Behavior of German children while playing

80 posts in this topic

That's it, German children and their parents practice the worst play behavior I've seen anywhere.  Not once in our two years here and frequent visits to playgrounds has anyone told their children to play nicely, stop snatching, or anything regarding politeness.  Now, I understand the German social coldness if you will but there is something to be said for teaching your kid not to be a jerk. This just happened and is a good example of what I mean:

I was outside with my three year old boy kicking the football back and forth when my neighbors arrived home. Their two youngest girls came running and wanted to join so of course I let them, and we all played nicely for a bit. Meanwhile the dad and I were making small talk when the girls went inside and grabbed a hula hoop to play with.  When my kid wanted to play with they refused to let him play and wouldn't let him touch it. When he finally did they ripped out of his hands and he began  getting upset. The dad just stood and watched and I soon ushered my kid back inside.   Now, I'm used to this but for the life of I can't figure it out why they let their kids act like this. 

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And let's be clear...  This isn't a case of my boy not getting what he wants, it's a case of the girls getting everything they want without being told no

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3 hours ago, thatmanphil said:

And let's be clear...  This isn't a case of my boy not getting what he wants, it's a case of the girls getting everything they want without being told no

 

- sounds more to me like total lack of (parentally encouraged) fairness...

If they can play with your son's ball, why can't he play with their hula hoop?

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I think sometimes they expect the victim (or in this case victim's parent) to make the complaint and bring up the situation.

 

I strongly suspect that if you had (nicely) suggested to the girls yourself that of course they need to let him play with their hoop - he has shared his ball, they should share their hoop, that's the kind thing to do, the other Dad would probably have nodded and possibly even agreed out loud, and backed you up. I think sometimes they think that if nothing is said, there isn't a problem.

 

Difference being that we would see sharing as an active taught skill, whereas here it's more that the oppressed party is expected to learn the aggression required to stand up for their rights. I properly hate it, but have come across it in various guises. Similarly there are adults I would cross the street to avoid because a simple conversation requires a level of aggression I find unsettling.

 

I think it's one of the reasons that kindergarten looks like a train smash to me most of the time. 

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Thanks. I guess I've never looked at it that way, but it does make sense.  I will definitely try your recommendation in the near future!   I have seen how adults here have no problem telling other kids how to behave, so perhaps the dad did not want to interfere with what he thought was a lesson I was teaching my kid... Still bizarre since out of all the places we've been, including far east Asia, Germany is the only place we've experienced this.  Live and learn! 

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This behaviour is not just confined to Germany.

 

This is sadly a product of a narcissistic egoistic selfie culture. In the past good deeds were rewarded, bad deeds were punished. It is now almost illegal to punish anyone anymore, even shouting is considered to be bad. Teachers cannot control the children at school, parents cannot tell their children off.

 

We have gone from one extreme to another.

 

It gets to the point "Buy me a new IPAD or I call the Jugendamt"

 

It is not the good of the many, but sadly the Me, myself and I society.

 

Bigger, better faster, more.

 

And it is easier to say yes to a child, than to say no and deal with a temper tantrum.

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Maybe it's better to raise your children to be well-behaved instead of punishing them afterwards for bad behavior.  Yes, it takes more effort to pay attention and to stop behavior from escalating, but it can be done.

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15 hours ago, katheliz said:

Maybe it's better to raise your children to be well-behaved instead of punishing them afterwards for bad behavior.  Yes, it takes more effort to pay attention and to stop behavior from escalating, but it can be done.

 

This is off-topic as the original poster wasn't advocating punishing the child for not sharing. However, I just had to chip in when "positive parenting" is mentioned. I have been an au pair many times, a nanny and worked in kindergartens and schools and seen all kinds of styles of parenting but positive parenting is the worst. You get generally sweet kids that are completely screwed up by their parents feeling unable to discipline. A friend of mine works as an au pair and has dog shit flung at him, many of his things destroyed, a gash to the head that needed stitches by being hit by a stick. This was a 6 year old. The mum just sat him down and asked why he was feeling angry and said that it made the au pair sad. It doesn't stop the bad behaviour. I have also babysat for a family that used "positive parenting".. a 4 year old sat in the face of his grandma's elderly carer and a 6 year old poured water on my food so I couldnt eat it. No consequences for either. 

 

. In any situation, children look for leadership - to see who is in charge and can guide them. When they realise it is them that is in charge then this type of thing happens. I have never yet seen a family in which positive parenting leads to anything other than this extreme behaviour. As well as it not being good for the kids - dont you believe in social justice? If your kid treats someone else badly and that person is harmed by it then they should be punished. Many these children grow up to be more confident able adults - maybe-  but in the meantime everyone else has to suffer the natural behaviour of your kids trying to, naturally, get everything they want out of life often at the cost of those around them.

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On 7/7/2017, 5:08:10, thatmanphil said:

Now, I'm used to this but for the life of I can't figure it out why they let their kids act like this. 

 

Can you give another example of when this happened? I haven't noticed that. I find German children to be much more polite than in other countries I've lived in.

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2 hours ago, Atrag said:

In any situation, children look for leadership - to see who is in charge and can guide them.

 

This is very true - for older children as well. I was having a conversation with one of my Nachhilfeschüler - a 13 year old boy. I asked him which of his teachers he didn't like the most. He said his French teacher. When I asked him to explain why, he said: "Well, actually she's quite nice, but she isn't authoritarian enough. So we walk all over her - it's fun. 

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2 hours ago, Atrag said:

In any situation, children look for leadership - to see who is in charge and can guide them. When they realise it is them that is in charge then this type of thing happens.

 

I agree, "positive parenting" is the worst. People are not born knowing what is right or wrong, they need to be taught morality, and also that there are consequences if they do something wrong.

 

This book is a perfect example:-

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_of_the_Flies

 

 

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I remember reading an article when my children were small that said being a child is like being an adult in a very dark room.  Our instinct is to reach out for the walls to find where the boundries are.  Well, it's the same for children, they push their parents to see where their broundries are, and once they find them, they feel more secure because they know they can depend on their parents to look after them.

 

I've never forgotten that and I brought my children up with that in mind.  As they got older, they could negotiate, but as parents, we have to be the "bosses" of the household and set boundries, otherwise there's chaos.

 

As for children and adults here in Germany, I think they're much the same as anywhere else, there's good and bad, or people who raise their kids as you do and other's who don't.  I suspect it's like that everywhere, especially these days where people are much more mixed and from different backgrounds.

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I certainly agree with you folks saying kids need boundaries and yes , for the most part parents everywhere are more permissive lately.  But in the US, England, France, Spain, Italy, Japan and other places we've been with our son the common theme is "children should play nicely".  Only in Germany have I seen parents literally watch their kids be jerks to others without a word.  Only in Germany have I seen parents who avoid any kind of interaction with other adults when their children have an issue. 

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Years ago I was at an outdoor pool with my two young children.  We had a widely available iinflateable    with us.  Anyway, we left it by one pool and went away for a bit.  When we returned it was gone.    However we spotted a child playing in the water with it.  She was having fun, so let her carry on for a bit, then my kids got restless and they asked for it.. Child's mother crossly intervened and  refused.  From what she said we thought they must have the same one (it was an Alldi one),  So we had a good look around without any luck.  However a bit later child got off the bloody thing, and yep, there was our family name written on it  ... Hilarious!  When I asked the woman about this she was ever crosser!

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2 hours ago, snowingagain said:

 Child's mother crossly intervened and  refused.  

That is just bizarre! But not certainly not surprising.  Thanks for sharing! 

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Reading this thread brought back fond memories of the day I posted about below on another thread, NOT. 

 

Here's a link to the thread "Unsupervised Children do You Say Something About Their Behavior.  Even though some parents may get upset when you say something to their child about their behavior, I still think adults have a responsibility to say something  when warranted to children about their behavior when their parents aren't around or if the parent, as in this case, was standing right there but was obviously absent from addressing the situation or maybe he didn't see the problem. This was a teachable moment for the OP to NOT RELY ON PARENTS TO ADDRESS DIFFICULT BEHAVIORS, ESPECIALLY IF IT'S UNFAIR TO YOUR CHILD OR OTHERS, SAY SOMETHING YOURSELF TO THE CHILD. It was also a teachable moment to talk to your children about what happened and about sharing. 

 

I've witnessed politeness in German children and I've also witnessed behaviors  that left me wondering about the adequacy of parenting skills.  Over the last 21 years I've lived here, I've also witnessed more times than I'd like to remember really obnoxious behaviors in the German adults, so it's not surprising to me the OP and others have had negative experiences with children as they are an extension of their parents. 

 

There's always glimmers of hope though,  the other day I was walking downtown in the city square and there was a mother with her two young children playing cat and mouse games. The little boy ran past me and said "excuse me" in German he looked like he was about three years old.

 

 

On 10/20/2016, 6:13:37, Lavender Rain said:

On October 3rd, I was at my favorite Thai restaurant having lunch. I was sitting at a table at the bottom of  4 stairs.  At the restaurant there's no mobile data or phone call  reception.   There was this kid who looked to be about 8 or 9 years old  whom kept going back and forth from  his table, past my table,  up the stairs and then a few minutes later he would jump back down creating a booming sound as I ate my  lunch. He had the phone in his hand so I'm assuming he was doing something with the mobile data while standing outside the restaurant.   It was annoying as hell that sound.  After about the sixth  time, I mentioned it to the waitress and she said she was annoyed by his behavior too. So she went over and talked to his parents who were sitting with  five other adults at a table further back.    

 

Five minutes after the waitress informed me she had spoken with the child's dad about him disturbing customers  with the jumping, sure enough the child came back and jumped down the stairs again.  I said to the child "this is not good what you're doing jumping down the stairs". Like a little brat, he went and reported me to his father.  Then the child and his father showed up at my table and the dad asked the boy to demonstrate to him what  he was doing on the stairs.

 

Then the dad had the gall to say to me I'm  not suppose to say anything to his child. I was suppose to come to talk with dad about my concern about his child. 

I told the dad, " look the waitress have already told you he was disturbing other guests and  he continues to disturb me with that booming sound when he jumps down the stairs." I told the dad this is a restaurant, not a playground and he's jumped down the stairs about 8 times now.  Then the dad looked at me and said in a menacing warning  "take care" and I looked at him and said " you take care too". 

 

The dad was heading in the direction of his table when he said take care to me, but when I said take care back he immediately turned around and marched his ass  to the restaurant owner to report me.  Little did he know, I've known the owners for twenty years now. So on the way out the owner said I was right. Then a few days later when I visited again the owner's wife said to me "I understand there was a problem the last time you were here and I know because I called the restaurant during the time the child was jumping and she said she heard the booming noise too and asked her husband what was the noise". They gave me free wine when I stopped in for a takeout order for my troubles of having to be subjected to that annoying child.

 

I wouldn't have said anything to the child if the parents had told the child to stop when the waitress informed the parents of  the concern. When he didn't stop after the parents had been informed I thought it was within my rights as an annoyed customer who wasn't going to be inconvenienced by getting up from my lunch to go talk to his parents to say something to the child.  The parents were too busy socializing with their friends they were not observing what the child was doing and apparently they didn't care because the waitress had already told them he was annoying the customers and the parents didn't make him stop.   

 

 

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germany now is from the country in which is forbidden to hit a kid. and i think thats why now the german young population is jerks and c..nts .spoiled. selfish. shallow.
i have notice this and i had problem with neiburs kids playind till 2 a clock in the morning. the cops sayd "kids, we cant control them" . raising the question. who is the leader in this relationship ? the kid ?
so, it depend from you .don't forget that the people don't actually study how to be a parent.
the best you could do is to avoid the german kids. i think this will pay back after 15-20 years then yoyr kids are actuall human beans.

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Germans have a narrow "me only" vision. That's why you never see people holding doors open, leaving any personal space or saying the equivilent of "sorry", "excuse me" etc. I really believe that either the Germans hate each other or are so blinkered that they don't see anyone else. It's a strange culture. 

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1 hour ago, Adem137 said:

Germans have a narrow "me only" vision. That's why you never see people holding doors open, leaving any personal space or saying the equivilent of "sorry", "excuse me" etc. I really believe that either the Germans hate each other or are so blinkered that they don't see anyone else. It's a strange culture. 

I think you said it best, and that most of my negative experiences work backwards from that.  I've gotten used to it as an adult (although it's still bizarre) but when it comes to the children some situations get very stressful. 

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We were on holiday in Austria (just got back today), while we were there we visited a farming museum (yes, packed with excitement but the weather was bad that day).

As we were leaving we passed the small play ground and there was a boys/girls competition on the seesaw.
Was fun to watch the kids running around organising themselves, boys looking for and dragging older boys in, the girls also looking for older girls.

 

 All in all the kids had fun, then.... Well, a smaller boy got a bit sick of the boys not winning. he decided to do something about it and as the floor of the play area was filled with those little stones, he grabbed a handful and threw them at the girls.

 

The girls turned away, even girls around 5 years older, and ignored him. So he picked up another handful and threw. This is what I am told happened as I only noticed when my gf shouted at the little guy to stop throwing stones and how badly behaved and dangerous it is. It was quite loud as all the kids stopped dead in their tracks.

 

 He sat down on the other side of the seesaw and hid for the next 20 minutes. We left then and at no point did I see his parents anywhere. He didn't go to them, they did not comes to us.

This fits with what I see here at home, kids doing their own thing on the play ground but if another parents tells them off, their parents generally do not react.

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