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CHILDREN

7 surefire signs your kids are definitely German

It happens to the best of us upon moving here - our kids turning German. Here are some signs to look out for so you know before it's too late.

7 surefire signs your kids are definitely German
A girl eating a pretzel at a festival in Bad Schussenried, Baden-Württemberg. Photo: DPA.

While you may think you're raising just another regular American, Brit, Canadian or Aussie who just happens to live in Germany, you're likely totally wrong.

But here's what to look out for as your kid grows into one of the natives.

1. They’re already beer enthusiasts in the making

Photo: DPA.

They’ve been coming with you to the beer garden since before they can remember, sipping on ‘Kinderbier’ and munching on pretzels. So perhaps you've started to see the signs for some time now.

“They pretty much live off of Schnitzel and Pommes and are counting down the days until they are allowed to drink beer,” as one reader told us on Facebook.

2. They’ve picked up the local phrases (probably better than you have)

You may find yourself envious of how quickly and seamlessly your kids seem to pick up a new language and phrases. Maybe they should be your German teachers…

3. And they start to correct your German

But it's also a bit annoying when a four-year-old starts reminding you of der, die and das.

4. When their accents speaking English no longer sound like your own

At least you can be thankful they haven't picked up your poor German pronunciation.

5. The way they greet people is different from how you were raised

They may not be as comfortable with certain greetings as you were as a child.

6. When they love the same children’s shows you did growing up – except with different words

And maybe with slightly different character names, like Bob der Baumeister or SpongeBob Schwammkopf. You might start to question if it's even the same show.

7. And if you move back home, you may feel a patriotic duty to have them brush up on some things…

But no matter how German they become, you know there’s still a glimmer of you in there, no matter how small.

 

FAMILY

Reader question: Who can look after my children while they quarantine in Germany?

Under the latest German travel rules, vaccinated people are exempt from quarantine when returning from holidays abroad - but their unvaccinated children may not be. Here's who's allowed to take care of them.

Reader question: Who can look after my children while they quarantine in Germany?
Looking after children in quarantine can be tricky for working parents. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Karl-Josef Hildenbrand

Germany’s new travel rules, which came into force on August 1st, were in many ways intended to make it easier for families to go on foreign holidays. 

While previously all children over the age of six had to submit a negative test or proof of recovery from Covid when flying into a Germany, now only children aged 12 and over have to show a negative test (or proof of vaccination and recovery) on their return.

READ ALSO: Germany to require Covid tests for all unvaccinated travellers arriving by ‘plane, car or train’

That essentially means that only children who are legally able to get vaccinated fall under the scope of the new rules when returning from abroad – so families whose kids are too young to get a jab won’t have to pay for tests for them.

Of course, in a global pandemic things are never quite that simple: under the latest rules, some families may still run into problems when returning from a high-risk or virus variant areas. If all the adults are vaccinated, they won’t have to quarantine, but unvaccinated children will face anywhere from five days (for a high-risks area) to two weeks (for a virus variant area) confined at home. 

Here’s what you can do if your children are in quarantine but you’re not – and you need a third-party to help look after them. 

Can grandparents or a babysitter come round to help out? 

In general, visitors aren’t allowed to enter the house during quarantine, the Federal Health Ministry told regional radio station BR24. If several people are allowed to pay visits and then leave again, it would be much harder to control the spread of the virus – which is, of course, the whole aim of self-isolation.

However, there are exceptions to this if there is a “good cause” for the visitors to be there, the ministry explained. This could mean, for example, that a carer could come into to check on an elderly resident in quarantine, or that a babysitter could come to look after the children in urgent situations.

Be aware, though, that even a “good cause” doesn’t give you a free pass to invite a rotating cast of babysitters and neighbours round to your home. Social contact should still be limited as much as possible, so it’s best to stick to a regular babysitter or relatives such as grandparents, who can come round regularly over the course of one or two weeks while your children are in quarantine. 

Can the children quarantine at someone else’s house? 

According to the Ministry for Health, that can be worked out on a case-by-case basis – and specific rules may vary depending on where you live.

READ ALSO:

The best thing to do is to contact your local health authority and ask them for advice on your situation. They’ll be able to advise you directly on whether, for example, the children’s grandparents or another relative can pick them up from the airport and take them to stay with them for the duration of the quarantine.

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