativism. Argue back if you wish, but don't be surprised if I call out what looks, walks and talks like racism.
  8. Feeling harassed by children's Kita

    You ought to familiarise yourself with the law on this matter.  Parents making reasonable requests about diet which require the Kita to do absolutely nothing other than ensure that a child not eat from another's meal is not irregular.  This is done at Kita's across the country when children have allergies, intolerances, etc.   I'm going to take a guess that you don't read much given that you have taken my story out of context. When you meet with these centres, the first thing is that you state your needs, and so do they. We did this.  Kita's are obliged to meet health needs of parents.  
  9. Feeling harassed by children's Kita

    Sure. But there is a PDF available here: The  § 1 is particularly useful to any parent who is an immigrant to Germany and who is being pressured about diet, etc.  There is much more in there about supporting parents who work or study. This is a good start. I have other documents/links on my home computer I will try to post later.  (At work.)
  10. Feeling harassed by children's Kita

    1. Relationships are formed over time--not by bullying, not by fiat. I am sure you know this. 2. His request was not "friendly" in the least. The two months wait was not our overall wait for a Kita--that was going on from long before. We were accepted into this Kita and then had to wait another two months from the acceptance. 3. Good for your friend who is a brain surgeon.  Clearly she has the economic means to do so.  Most people do not--especially freelancers.  Your response here is purely heartless. If I say that meeting up would cause me an economic hardship, I mean just that.  I have to earn money and I have no time to meet up with a parent whose children I will understand aurally half of what i can understand in writing. My free time these months will occur at about midnight when I have finished my work for the day as I work after my children sleep. I cannot believe your barometer of normal is someone with a brain surgeon's salary!   4.  The parent is bullying me, I have spoken to a lawyer who has assured me that I am in no obligation to meet a parent who is behaving in this way. I have made it quite clear that I am happy to discuss everything with the teachers since it is they who have the problem with my children's diet. He is just piling on instead of allowing a dialogue to occur naturally with the teacher.  
  11. Feeling harassed by children's Kita

    Indeed, there is time to plan a bit. The "like that" was in reference to without asking any parents their availaibility to take three days off work? And it refers to learning that there will be no alternative childcare. I have already volunteered several times at the Kita. I have no issue with helping out, but as I told them when I joined, my availability to help would be outside the Kita hours (ie. I can do many of the tasks that can transpire after hours like cleaning, shopping, etc).  I was quite clear and they were fine with this.  
  12. Feeling harassed by children's Kita

    You wrote The situations you are outlining seem to be the norm in Berlin Kitas, at least in the 2 Kitas I have experience with, and based on my conversations with other friends who have children attending Kitas. I would not at all consider it harassment. The Kita teachers are constantly providing us with 'feedback', I smile, nod, and listen to their advice attentively even if I don't 100% agree with it. I'm more interested in keeping them happy enough to keep my kid happy. If they want me to have my kid bring 2 pieces of bread instead of one, or wear different shoes, that requires basically zero effort on my part, so I'll just do it. The short notice closures are annoying, but there seems to be a general expectation that there are 2 parents and one should always be available to pick up the kids if the Kita can't accommodate. Our Kita always offers the possibility to have alternative arrangements, for example, if they need to close due to training or staff meetings, but they usually require a justification (in the form of a note from one's job for example). We never bothered with that, we're fortunate in that one of us can always pick up the kid.   The amount of communication and insistence is very much harassing.  It is not the teachers, but this one parent now.  It wasn't that they were asking me to bring more food in the end--they wanted me not to bring Asian food, rice, etc. The email I have thus received is wholly xenophobic regarding their having already made concessions for Muslims, etc.  I work in this field and recognise quite well people are being bullied or simply denied the right to assess their children's diet.   I can't comment about painting the Kita because I do not have any direct experience with 'Parent Initiative' Kitas. I can tell you parents are expected to chip in for several hours at a time when there is an event at our Kita (like a Sommerfest, Christmas party). We have a big Kita with 120 kids, so it's never been an issue. I have never raised an issue about the work in the Kita. Parents' time needs to be considered and not mandated. The issue is that this trip was made where it would be impossible for people with smaller children to partake. So then we are landed with two issues: how to paint a Kita with zero childcare, plus the expectation to take three days off work. One day is reasonable. Three, not really. Also, if you ask a question on TT, be prepared to get answers you don't like and don't agree with. There's no need to get defensive. If you want agreeable advice from people, ask your friends face to face. I'm sure they'll tell you you're right and everything else you want to hear. If you want honest, raw advice about Germany from people who know how the 'system' works here, and from people who don't know you and do not care about hurting your feelings, then TT is definitely the right place. This is a bit pedantic given the hostility of some of the answers above. "How things are in Germany" is that parents actually do have a say in their child's diet, religious needs, etc.  I don't think telling a parent to change Kitas when some Kitas are pushing the boundaries of the law is helpful.  That there is a shortage of spaces does not make the 'bad guy' here.  But the aggression coming from people feels a bit nationalist and wholly uninformed. There are charters in place to protect the rights of parents and I would suggest you look them up. I have.  
  13. Feeling harassed by children's Kita

    I would understand if they had to stay. But not only do parents have keys, every single day I pick up my kids five minutes before closing, there is this other parent who comes at the very last minute, even late.  He is not getting this treatment I am receiving.  I was told that the pick up was any time before 16:00 and every other parent does this. The teachers go at 16:00 regardless of what stage we are in getting coats or boots on. This was an issue I have clarified and it would seem that teacher was just focussing on me for whatever her personal issues are.  I am new there and doing exactly like other parents in terms of arrival and pick up.    
  14. Feeling harassed by children's Kita

    Uh, I am being pressured, harassed really.  I would call that a complaint sure.  Do I want to change them? I want them to stop harassing me. A collective does not mean a cult. It does not mean that new members are expected to ship children off because older members do.  This is very unhealthy behaviour and can happen when groups are homogenic and used to the loudest person who shouts getting his/her way, having control of the group.  What I see happening is that they don't take newer people into consideration for the Kita and expect everyone to be one homogenous bloc. But in reality all people are different and have different needs.  The funny part of this is that thees Elterninitiative re supposedly more open and loose in structure to allow for children to grow. But what I am seeing is a very homogenising and rigid structure with a dash of intolerance for others, newer people. I am not expecting them to change how they interact. I am asking that they consider my children's diet & my work schedule.  If my contract (I checked) says to pick up children by 16:00, it seems a bit excessive that they are finding fault with that as well.  Respecting dietary needs is pretty standard at any Kita no matter public  or private. Having parents pile on seems odd, at best.  I get the feeling that they don't deal well with difference. I am not asking that they change how they do things, but given that other parents needs are also not being met with the food sharing, it is an occasion for a dialogue, not persecution.
  15. Feeling harassed by children's Kita

    LOL True that. It just feels like I was dumped upon and now the parents who have benefited from the silence are taking it out on me... *sigh   But you are right, this happens everywhere