Raising independent children | Open your heart - Artikel | Open your heart | DW | 26.09.2016

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Open your heart - Artikel

Raising independent children

Young people in Germany leave home relatively early to study at university or do professional training. Parents place a lot of importance on raising children who are independent and can stand on their own two feet.


On average, most families in Germany have one to two children. Most young people leave home and move into their own apartments as soon as they are 18, when they are considered adults. Many young people move to another city to study at university or do professional training and some even spend a year abroad.

In Germany education is compulsory

Education is an important part of raising children in Germany and attending school is compulsory. This means that, depending on the state, children need to go to school for up to 10 years. If they miss too much time at school, then there are consequences for the parents because it is their responsibility that their children go to school.

When children are in school, it is important that parents take part in their education. There are regular parent-teacher conferences and evening meetings that parents take part in. During these meetings with teachers, parents can learn more about how their children are performing in school and identify strengths and weaknesses. Parents receive advice on how to provide more support to their children. Parents can also get advice from teachers on how to continue with their children's education as they move on to secondary school.

Children are not to be hit

Children must be raised with respect and without violence. Also at school, children are not to be hit or punished excessively. Girls and boys normally go to the same school and go to gym class together. Sometimes field trips are organized where the entire class travels together. These trips are an important part of the education process. If parents can't afford these trips, then there is usually the opportunity to receive financial support from a booster club.

Parents place a lot of importance on raising children who quickly become independent and can stand on their own two feet. Some children receive an allowance so they can buy things they want. At the same time, they learn how to independently manage a fixed amount of money. Many young people also have summer jobs to earn a bit of spending money.

Young people decide about relationships on their own

Parents do not tend to interfere with their children choosing a partner. They let their children decide independently who they want to have a relationship with and it is accepted that they will also make mistakes during this time. Young people should discover for themselves what kind of relationship they prefer.

It is not normal in Germany for parents to choose partners for their children. Most young people have more than one partner before they decide who they want to spend their time with. And even then, they may not have a wedding. Some people live.

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