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Pensioners want kids out of residential areas

The Local · 10 Feb 2011, 08:56

Published: 10 Feb 2011 08:56 GMT+01:00

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Heinz Hilgers, president of the agency, told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung on Thursday that such ideas were the product of a child-phobic culture. “Such things would never have been said 50 years ago,” he said. “Now children are being marginalized.”

He added that it had always been a scandal that noise legislation put children's noise in the same category as industrial noise.

“A sense of community can only be fostered by mutual respect, and comparing a child’s expression joy of life with a jackhammer is not a sign of respect,” he said.

Leonhard Kuckart, deputy chairman of the Christian Democratic Union‘s senior citizen’s organization said that child day care facilities were the source of “unacceptable noise pollution.”

He compared the screaming of children to the “hammering of a pneumatic drill.” He was speaking out in opposition to the government’s plan to allow child centres and kindergartens in all residential areas.

According to Siegmund Chychla of the Hamburg Tenants' Association, disputes over noise from children belongs to the list of most common complaints.

The Berlin city government last year thwarted crotchety complainers with a ban on lawsuits against noise disturbances by children.

Story continues below…

“Noise from playing children is a socially appropriate manifestation of young life and fundamentally tolerable in interest of the preservation of their development,” the Social Democrats’ said in their proposed change to the city’s noise laws.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:38 February 10, 2011 by twisted
Typical German. If it wasn't noise, it would be drafts thru the window. Nation of whiners.

Here is a country that is suffering from low birth rates. If you want parents to have children then there has to be a kindergarten somewhere close for the parents to use for their little ones while they work. Sure the little ones are noise, but that is a sign that they are happy and happiness in children is a wonderful thing.
09:44 February 10, 2011 by Slimtots
One of my first "culture shocks" when I arrived Germany was the dead streets, no sign of life or sound of children playing even around homes that supposedly had kids. I was wondering where the schools and kindergartens were. Of course it was different when I visited some other cities where one could see more kids playing, etc. Sign of life and joy. It should be a welcomed "noise"!
10:07 February 10, 2011 by steve_glienicke
I've lived in Germany 20 years now, and it has always been like this, trying to stifle the life out of kids, to be seen but not heard is a complete disgrace, it's like they have forgot they were also once children! recently moved from our appartment, because of the moaning, it was like living in a altersheim! even the childrens play areas have signs informing that there can be no noise between 1 and 3 in afternoons and playground not to be used after 7 in evening! now how do you tell a 4 year old to keep quiet between certain hours! Germans will tell you they are family orientated...complete C**P trouble is over the last few years it is getting worse because germans have stopped breeding and there is now too many old folks, hardly any surprise there if people are afraid to have kids in case they upset Mr and Mrs crumbly bum living above them! LOL
10:38 February 10, 2011 by PawD
I completely agree with all the above comments... have you ever seen a German laugh out aloud? They just seem to hate any form of noise... generally speaking they all seem like a bunch of zombies... LOL!
10:49 February 10, 2011 by The-ex-pat
My neighbour is just the same. Complains about children noise, yet she bought her house that is directly opposite a Kindergarten. A while back I was stumped for a baby sitter, she offered to do it. When I turned her down, her answer was, "do you think I am kinderfeindlich". It took a every ounce of body strength not to fall to the floor and clutch my sides laughing. After being here for almost 20 years, I have come to the conclusion that Germany (granted, not all) wants children to be seen and not heard. All I can say is thank God I was never a Praktikant, because that is the opposite, being an adult and treated like a child!
13:14 February 10, 2011 by Landmine
live in the city center and I have to say, German kids have loud mouths....
15:58 February 10, 2011 by Gretl
@landmine - you keep proving you don't have kids. American kids are far louder, because we don't stifle them. Perhaps the loudeness is more attributible to the concrete jungle they're being raised in.

If Germans are going to survive, they need to be less narcissitic, and learn to tolerate eachother.
16:43 February 10, 2011 by freechoice
Awe Come On, give a break to the Deutschen would you? Never have I seen the love of babies and kids in Germany than in any other countries! Here all kids gets alot of treats from cashiers...etc...can you imagine where I come from no such offers even existed!!

Germans loved kids!! That's the truth, if only you have one with you when you visit such places!
18:21 February 10, 2011 by aspiadas
My impression is that most germans seem to like kids, especially oaps. At least that is my experience so far. Probably just a case of a few bad apples.
20:14 February 10, 2011 by wood artist
It is unfortunate that this mentality continues, given that many studies have looked at children visiting senior centers and assisted living facilities and found that the residents do much better when they interact with children.

If the worst noise you hear is children playing, you're doing pretty well. Can they be "loud" Sure they can, and sometimes they can even get out of hand. But if the alternative is deathly silence, then perhaps you're a bit too touchy. Taking time to "smell the flowers" can also include enjoying the noise of children too. After all, you don't have to feed them, clothe them, or put up with them at all those other times. Children playing is usually a pretty nice sound.

13:41 February 11, 2011 by lordkorner
On the other hand Americans by and "large" are very loud,its like when a few of them together are walking down the street, their conversation is so audible ,one gets the feeling that they want everyone in close proximity to join in, of course like most of the above comments ,its a generalization .
18:12 February 11, 2011 by rosenthalenglish
My wife and I took our 6 children for a meal in a local hotel.They were a little boistourous and people were making complaints and looking at us.Then a group of adults came into the hotel for a pre-booked function.They made 10 times the noise our children had made and all accepted it as normal and there were no complaints.It is one rule for adults and another for children here in Germany.
22:32 February 11, 2011 by Almeda11
l agree with the comments of FREECHOICE,

but cannot agree with some of the other views expressed here about the germans being a child hating nation.

l was born in Germany , my mother is German, and my father was English, so l have a perspective from both countries. l was brought to England as a baby, and grew up here. However l visit Germany a lot, mainly Darmstadt, Berlin and Koln ,and also stayed for 4 months in Darmstadt, last year and l can tell you they most definitely do not hate children.

ln all the times that l have spent there, never once have l seen a child being shouted at, sworn or hit in the street. Parents there have a lot of patience with their small children, and take the time to explain things and talk to them in a calm, and a nice way. The children in Germany are much calmer than in England, but that doesn`t mean they are repressed, they seem actually to be happier, as well as more independent, compared to their English counterparts. Compare this to what l see in my town in England on a daily basis, which is fraught young mums screaming at their tiny children and using the " f" word, smacking, and shouting at them for nothing at all, just because they are in a bad mood or can`t cope. These young mums` have low self esteem, absolutely no self control, while at the same time expecting their tiny children to show it, why oh why did they bother to have children.

l personally think that if people are so immature, inadequate or problem ridden, then they should sort that out before imposing themselves on a child.

l also worked, on a voluntary basis for the NSPCC, and some of their findings do not make for happy reading, in britain, 1 child is killed at the hands of a parent or care. That is a horrific statistic, and something of which to feel deeply ashamed

lf re-incarnation exists, and l have a choice in the matter, l would never take my chances in England, and even a fairly recent united nations survey, found that Britain`s children were the unhappiest in Europe, and in fact came bottom of the list out of around 31 countries! Maybe because we have so many, noisy, hyperactive children ( and hooligans!) in the uk, that some people think that the German kids are repressed, but from what l`ve seen, they are happier and better adjusted than many in the uk,.
07:22 February 12, 2011 by randyman1956
I've been in Germany for over twenty years and I've never seen a country more protective and considerate of its children. I raised two sons in this system and the Germans were always very supportive. There was one time in a fast food restaraunt where I let my 10 year old son go in front of me to order and an old lady just pushed him out of the way. I quickly admonished her and she was embarrassed. But for the most part, old people are just old people everywhere.

I work on an American air base and I have never seen a German child act or talk the way American kids do. I will admit that Germans show more respect for their dogs than they do for children. Germans can be a little stiff sometimes but I think that exposure to us Americans have loosened them up. Once you get them to unwind, they're a far cry from Zombies. Elderly people need to have children around them. It's the only sign that there is a future.
11:11 February 12, 2011 by Almeda11
"in britain, 1 child is killed at the hands of a parent or carer. That is a horrific statistic, and something of which to feel deeply ashamed"

This was meant to read 1 child PER WEEK!.
19:52 February 12, 2011 by Mingus
Kids (and me) prefer whiner, disheartened, resented, embittered and frustrated pensioners out of residential areas.
21:41 February 12, 2011 by DOZ
Fifty Years ago the Kids weren't Brats like they are now. Keep the untamed mongrels out of all residential areas.
21:55 February 12, 2011 by Aggie.P
Having just moved here with my children, I've had the opportunity to speak with quite a few mothers about the childcare situation here. One woman registered her child shortly after birth and waited two years for a childcare place in her area, which is just bizarre to me. There are about ten kitas very close to my apartment; two have offered interviews, but the rest have said there's no chance. My son, who's three, should get a place in maybe six months if we're willing to travel half an hour each way.

In short, I'm finding it a little hard to believe that there are that many childcare centres clogging up the residential areas. Until then, I'm afraid my 'untamed mongrel' is jumping up and down and running the risk of making people's ceilings echo because he's stuck with his mother all day.
09:02 February 13, 2011 by storymann
@Almeda11 anything is better than being brought up in England.

England is a Euro member that demonstrates what happens when immigration is out of control.
11:57 February 13, 2011 by sabine1960

Can you honestly say that there are many children in England playing in the streets? l hardly see any, many are too busy on their computers or being ferried by Mum and Dad in the car!! On the other hand, whenever l`m in Germany, l see plenty of children riding their bikes, through the town or in a park, the children also tend to play in the many parks around, some of which have boating, netball, table tennis or a gliding rope to take you from one tree to another, or, in a designated children`s area, this is usually used by younger children.
12:07 February 13, 2011 by Almeda11
DOZ --Fifty Years ago the Kids weren't Brats like they are now. Keep the untamed mongrels out of all residential areas.

I`ve often found that the so called " brats" very often come from homes where the parents are also guilty of brattish behaviour and have no respect for society, their children or themselves, so don`t blame the children, they are just victims of their parents lifestyles and attitudes, and children copy what they see around them!!

lf you want to see some real " brats" come back to england, it`s a breeding ground for dysfunctional families, binge drinkers,aggresive, defensive attitudes, violent crime, and fat people, l think you`d be running back to Germany in no time
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