• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

How would children run your family?

The Local · 25 Apr 2012, 16:33

Published: 25 Apr 2012 16:33 GMT+02:00

Jochen and Helga Metzger put their 10- and 13-year-old children in charge of the family for four weeks, coming out the other end having begged for pocket money and gone to work without any lunch.

Although things were tight financially with the kids in charge, and Helga was once banned from watching television for "cheeky behaviour," it seems the Metzgers got off lightly.

Other children suddenly put in charge of their family might send their parents to bed and stay up all night watching vampire films – or blow the shopping budget on a pony.

The weekly walk in the country might be replaced with a mandatory trip to the theme park for scary rides, while teeth-brushing and hair-washing would likely be abandoned.

So did the Metzger children's unusual restraint just reflect their characters, or did the experiment reveal deeper truths about child - and adult - psychology?

What would you fear if the children were put in charge – and what would you secretly want them to do? Have your say below.

Story continues below…

Registered users of The Local may add their comments in the field below. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so here – it’s free and only takes a moment.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:56 April 25, 2012 by MeinSchwanz
There are many similarities between Children and parts of our society.

Children want food, shelter, and medical services provided to them for free. Children believe their parents (leaders) to be moral, just and wise. Children think that people who won't cooperate or think like them are mean, or just dumb. Children deeply believe in things that don't exist. Children believe that their behavior influences things that don't exist. Children shouldn't play with guns, smoke or drink. Children think their parents have unlimited wealth and power, some wish their Leaders had unlimited wealth and power. Children aren't overly masculine or feminine, some in society don't want gender roles. Children get very upset if their parents are made fun of or intellectually challenged, some get very angry when their leader is ridiculed or challenged.
11:07 April 26, 2012 by Dayzee
The only thing this experiment reflected was that the children knew that once the month was over, the parents would once again have reign so it would be better for them to not make waves as to act out and have to pay for it later.

A better way to see how well a child can cope is to give them a task to continually be in control of each week, throughout the year, and see how well they handle that, like for example: be in control of recycling/garbage duty, make sure the animals are cleaned up for and fed, etc. This way the child can have control and learn responsibility at the same time.
17:11 April 27, 2012 by nedmesis
@Dayzee

Just pay them proper salary. Just 3 Euro a a bag would make most kids do it. Unpayed labour is slavery.
16:45 May 4, 2012 by Dayzee
@nedmesis

Isn't that the whole idea behind getting weekly pocket money/ an allowance? The children do the chores because they want money to buy things they want. It teaches them responsibility of the household chore and the value of the Euro
20:01 May 15, 2012 by Gretl
@nedmesis - unpayed labor is slavery? So housewives are slaves? Or my unpaid labor inside the home (after work) is slavery?

Everyone in my house is required to contribute labor. I do not pay any of my children for their labor as I consider it false to teach them that someone will pay them to maintain their own houses when they grow up. Chores are a necessary evil. We need to wash clothes so that we have clean clothes to wear, we need to take out yellow bag so that our kitchen doesn't smell of old cat food cans and overflow with garbage. What I hope to teach them is laziness. If you do it right the first time, you don't have to do it again and again until you do. A poorly performed chore just means you need MORE PRACTICE! I guess you're glad you didn't grow up in my house.
Today's headlines
Stuttgart fest pulls in twice as many boozers as Oktoberfest
Is this Oktoberfest or is this Stuttgart's Cannstatter Volksfest? Can you tell the difference? Well, it's Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

Apparently Munich is no longer the top place to wear lederhosen and down beer one litre at a time.

Dresden mosque, conference hall hit by homemade bombs
The Dresden mosque that was hit by a homemade bomb attack on Monday. Photo: DPA.

Bomb attacks hit a mosque and a congress centre in the eastern German city of Dresden, police said on Tuesday, adding that they suspected a xenophobic and nationalist motive.

The Local List
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Photo: DPA

These films are so good, not even The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari made the list.

Young man destroys 17 cars after visiting Oktoberfest

Early on Monday morning a drunk 29-year-old trashed 17 cars after staggering out of Oktoberfest into the Munich streets. It was one of several eye-popping crimes from "Wiesn" over the past few days.

VW emissions scandal
Audi tech chief leaves after reports link him to 'dieselgate'
Audi's head of technical development Stefan Knirsch stepped down on Monday. Photo: DPA.

Audi's head of technical development stepped down "with immediate effect" on Monday, the luxury carmaker announced, after German media accused him of involvement in parent company Volkswagen's "dieselgate" scandal.

Deutsche Bank shares hit lowest level in quarter century
Photo: DPA.

Shares in Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest lender, sank to a historic low on Monday after reports at the weekend that Berlin had refused state aid for the embattled lender.

The Local List
The 10 worst German cities for students to find digs
Photo: DPA

It's the start of autumn, which means the start of the university year. But along with the excitement comes the stress of finding housing - and in some glamorous locations this can be a nightmare.

German broadcaster sues Turkey over confiscated video
Akif Cagatay Kilic. Photo: DPA

German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle said Monday it had filed a civil complaint after a Turkish minister's office confiscated a taped video interview with him.

Germany's 'James Bond' goes on trial over tax evasion
Werner Mauss. Photo: DPA.

Germany's former top spy, Werner Mauss, went on trial on Monday accused of hiding millions of euros from authorities.

Germany holds first national 'mermaiding' championship
Photo: DPA

Ariel would be proud.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,511
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd