Some of the Challenges of African parenting in Germany is the change in rules and regulations and power dynamics which are not the same as they are back home. Parenting requires a bit more flexibility and open mindedness.
In Germany, the constitution clearly grants parents the rights to the care and upbringing of children.
There are also laws in the country that impose duties on parents on how they should exercise their right.
Their duties lie heavily on the rights on children to grow up in utmost care without being subjected to any forms of violence or harm.
The law explicitly prohibits the use of violence in the upbringing of a child. Children can also not be humiliated, threatened, intimidated and degraded with words.
Children in Germany have had the right to a non-violent upbringing since November 2000 when the Bundestag passed the new version of the relevant paragraph (§1631 II BGB) in family law. Literally it says:
“Children have the right to a non-violent upbringing. Physical punishment, psychological injuries and other degrading measures are prohibited.”
This however raises hairs when some parents come from cultures that allow spanking of children as a means to enforce discipline to create an environment for proper upbringing.
This creates a challenge due to the cultural difference for migrant’s families especially as the law provides for various sanctions for violations of laws protecting children.
These range from family law measures to criminal prosecution and, depending on the severity of the case, several years in prison.
In some extreme cases, children have been taken away from their parents and their care entrusted on a foster parents or home. The beating of children is an issue in the African community like in other migrant groups.
Parents sometimes see the intervention of the state in the upbringing of their children as an incursion into their cultural rights and private life.
Parents need to understand the law to avoiding falling foul of it and they should also seek help in managing difficult situations concerning the upbringing of their children.
Read more information on German Laws and legislation here: Legal News and Guides – Germany
African parents face such other challenged such as lack of traditional community support in the upbringing of children that exists in their home countries. this is something thats ery common n Africa as chldren are regarded as the property of the community.
To have children that do not act accordingly and to ignore such a child is considered wrong. You are not watching out for the future of that child and hence it is as if you do not care about the future of the community.
A lot of responsibility is carried on by parents who also are required to send money back home to support people, money that should have been used to carry out duties to their children in the diaspora.
This in the past has lead to children who at times develop a form of resentment for parents. They feel neglected as a parent is working full time to make ends meet to send moeny home but end up with no time for the emotional connection needed.
this also works both ways. Children develop different interest they do not know how to share or involve their parents in and miss out a chance at bonding.
In most cases, children speak better German than their parents, this leads to a reversal of role, whereby parents depend on their children to explain some things pertaining to German society to them and this situation is always difficult for some parents to come to terms with.
Speaking to Eleanor Anyang’o, a Kenyan that has lived in Germany with her sister, she narrates that she learnt the German language before she came to Germany but for her sister the same is not the case.
Her sister had to learn German from her place of work, environment and from her son. He, more often than not, teaches her the necessary tenses and words and helps her with the pronunciations.
“It is a different way of learning but you learn altogether. Children pick up languages faster than adults so it works to my favour,” she said.
Parents are envisioned as those sent ahead to shed the light on the path to be taken and for their children to be the one doing this makes it hard.
Even in the setting where there is the use of technology most parents struggle to understand and operate these gadgets that have now become important to use in day-to-day life. Some parents do not know how to ask their children for help.