While you may not live off base, your child may end up in contact with local kids. Especially when it comes to the teen years it’s a good idea to know what is allowed for kids here in Germany and when will the police be dropping your youngster off at your doorstep.
So let’s start with the teenies:
When it comes to going out clubbing, drinking or hanging out at the pub, here are the rules (they are actually Laws to protect minors in Germany)
No Child under 14 is allowed in a Discotheque, unless the club is used for a closed event ran by a known club or family and even then kids are to be home by 10pm unless accompanied by the parent
Starting at 16 children are allowed in the Discotheque even without parents until 12am (midnight) Police is known to do checks in clubs after midnight to make sure all under aged kids are out and are happy to provide embarrassing rides home.
Drinking … and boy do we love our beer here:
Starting at 14 kids are allowed to consume small amounts of wine and beer with a parent present.
Starting at 16 you are allowed to buy and consume alcoholic drinks like wine and beer. Hard liquor, cocktails, whisky, brandy and alike are not allowed to be served, sold or be consumed by kids under 18.
Pubs and bars are not supposed to let minors under 16 stay without parents; unless they are with a parent or part of an event. One exception is if they are consuming an alcohol-free drink or snack they can afford with a normal pocket money. Kids over 16 are allowed in a pub without an adult until midnight.
Smoking … bad for you anyways, but:
It’s against the law for children under 18. Police will not go after under aged offenders unless they are really small but any store caught selling cigarettes to under aged kids will be subject to a major fine.
Kids under 13 are not allowed to work period. (No, that does not include normal household chores or cleaning their rooms). This is to make sure they concentrate on school. Kids over 13 are allowed to work up to 2 hours a day (only between 8 am and 6pm and with parental permission) to earn a little extra money on the side. These can be little jobs like newspaper routes, babysitting or tutoring. Kids 15 and older are allowed to work, 4 weeks in a year full time, like a job during summer break.
Tattoos, piercing and other beauty treatments:
Tattoos and piercing (exception the normal earrings) are forbidden to any child under 16. Kids 16 and older can get tattooed or pierced with parental permission only. This has to be in writing or the parent accompanies the child. Without permission you have to be 18 to get it done.
Since 2009 we have a law here in Germany preventing minors to use tanning studios too. This applies to using the UV tanning booths. The studios are supposed to check IDs and not let kids under 18 use the tanning booths. (This does not apply to spray tans)
Plastic surgery ….
Nothing goes without parental permission unless you are 18 or older. But they do have guidelines to some of the more common procedures. For example: Ears that need to be corrected because they stick out, 6 years and older, Nose jobs and liposuction 16 and older and boobjobs not until your 18. Now these are guidelines and they are at the doctor’s best judgment to use.
Gambling halls and casinos are off limit to kids under 18, unless a parent is with them. Children are allowed to participate in lotteries at fairs or clubs though, when the prices are of small cash value. Kids are not allowed to play the Lottery either.
Kids 14 and older are allowed to travel alone, with the permission of the parent. What I suggest is giving them written permission, a copy of the parents ID card to prove that the signature is real, address and phone number to get in contact with the parent in case of an emergency and destination and duration of stay.
With 16 you can get a driver’s license for small motor bikes like a scooter or moppet. You can also get a license for a tractor if needed.
The normal car and motorcycle license you can start your classes at 17 but you do not get your license till you hit 18 years of age.
Intimacy and sex:
By German law says the age limit for sexual acts is 14. Anything under is illegal. Now unlike in the US for example, there will be no prosecution if both parties are under 14 and agreed to the relationship. Now as soon as one of the parties is older than 14 they can be charged and the prosecutor has to look into it.
14 to 16; If it is a romantic relationship between kids around the same age (a 15 year old and a 14 year old or between a 16 and a 18 year old) There is usually no grounds for prosecution, now if one party is 21 or older and the other under 16 then it is against the law.
The pill… There is no law as to when you can get the pill prescribed. It’s something your doctor decides.
Abortion …. Again this is not put into a law, but girls under 16 will need parental permission. For girls 16 and older it’s decided by case. But any abortion in Germany requires counseling by a doctor and a written notice that you were counseled by another Institution (similar to Planned Parenthood and or church ran) Abortions are only possible up to week 12 in Germany.