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Kinder Haben Rechte

In Germany, many people told me, "We worry about our children here." As if Americans don't worry about and love their children. 

Yet, there is a sense of truth to their words. In a paranoid sort of way. The parents of Germany are so obsessed with doing the right thing by their children that they are burdened by their self-inflicted laws. 

And it's taking a toll on all of them. 
But the ones that will pay the highest price are the children themselves. 
As an au pair, and comparing stories with my au pair friends, I saw a very, very common trend:

Children who were so ingrained with the knowledge of their rights that they had become entitled and lost all sense of what it meant to respect another individual, especially adults. 
Because adults are basically there to ensure children's rights and desires.

The au pairs would tell me they had never seen children like these before. Yes, the au pairs were from Indonesia, Mexico, Columbia, and various other places where the cultures are vastly different from what even we Americans are accustomed to. And yet, the shock of the other au pairs was akin to my own. 

"The mother literally never has peace because they are all always yelling at each other. My grandpa would have whipped me if I had dared create such an unnecessary scene," one friend told me. 

"You do know spankings are illegal in Germany," I told my friend. 

"Really?" He said incredulously. "Why?"

"Because children have the right to not be treated with violence." 

The friend pondered that. "That's good, I suppose. But spanking is not violence." 

Something that was very common was to hear a child say, "Ich finde das unfair." I find that unfair, or that is unfair. Yes, American children say this, too. But never had I heard it so often as I heard it in German. Always, whether it was because the child didn't have a meal that suited their tastebuds, or because someone else picked the t.v. show twice in a row, or because they didn't have a say in the family outing plans, or because they were asked to do a chore when they had other plans. 

But what stunned me most, was that no matter how silly or unreasonable, the parent often catered to the child to make sure it was fair in everyone's eyes. Yes, a long, grueling, impossible task.

I've never seen so many violent, angry children as I had in Germany. 
And the utter selfishness of the child shocked me. 

I can not understand how a child could hit another child, or even an adult without feeling remorse. I've never been so stunned as to see that same child enraged if you'd dare touch them or bump into them or ANYTHING that invaded their personal, holy space. And then they'd quote to you how children have the right to not be hurt by an adult as they attack you violently and verbally.  
I'd try to rationalize with the child. But nothing was possible until their tirade was finished. And even then, they could never see what they had done was awful and appalling. It mattered not if you meant it, what mattered is they felt violated and you must pay.

It may be that most of the children I know in the States were raised by conservative parents, or at least parents who value disciplined, respectful children. Though, this isn't fair of me to say, for I do know many, many unruly American children and I did meet a few respectful German children, including some of those which I cared for. 

In Germany, there seemed to be a united, urged method of raising children in the direction that the child wishes and desires. Little to no accountability on the child's part. These children, as a result, are overall spoiled and selfish. They are neither responsible nor respectable. Their mouths are constantly running, never content to obey on the first instruction. 

I've heard there's a philosophy behind this constant questioning. When the second world war was over, the Germans were asked, "How could you have let this evil happen?" 

And they replied, "We were only doing what we were told." 

And so now they say they are trying to build a nation where no one does what they are told without thoroughly questioning it. The Holocaust will not be repeated because they are raising a nation of free thinkers, of individuals who question authority. Of people that always ask, "Why?" 

Which, in theory, I believe is good.
But I did not see people asking "why?" about things that mattered, but asking "Why must I have to do anything I do not wish to do?"

Germans believe they are free because of the rights and rules. 
But are they truly free in all their regulations? Yes, they question the authority of the parent and of the church. But what of the authority of the state that sends the parent to prison for choosing to homeschool? And do they even question the authority of the state? As long as it's not Nazism they seem to think it must be good. 

What of a girl who is questioning many of German's most dear beliefs? Naomi Seibt, a young girl questioning every belief she's been told to accept as fact, is slandered as a Nazi simply because she is not a Leftist. 

Yes, we should not raise children that blindly obey. But there's also a time for immediate obedience. And children, while very smart, do not usually know better than adults. Yes, they should be allowed to question. It is good for parents to tell a child why. But there shouldn't be constant bickering. It is not healthy for a child's own mind to be continually arguing for the sake of arguing. And what of when they mature into adults? No employer is going to want to hire one who backtalks every order and direction. 

Germany is not building a nation of free-thinking individuals but of scared, conforming adults and spoiled children. Both scream, "It is unfair!" And to this, the government showers them with a salve of socialism. 

Yes, children have rights. 
But it's also our duty to keep children on a righteous path. Teach them their God-given rights, but also teach them to be like Jesus. As a parent, make sure your child is safe and secure, but also teach them how to be selfless and loving. Show them how to be a working piece of society, not a sore thumb ready to lash out at anyone. Show them how to give of themselves, to forget what's fair for self and think of others more.

This is not to say all families were this way. I met many wonderful children while in Germany. And children from all over the world, to some degree, have that natural inclination to whine. All children say, "It is unfair." But most parents know it's not grounds for bartering. 

In the States, I believe it is more accepted to teach children what is worth wanting, and how to achieve that. In Germany, they are told it is their right, just yell louder and they might get it.
Here, it is more accepted that you get what you want by being kind and working hard; and that if you don't get it, maybe that's because it's really not all that good for you.

In some ways, I feel sorry for the parents who must live with children who they are forbidden to properly discipline. It's not that I judge any of the parents, or believe they are guilty of some great sin foreboding over Germany's future. 

Except are they actually innocent?

Parents are only ... doing what their government and teachers tell them to do; to raise children that question what they are told to do. 

The parent can't question. To question would mean losing their children and possibly facing imprisonment.

Germany has tried so very hard to be so unlike their past that it is choking them. If only they would forget, and if the rest of us would let them forget. If only they would stop trying to be as much unlike the past and simply be whole. When you strive to become the opposite of what you hate, rather than to try for love and purity, you often become similar to that which you despised.

If only they could thrive and live now toward a future of bright, loving citizens. 

If only they could stop memorizing their rights and start acting on righteousness. 
If only they could stop trying to do the opposite of their wrongs and start doing what is right. 

And let us take a lesson and learn from this. 
Let us not raise children that scream, "This is unfair for me," but raise children that help others in need. 
Let us not raise children that hit adults, but raise children that love people. 
Let us not raise children that argue, but children that think and know when to ask the appropriate questions, and how to debate respectfully.

Disclaimer: I loved many, many children in Germany, especially the children I lived with. One can see something about people and not like those things and still love the people dearly. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, basically. This is not an attack against any of the dear children and people I grew to love in Germany, but against the ideas and philosophies keeping many good Germans in bondage. It is also a warning to all those in the States who would raise their children as Europeans do.

In accordance with Jordan Peterson's fifth rule, "Do Not Let Your Children Do Anything That Makes You Dislike Them", may we raise children that we love and are proud of because they love outside of themselves. 


  1. They are kinda being taught that they are entitled to everything which doesn't make for a free market. They end up thinking they shouldn't have to work for anything. I mean it's every where even here.

    1. That's exactly right! Though in Germany they don't claim to be or want a free market. At least they are more honest about their socialism in Germany ;)


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