The Jugendamt visited my home

74 posts in this topic

One way to comfort yourself, @expatparent, is to decide that the report was made by someone who really was concerned about your child and who didn't know you; perhaps was responding to a something said by another person who also didn't know you. This lets you accept the casual neighborly conversations as friendly remarks that you can respond to in kind.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, jeba said:

Yes, but that´s a big IF. And in this case you don´t even know who to sue a it was an anonymous hint. Plus you´d need to prove that they really knew the accusation was false and they weren´t really concerned for the child´s wellbeing

 

Agreed, that's pretty much the bleak point I'm making, The system works as well as it can in it's current form, almost any authority can be abused by unscrupulous people for this kind of attack and there isn't a lot anyone can do, apart from make sure that if a report is found to be false for any reason, then the people under investigation can be debriefed and looked after properly to make sure any stress and anxiety can be minimised.

 

It's that horrible situation where you have to weigh up putting people off reporting possible, genuine problems and causing undue stress for families that are innocent.  It seems that this is one of those situations where one thing can only be done in exclusion of the other. So the only real solution would be to minimise the stress caused to families who stand accused after the fact by giving them some kind of counselling if they want to take it up.  I know it would be a matter of cost, but even a once monthly seminar style group meeting in a city or public facility (or church?) would be better than nothing, meeting with other families who have been through the same as you, having the chance to say what you need to say out loud, and having advice on how to move on. 

 

Having thought on this for a while I think I would find it really hard to move on from something like this, it would leave a constant sour taste in my mouth and I'm not sure I'd feel safe either. Constantly wondering who it was, why and if they did this maliciously or if I had given the impression I provided a bad home would totally erode my faith in people. I'd want some sort of closure.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, DaringD said:

Having thought on this for a while I think I would find it really hard to move on from something like this, it would leave a constant sour taste in my mouth and I'm not sure I'd feel safe either. Constantly wondering who it was, why and if they did this maliciously or if I had given the impression I provided a bad home would totally erode my faith in people. I'd want some sort of closure.

Maybe I´m insensitive (and my GF does indeed say that insults/attacks towards me are like water on a duck´s back) but to me making such a mountain out of such a molehill this is borderline psychopathological. Someone had a false suspicion, it was cleared favourably and the case was closed. Nothing more to see here. Move on.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, katheliz said:

One way to comfort yourself, @expatparent, is to decide that the report was made by someone who really was concerned about your child and who didn't know you; perhaps was responding to a something said by another person who also didn't know you. This lets you accept the casual neighborly conversations as friendly remarks that you can respond to in kind.

 

 Just want to quote this because it bears repeating.

 

Staying up at night wondering who is out to get you will do nothing for you.

 

People will talk about us amongst themselves (there is no escaping that, no matter who or where you are), facts will get twisted (deliberately or incidentally) and stuff can happen.

 

There is just as much chance that at some point along the grapevine someone developed a genuine concern for your child!

 

Remember also that in Germany, people who keep to themselves are very often seen as strange and antisocial (speaking from 1.4 decades of personal experience).  To my mind, from what you have described about your life and taking into account your general tone around your situation and your family as relates to your neighborhood, there is ample chance that someone objected to your child maybe not playing at the park with all the other working class neighborhood kids.  They might have the impression that you think you're too good to mix with them, and become concerned as "socializing" your children with other children from a young age is universally considered to be of huge importance in Germany. Failing to do so could indeed amount to neglect in a lot of people's eyes.  Chalk it up to cultural differences (maybe that's why they asked so much about your nationality).

 

That doesn't make them bad, it doesn't make you bad (or special), it doesn't mean anything at all except there is a HUGE possibility someone really thought they were doing good, is not out to get you, and nothing more will happen.  The JA thankfully doesn't see a problem with how you raise your kid and other people's opinions do not need to matter.

 

Try to get some sleep, worrying will not solve anything.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jeba said:

Maybe I´m insensitive (and my GF does indeed say that insults/attacks towards me are like water on a duck´s back) but to me making such a mountain out of such a molehill this is borderline psychopathological. Someone had a false suspicion, it was cleared favourably and the case was closed. Nothing more to see here. Move on.

 

Well I'm going to guess that you don't have kids.  Me before kids vs me after kids is like chalk and cheese and not just in relation to them, but I find overall I'm much more emotional than I was and socially analytical.

 

OP would have to speak for themselves but in my own case I can say it would be about 10% annoyance which (easy to overcome), 20% social anxiety that I might be giving off the impression I don't look after my kids properly (also not so hard to move on from), 20% wondering if it's personal and deliberate attack (not so easy since it calls into question the motives of everyone you know, but again, perhaps with a little time something I could get past) and then the last 50% is the sure knowledge that someone has the power to take my kids away from me, and now I'm on their radar (this is the one that would plague me). Knowing in theory that this is possible is one thing, but like most theoretical "threats" the reality and severity doesn;t tend to hit you in the face until it's knocking on your door, then it becomes a reality.

 

For what it's worth, I don't think you are insensitive, I think you might actually have genuine sociopathic tendencies, not understanding other peoples feelings or emotional reactions and being regarded by people that know you well as cold or insensitive are two pretty reliable markers.

 

Have you ever tried feeding a cat to a cash machine?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, DaringD said:

Well I'm going to guess that you don't have kids.

You guessed wrongly. I have 2 kids and I took 6 years of parental leave to look after them myself because I didn´t want them to be raised by strangers. And when my wife died I gave up my career to keep on raising them in a country where I could afford a private remedial school to help getting my daughter who was traumatised by her mom´s death back on track. So I do think I know what it means to have children. But I also know the difference between some minor hassle and a real catastrophic event.

 

31 minutes ago, DaringD said:

Have you ever tried feeding a cat to a cash machine?

What are you trying to say? I don´t understand.

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, dessa_dangerous said:

 

 Just want to quote this because it bears repeating.

 

Staying up at night wondering who is out to get you will do nothing for you.

 

People will talk about us amongst themselves (there is no escaping that, no matter who or where you are), facts will get twisted (deliberately or incidentally) and stuff can happen.

 

There is just as much chance that at some point along the grapevine someone developed a genuine concern for your child!

 

Remember also that in Germany, people who keep to themselves are very often seen as strange and antisocial (speaking from 1.4 decades of personal experience).  To my mind, from what you have described about your life and taking into account your general tone around your situation and your family as relates to your neighborhood, there is ample chance that someone objected to your child maybe not playing at the park with all the other working class neighborhood kids.  They might have the impression that you think you're too good to mix with them, and become concerned as "socializing" your children with other children from a young age is universally considered to be of huge importance in Germany. Failing to do so could indeed amount to neglect in a lot of people's eyes.  Chalk it up to cultural differences (maybe that's why they asked so much about your nationality).

 

That doesn't make them bad, it doesn't make you bad (or special), it doesn't mean anything at all except there is a HUGE possibility someone really thought they were doing good, is not out to get you, and nothing more will happen.  The JA thankfully doesn't see a problem with how you raise your kid and other people's opinions do not need to matter.

 

Try to get some sleep, worrying will not solve anything.

It's also not unusual to have people comment on what you are doing with your kid when you are out.

Giving them ice-cream at such a young age, still using a dummy, not pushing them to walk yet, still not on solid foods, what - going back to work and putting giving them to a day mother at that young age, what - you are staying home and not putting the with a day mother.

 

All just examples of what has been said to us and others we know.

Generally they are just comments, they think they are helping. At other times it comes from inside the other person, you're not doing what they are doing and they need you to do what they are doing as if other things work, they may be wrong.

 

It's best to try not to lose sleep over it. That can be more easily said than done at times.

 

 



 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, jeba said:

You guessed wrongly

 

Well, that's what happens when you make wild guesses publicly about someone you don't know.

 

I'm sorry to hear about your experience.

 

At least now I can understand what your scale is and how your measurement of minor to catastrophic works.

 

I would say that even though you have been through things that would probably crush a lot of people, I know from personal experience that the scale from "no problem" to "the worst thing that ever happened to me" changes based on what the worst thing that ever happened to you was.

 

Anyway, it certainly does allow me to understand now why you don't see this as such a big deal.

 

The cat was a reference to American Psycho, my attempt at humor.

 

 

 

 

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/26/2020, 6:12:17, expatparent said:

Thank you very much the responses here thus far.

 

I hope that you all are correct and we will have no more more visits. I am still in shock that this happened to us. We are a very open, normal and friendly family. Why someone felt that they had the right to do this to us is still beyond my comprehension. I do believe whoever did this did this frankly just to hurt us. 

 

I am having trouble sleeping and experiencing panic attacks at night. We love and provide for our child to the upmost of our abilities. The area that we live in is a 'socially destressed' area---very multicultural and economically hit hard by the pandemic.  That is not our family, we are a bit out of the standard in that we are married and in 'white collar' careers. I am not saying we are better--rather that we are not the standard in the neighbourhood. 

 

There are extended relatives who expressed in the past that they do not like how we are rasing our child 'culturally'---two languages, a stay at home parent, postpoining kindergarten until our child is three/four years old. I am not sure if it could have been them who made the report. 

So sorry you experienced this. You do you. How you raise your child is up to you and your spouse. Relatives will always find something. Besides, there is nothing wrong with you staying home or postponing kindergarten. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/29/2020, 12:30:26, cb6dba said:

It's also not unusual to have people comment on what you are doing with your kid when you are out.

Giving them ice-cream at such a young age, still using a dummy, not pushing them to walk yet, still not on solid foods, what - going back to work and putting giving them to a day mother at that young age, what - you are staying home and not putting the with a day mother.

 

All just examples of what has been said to us and others we know.

Generally they are just comments, they think they are helping. At other times it comes from inside the other person, you're not doing what they are doing and they need you to do what they are doing as if other things work, they may be wrong.

 

It's best to try not to lose sleep over it. That can be more easily said than done at times.

 

 



 

 

 

This.  So much this.

 

A few years back, my young daughter and I had some errands to run in the local downtown shopping area, and we walked through a park on the way back.  It was the dead of Winter, and chilly outside.

 

Inside the park my daughter was scampering everywhere, and got hot, so she took her coat off.  She had layers on underneath, so it was not a big deal, I thought.  

 

An elderly woman who was also walking in the park approached us (we get that a lot from the grandmotherly types because my daughter is very cute), told my daughter how pretty she looked, and started asking her questions - “So, where have you been today?  What have you been doing?”  

 

My daughter recited a list of where we had been.  After she answered, the elderly woman, who had been completely ignoring me the whole time, turned to me, gave me the stinkeye, and sneered, “Is this your daughter?"  I replied in the affirmative.  

 

The woman snarked, “She’s not dressed warmly enough,” and stomped off in the typical German huff.  Fun stuff 😊

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Space Cowboy said:

The woman snarked, “She’s not dressed warmly enough,” and stomped off in the typical German huff.  Fun stuff 😊

We know people that live by the rule 'better cold than sweating'...

 

No matter what you do in life, someone, somewhere and at sometime will think you are wrong... 

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had one, many years ago, who stopped us in a carpark to berate me about the fact that kid#3, in a normal pushchair with a rain cover on due to the drizzle, couldn't breathe properly and would suffocate :mellow:.

She just wouldn't let it go, and kids#1, 2 (surely suggesting our pushchair, at least, isn't fatal in some cases) and I stood around like lemons, shocked into idiocy.

 

That's one of those times you look back, and wish you'd just said, 'have a nice day', and got on with your life.:lol: Hey ho.

 

6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, kiplette said:

That's one of those times you look back, and wish you'd just said, 'have a nice day', and got on with your life.:lol: Hey ho.

 

That's what a German would do. I would as well. No one takes it seriously. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Space Cowboy said:

told my daughter how pretty she looked, and started asking her questions

I probably would have stopped the conversation right there. Ok, depends on how old your daughter was. My son is 2 1/2 and whoever addresses him better acknowledges me and "asks" for permission - just a glance to see if it is ok to talk to the child. The vast majority of people do. I can get very German otherwise. 

 

I think that the urge to know everything better when it comes to kids is quite a universal trait though. I have heard people from numerous countries complain that once you have a child, you might as well print an "advice wanted" card and wear it on your head. And guess what: You're doing it wrong!! 

 

I went back to work after maternity leave - Rabenmutter. Oh so great of the father to take on such a challenge :blink:

Our son went to daycare when he was one - Rabenmutter. 

He goes to kindergarten full time now - Rabenmutter. 

I took him on a business trip when he was four months old - Rabenmutter. 

Both my husband and I have hobbies without kids - Rabeneltern! 

Went away for a weekend when he was one and left him with daddy. 

Doesn't wear a hat outside a lot of the time (in 10+ degrees). 

Sometimes gets put in the warm car without a jacket. 

Runs around without socks on tiles in the winter. 

Is allowed to fall over and off things on occasion. 

 

You get the picture.

 

The funny thing is: people only say that about me/us behind my back or - the sneaky approach - praise my husband for being able to take care of his own kid for a day or two, implying that I shouldn't be leaving them alone. No one has ever said anything to my face. I must be giving off a kind or Rottweiler vibe, I guess. Don't know, don't care :D

 

Of course I doubt myself. All the time. I think it is part of raising a child. But not because of people's comments. 

 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now