Domestic violence help for wives of immigrant workers in Germany

I never thought I would write a blog related to this topic, as I did not realize such things even happen in Germany unless I got questions from few Indian women who are in dependent visa. It’s really heart breaking to hear such domestic violence silently happening here.

The Urge to research in this topic increased for me once I started getting requests to write on this topic. Some women who just need to know what should be done if it happens to them as a precaution. So, I started asking people and done some research in internet and finally got to find little information in this topic, which could help some or simply answer some questions and reduce anxiety for few who are trying to come to Germany with their spouse.

1. Hilfetelefon: If you are in primary stages of domestic violence and if you feel you cannot reach out to friends and family, as you are not sure what’s happening and where to go. Then this site https://www.hilfetelefon.de/ is highly useful. They can offer advice via online and support people of all nationalities, with and without disabilities – 365 days a year, around the clock. They provide anonymous and cost-free advice in many languages 24 hours a day.

You can also call to their Toll free number  08000 116 016. This helpline works round the clock.

2. Women’s Counselling centers: If you want to communicate and let out your problems then there are counselling centers in Germany named Frauen gegen Gewalt. The service is free of charge and anonymous if requested. The female staff members are bound by the duty of confidentiality. There is also local support service where you can enter postal code and language of choice and get the nearest possible support place. There is another site called Frauenhauskoordinierung, which also does the same kind of help like counselling and also provides shelter facilities for victim of domestic violence and their kids who needs the safe place to live till their problems are solved. There is also Fraueninformationszentrum FIZ which also provides help for women problems where you can call or mail or directly go to them for help.

3. Helpline for crime victims: They help people who have become victims of crime and violence. They offer support through phone and online counselling. They are called Weisser Ring. They help with Cyber bullying, rape, pick pocket, home burglary, domestic violence etc. There are also specialized lawyers available for free initial consultation session.

These are very few information I could get and hope it helps some women out there who is in need of help. If someone who knows more information about this topic then please leave a comment below or people who came across these situations and love to help others by sharing the details then ping me personally through Facebook or Instagram and I will post without exposing any details of yours.

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Some best German foods for Indians to give a try in my experience

I am basically a non red meat eater, so most of the dishes in Germany are ruled out for me. Still I love certain German food which I really enjoy. This blog is mainly for people who are preparing to come to Germany or new to Germany, who are scared and have lot of questions about German food for you and your kids. I am completing 6 years in Germany now and I can assure that not only you and your family survive but also you can keep your taste buds happy. One important thing to keep in mind that you should be ready to come out of your shell and start to explore German food without judging by comparing with Indian food.

I have divided the German foods into 2 sections, On the go cheap breakfast foods and Restaurant foods.

On the go cheap breakfast foods:

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A typical breakfast in Germany starts off with bread (Brot) or bread rolls (Brötchen) with various spreads and toppings. Which are not expensive and easily available in bakeries. German breads are really worth to try.

1. Butter Brezel/Bretzel (Pretzel ): One among my favorite is Butter Brezel/Bretzel (butter pretzel).

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2. Spinat Käse Brot (Cheese spinach roll): My second favorite is the Spinach roll, These crescent rolls stuffed with spinach and cheese make for a quick and simple breakfast, lunch, dinner or appetizer recipe. These cheesy spinach rolls are so yummy, the kids won’t even mind the spinach.

3. Schneckennudeln (German Cinnamon Rolls): It is a traditional south-west German pastry but I eat for my breakfast most of the time. It is a traditional Swabian recipe and it consist of ground nuts filling, which is my favorite! There are also different kinds of filling like almond, raisin, poppy seeds, hazelnuts etc.

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4. Croissant: Croissants are staple of any Sunday brunch in Germany, and thez are sometimes referred as Hörnchen (little horns) because of their shape. Croissants are often enjoyed with jam or Nutella.

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5. Salami: Typical German breakfast consist of meat and especially salami with bread. Salami and Wurst are the most attractive thing for children. Even you have never exposed these in India, Children get easily attracted by this as soon as they enter Germany. We as a Indian family who doesn’t prefer red meat will always go for Geflügel-Salami (which is made from duck, turkey and chicken).

Restaurant foods:

The best part in German restaurants is they serve a bowl of salad with most dishes. Do try different types of salads while you are Germany. Some German foods which I really find good for my Indian taste bud without red meat are as follows

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1. Spätzle (German noodle): It is the most common meatless dishes found in Germany.  If you enter German restaurant and ask for noodle, you will get Spätzle. They are made with eggs. If you are a lover of cheese then you can get Käsespätzle (cheese noodle). You can aslo get Spinatspatzeln (Spinach noodle).

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2. Kartoffelknödel/Kloß (Boiled potato dumplings): You get different types of Knödel made with bread, flour, meat, cheese, potatoes etc. It comes with salad and sauce. Make sure to order vegetarian sauce  because once I didn’t give any preference to sauce and ended up with meat sauce.

3. Kartoffelpuffer (Potato pancakes): They are shallow pan-fried pancakes made from grated or mashed potatoes mixed with flour, egg, onion and seasoning. Sometimes you will get it as a side dish to a main course of meat or fish, or sweet with apple sauce, blueberries, sugar and cinnamon.

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4. Schnitzel (Meat cutlet): They are thin pounded meat dish which is fried. It’s my daughter’s favorite  dish and luckily it is made with duck or chicken. It doesn’t need any sauce and kids love with ketchup and mayo and it comes with fries.

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5. Lachsfilet mit Butterkartoffeln salat:  As my family love to eat fish, we always tried to find a good German fish food. I would this dish is pretty good and also Cord and Salmon pan fry is also my favorite.

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There are more food items to add to this blog. Will definitely add some of my other favorite German vegetarian foods too in my next blog. Please leave your favorite German foods in the comments below so, that the newcomers to Germany will benefit from it. Stay tuned for my favorite German street foods in coming blogs.

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United parenting, the best way – tips and tricks

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Parenting in the same page is not an easy task for current generation parents as we all grew up with speaking our opinions out loud. But, when we see our parents back then, they are somewhat be in the same page when it comes to parenting us. At least my mum’s decision will be always correlate with dad’s decision without even they discussing with each other. Me in the other hand has to always discuss everything with my husband (generation change you know).

Parenting in united front is always a most discussed topic with no clear answers. There are a lot of questions around this topic like:

  • Is it healthy for kids when parents are in same page without expressing their opinion?
  • Will it make my kid grow opinion less?
  • Parents being in different page will bring any development issues?
  • Is is okay when one parent is involved in a kid? and the questions goes on.

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In my experience the smaller the child, the higher the unity of parents is important. It doesn’t mean parents should not have any dissimilarities, obviously every human have their own point of view. What I mean is healthy debates are always good which should be conducted calmly and respectfully in front of a kid. I would like to share my way of united parenting which helps my daughter in certain way. For some it might work and for some it may not. If you want to take it and give it a try then here you go:

Keep your child’s age in mind: As I said earlier, it depends on your child’s age. It is more important for parents to be in same page when your kid is in their early years i.e., below 6 years. This is because in this age they don’t really know to distinguish the world in black-and-white terms.  This will gradually disappears between the ages of six and 12. See to it that, it will make your child’s life lot easier if you work out your disagreements and keep them private.

Never pull your spouse down: Even for fun don’t use certain words like mommy is wrong or daddy is wrong to little kids. It will make them thing may be mommy is always right or daddy is always right. This will always give mixed messages to kids and not knowing what his/her parents expect can make things harder.

Find a common ground: When you and your spouse really have disagreements then find a chance to discuss the issue and try hard to find common ground and understand each other’s perspective on the issue. And keep in mind to talk it through outside zone of your child considering whatever age the child be.

Stop your ego and concentrate on your kid: When you both come to an agreement always keep in mind the starting place of your discussion (which is your child), which will help you and your partner stay on-message. Remember that your discussion is not about who wins the argument.

Involve your partner even in their absence: When your child asks for something and you are in the position to take your own decision or you both took the decision and only one parent has to speak about, then convey that “both dad and me think that it’s really important for you to do this or buy this.” But it doesn’t apply to older kids and also not with big decisions.

Be consistent: When you have an argument and whether it’s an agreement or disagreement, be consistent in it. Don’t change your decision after two days it will create confusion in your child. At times one cannot come to an agreement and even when you disagree, support your spouse’s  decision.

I hope these little tips helps your parenting and brings positivity in parenting. It’s not easy to be a pro in parenting. Parenting comes always through practice and it’s not always same. I always take advises and tips from different ends and end up with my own parenting, and I think it’s a best and effective way for parenting. According to me good parenting should always come from both ends and the involvement of both father and mother plays a key role.

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Must need household things for those who are new to Germany

When I came to Germany to start my life here, as an Indian few things were new for me and there were no proper guide, when it comes to household things. I couldn’t find any sites, forums or blogs related to it. As most of them live in rented apartments and it’s always necessary to keep the house clean and tidy to the core, because we can expect landlord visits and there are more chances for us being kicked out of the apartment, if your apartment is untidy.  I am not going to discuss about any cleaning products here. I am just gonna say about few affordable household things which will make your life easy in keeping your house clean. And I would say these things are pretty much considered as must haves in every German household.

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1. Stove Scraper (Herdschaber):

We Indians cook a lot and obviously it will lead to mess. The Glass stove tops become sticky with oil what we use. For me it was the best life saver and every time when I use, it makes my stove top brand new again. Use a damp cloth or paper towel to remove any excess crumbs or other mess. Next, add a liberal amount of the liquid cleaner and scrap it out.

2. Microfiber cloth (Mikrofasertuch):

It’s one of the best household thing for the whole house. It’s available in all stores. It can be used for cleaning stove tops, kitchen cupboards, sink, doors, television etc.. It can be used without cleaning products for a wide variety of cleaning tasks and it’s reusable. I will link my favorite and affordable brand.

3. Garbage bag stand (Müllsackständer):

This is very useful for places in Germany where waste separation is done. I use it especially for plastic waste (Plastikmüll). It’s cheap and works great for me.

4. Rubber Toilet and kitchen sink Plunger (Saugglocke pömpel):

 

This is a must have household thing when you enter Germany as we cannot afford for plumber here. This plunger is good for sinks both in bathrooms and kitchens but can also be used in bathtubs.

5. Stainless steel sink strainer (Küche Spüle Sieb Stecker):

 

This strainer is very for every Indian household as we tend to more solid debris. This strainer is highly recommended to filter out the solid debris in the water system. There are plastic and rubber strainers are also available.

6. House shoes (Hausschuhe):

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House shoes are more common German thing here and it’s really a must have in winter. It not only keep your feet warm but also protects your carpet from getting dirty.

7. Duster (Staubmagnet):

This is my favorite and handy cleaning thing. The duster is pushed onto the handle and holds it quite well. My daughter loves to clean with it. I especially like to use it to clean my keyboard and the electrical appliances as it can easily reach even the small gaps and dust well.

I just randomly covered few basic household things which is very useful when you move in to Germany. Will upload more in future. I hope it will help someone who is planning to move or newcomer to Germany.

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How parental insecurity affects the child and things to avoid it

Every human have some kind of insecurities and  it’s quite normal to have such feelings of self-doubt sometimes. Few carry those insecurities in some part of their life, whereas few live with those insecurities for their whole life. But in one stage of life these insecurities which you have will really start affecting the other person, it’s nothing but a parenting stage.  Yes, its starts affecting your kids very early in their life.

As a kid I always grown with some kind of social fear and always needed someone to push me forward (even now sometimes :)). So, before having my child I decided that, I should not show my insecurities to her and wanted her to grow independent and self deprived. But, once I had my daughter, I realized having the thought alone doesn’t gonna work because, even as a small kid she picked my fears whenever I stumble in something. Kids are highly intellectual when comes to picking even small nuisances from their parents, say it good or bad. These behaviors that children can easily learn through observation. Sometimes I stress how this behavior came to her, without even realizing that I am the person showing her how to behave like that, through my actions. We are the examples for our kids in each and everything.  I write this blog for myself as a greater recall down the line about the things I want to follow as a parent to avoid such insecurities affecting my kid. I hope this post helps parents like me.

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Calm and balanced parenting really works:

Kids are prone to questions. When our kids ask something, even a silly, no sense question, be sure that you don’t panic or get mad. The best way of hiding your insecurities is staying calm and balanced, and make sure to have a good interaction with your child, which will make your child to develop the same behavior you showed them. If you find difficultly in staying calm and balanced, you can always seek a medical help or through yoga or meditation.

Don’t take your social insecurities to your kid:

Nowadays everyone is facing some kind of social pressure, which is unavoidable but being insecure about certain things and taking those to your kids is not okay. For instance comparing your kid with other kid and constantly telling this to your kid will lead to worse. Your kid will start believing that others are better than him and that he is incapable of performing well or living to the expectations of the parents. This feeling will damage his/her self-worth and self-esteem.

Listening your kids:

Have a conversation with your kid and let your child tell you what he/she needs from you. You are indirectly teaching your kids to listen to others by you listening to them. Never underestimate their feelings. Always be their support system and make sure you don’t pass on your insecurities to them. Trust your kids which will make them to trust the world.

Don’t ever show your emotional imbalance to them:

Being relaxed  in every situation is not easy but being over reacting to certain situations like your child’s illness, injury etc., will definitely pass on your insecurities to them. Convey them that you are with them in whatever they do, thus you are teaching them to be independent and also safe and secure.

Use your experience to help your children:

In your entire life you’ve likely developed a toolbox of coping strategies for your insecurities. If you think your child have genetically inherited certain insecurities like yours then you can pass along to your children some strategies you’ve learned and developed.  In my case I always have the fear of unknown, so I always make sure I learn as much as I can about a new situation before I make that first leap. Now, I use that for my daughter in few instances.

As I always say parenting is not easy, when you decide to grow a strong minded and healthy child. This can be done only as a parent you override your fears and stand confident in front of them.

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3 Best English-German toddler bilingual books that works great for my kid

As I already told in my last blog, which is 5 Best books that helps my kid to learn German in daily basis, now I am going to reveal my 3 best English-German books which helps my daughter to learn both languages simultaneously.  If you are considering introducing these two language to your child at the same time then this blog is going to benefit you and your kid. For everybody trying to raise a bilingual/multilingual child, whatever your background and reason, it’s very important to realize that acquiring a language requires massive exposure to that language. This can be attained by parents talk as much as possible to their young children, to read a lot to them and sing to them.

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1. Englisch spielend leicht (mit CD): Ein Bildwörterbuch:

This book really work very good for my daughter. This is ideal for above 2 years old kids. It has small phrases which is actually easy for kids to catch up words quickly without getting bored. It covers all the basic phrases and words in day-to-day life. At every end  of the page, a small box with easy grammar explanations (see the picture below) are given which is probably useful for mommies like me out there. The exciting part is the CD with this book, which is really good and my little one loves to hear in the car ride.  It costs around 7.99€.

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2. The Toddler’s Handbook: Bilingual (English / German) (Englisch / Deutsch) Numbers, Colors, Shapes, Sizes, ABC Animals, Opposites, and Sounds, with over 100 Words that every Kid should Know:

This is one of the favorite books for many parents. It is little bit on the pricey side, costs around 15.00€. But the quality of the book is ideal for little kids. This book can be used in early months and babies get very excited about the colorful pictures. I couldn’t find good  and quality books like this a lot.

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3. Mein allerschönstes Wörterbuch (Kinderbücher):

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This is one of my favorite books and it’s a oldest book of all and many native Germans recommend this book. This book is on the pricey side, costs around 24.00€, but it’s worth the buy. I got this book from a second-hand shop for 10€. If you guys could buy it or just lend this from a friend or buy in second hand shop like me, then that would be great, because it really works for my child. I highly recommend for kids above 2 or probably 3 years old, as the book is a paper book. It’s designed for both genders, you can see the pic below.

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I hope this helps for mommies to choose the right book for their kids. Stay tuned for more English and German story books for little kids.

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3 Best Freizeitparks for kids under 10 in Germany in my experience

 

As summer is near, we all can’t wait to plan for family trips with our children. We all love to explore beauty of Europe by visiting places and enjoy the idyllic landscapes, unspoilt nature, dense forests, rustic pastures and majestic mountains, whereas our kids definitely need some real fun by letting out their energy which they saved throughout  the winter. One of the best way to entertain them is by taking them to amusement parks. Something which I love in Germany is, there are theme parks which is made also considering little kids. We are family who love theme parks and if you are one like us then definitely this blog is gonna help you. We have explored quite a few theme parks in Germany and the following three Freizeitparks will always pop into my mind as we enjoyed there to the core.

1. Phantasialand, Cologne

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Phantasialand in Winter is quite different with more winter attraction

Visiting Phantasialand with your little kids is the best option for your family in this Summer. Phantasialand is conveniently located between Cologne and Bonn. From Brühl train station, Phantasialand shuttle buses are available  for  3.00€ per person to and fro. The ticket prices for children and Adults can be found in the link. Children under 4 years old with ID proof can go for free. The exciting thing is that everyone gets in for free with the proof on their birthdays.

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The park is divided into various themes (Asia, Mexico, Africa). There are eatery joints inside and they are okay, so need not worry to take food with you. They maintain the park really tidy which attracted me for sure. The Black Mamba roller-coaster is best ride for roller-coaster lovers. We really had so much fun and I highly recommend it for Kids. The park opens this year by 1st of April.

2. Conny Land, Bodensee

If you are planning for Bodensee trip, then do include Conny Land into your list. This park is the fabulous place for children with great variety of rides, activities, nice animal shows and water play. Most of the rides were suitable for below 10 years old. The fact that it’s not too big is also a plus as you can take it easy and still go on all the rides in a day with no big queues unlike other theme parks. There are water rides really good for small kids, better take a swim suit with you. It has parrot and sea-lion shows which my little one enjoyed a lot. The entrance ticket is 29€, which is highly reasonable. Seniors and kids under 3 can go free. Children up to 14 years old on the day of the birthday upon presentation of a valid ID can go for free. For young kids it really a mini paradise. Food was really good in the food court. The park opens this year by 3rd of April.

3. Steinwasen Park, Freiburg

Best way to visit this park is by having the black forest red card, by which you can visit this theme park for free. This is one of the best attractions for kids when you plan for black forest trip. It’s not a big of an amusement park but definitely worth to go with kids and  the atmosphere in the middle of the woods is quiet attractive. It’s not only you enjoying rides but also you get some wonderful fresh forest air. Children under 10 will really have a great time. There’s a small zoo as well there. The interactive wild park is also a best attraction here.  There were lots of rides inside and out as well as a water splash, a luge bobsled type run, a sommerrodelbahn (mountain coaster) etc.  I highly recommend for a family outing. The entry ticket if you doesn’t have red card is 23 euros. Kids below 4 years old can go free. Children under 12 years old on their birthdays can go free.

This is really a small gist about these Freizeitparks which we love, as I covered all the three in one place I couldn’t give detailed description. But, I hope this will give an idea for you and your family to plan for best trips in coming summer.

Tschüss, Biss dann!!!!

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