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Unerzogen, LLL or other AP communities in Germany???

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

So a discussion in another thread here about cloth diapering led me to want to ask you all what your experience has been with meeting other AP/NFL/alternative/'crunchy' mamas in Germany. I am in Cologne and the only thing I have found is Unerzogen. http://www.unerzogen.de/ They are all over Germany and have brunch meetings, as well as a magazine. I am going for the first time this Sunday. It is the closest thing I have found to organized parents who follow an 'alternative' parenting style. Attachment Parenting and EC (Windelfrei) are mentioned in their flyer. But that is the first I have heard of those things here in Cologne. They are also focused on Unschooling, which I am not necessarily into although I fully support and since homeschooling is illegal as of yet in Germany, there is a need for people to organize around that.

 

DH and I were considering opening an official chapter of Attachment Parenting International here, as there is none at all in Germany. But we are new parents and you have to be parents for at least 18 months before becoming an AP Leader. We were, however, encouraged to start an unofficial group. Anyway, it looks like Unerzogen may be it so there might not be a need for another one. There is also LLL here...been meaning to get to their meeting for awhile but haven't managed yet, so not sure how it is.

 

So, I'm rambling here but I want to know: Have any of you mamas been going to Unerzogen or LLL meetings? How are they? Are German alternative mamas organizing in any way where you live? Have you noticed other AP style parents around? Here in Köln I see people carrying babies every day, but it's still maybe only 2-3% of all the parents you see out there. I really hope to be able to connect with more AP style parents as time goes on, but don't know how organized people are with that here. I think it's a very American thing to be so organized with groups like that. I mean, as many parents as there are here practicing AP, very very few have ever heard of the concepts and the official title. I think only one of Dr. Sears' books has even been translated into German. I find that a bit odd considering how popular he is in America. confused.gif

post #2 of 17

PJ- i don't know of any organised groups, but my dh is a waldorf teacher and both of my girls go to a waldorf kindergarten and it seems that most of the parents that tend towards waldorf also tend towards ap. i don't know if it is a concious decision or not. b/c we just jumped into "waldorf land" with both feet, it is hard for me to seperate what is "german" and what is "waldorf," but i find that most parents i have met are much more open to co-sleeing, baby-wearing, and of course, bf.

 

since your son is so young, maybe you could look for a flyer in a waldorf kindergarten/school for a crippe (sp?) playgroup?

 

others might have better suggestions though.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Oh yeah I forgot to mention Waldorf. As you may know, it's essential to register a kid for kindergarten very early, so we've already got DS registered for a Waldorf kindergarten starting in 2012. I'm on their mailing list and I have been to a Bazar there once, but did not stay long enough to socialize. I definitely noticed what seemed like more AP leaning parents there. And of course Waldorf methods are not so far off from AP, pretty much in the same boat. So yeah definitely Waldorf is a good place for community of like-minded people here. biggrinbounce.gif

post #4 of 17

I've lived in Cologne forever except for a few years inbetween and I've never heard of unerzogen or any other AP group. LLL was too far away for my comfort back when dd was tiny. And online I only knew rabeneltern.org, but quit the site due to trolls. I was just wondering today about joining a Krabbelgruppe, but feel like I'll be totally in the wrong crowd because we're AP, use cloth, etc. Also I'm wanting to raise this one bilingually and am looking for an English-speaking group. Soooooo, if you start a group, I'll come. smile.gif

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

So I went to the Unerzogen brunch today. It was nothing spectacular, but alright. Around 10 people (parents, not counting kids) came. It was very casual, just chatting. There was a Canadian girl - a teenager who had come with one of the other women- so I even ended up speaking a fair amount of English there!

 

As I gathered from their website, some of the focus was on homeschooling or unschooling. I almost felt weird saying Waldorf sounded just great to me. redface.gif

I didn't make any incredible connections with anyone there but certainly had some nice conversations, and I'll definitely go to the next one in January. 

 

...and it sure was nice to see mamas BFing toddlers. toddler.gif

post #6 of 17

We're moving to Berlin in September, so I'll keep my eyes and ears open ... I'll be doing a post-doc so not SAH, but I only go to my center 3 days a week and DH will be home full or part time. We'll be there for 2-3 years at least. We need to sign up for preschool right away?

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tattooed Hand View Post


We're moving to Berlin in September, so I'll keep my eyes and ears open ... I'll be doing a post-doc so not SAH, but I only go to my center 3 days a week and DH will be home full or part time. We'll be there for 2-3 years at least. We need to sign up for preschool right away?




 



Not sure about Berlin, but as far as I know in all of Germany there aren't enough preschool places and you need to sign up asap. Crazy as it sounds, we signed up DS for 2-day-a-week preschool starting when he's 2, when he was 5 months old! And at the tour there we were not the only one with a small baby!
post #8 of 17

you might be more lucky if you wont look for AP but look for Jean Liedloff  or The Continuum Concept (http://www.continuum-concept.de/) .... that's the person from whom Sears took all his ideas  from and AP developed from ...

 

there is a yahoo group who discusses Jean's ideas

http://de.groups.yahoo.com/group/ConCeptJL/

where you might find people who live close to you ...

 

I live in Munich, so if any one needs contacts here ... pm me

post #9 of 17

You could also search the rabeneltern.org forums for local meetups, the mothers tend to be ap friendly and many are also waldorf minded. The forum is in German (they even recommend the mothering pages). Good luck!

post #10 of 17

I am in a similar boat. My DS is nearly 16 months old. He was born in the U.S. but we moved to Germany in June 2010. My husband is German so obviously a fluent German-speaker, but I am just beginning to learn German. I have been very bewildered here trying to find other like-minded Moms. I haven't found any yet, and I'm the only Mom breastfeeding a toddler that I know - or have ever even seen here. It is VERY isolating! I am not close to you other gals (I am just outside Hannover) but I'd really like to connect with others in similar circumstances.

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaingermany View Post

I am in a similar boat. My DS is nearly 16 months old. He was born in the U.S. but we moved to Germany in June 2010. My husband is German so obviously a fluent German-speaker, but I am just beginning to learn German. I have been very bewildered here trying to find other like-minded Moms. I haven't found any yet, and I'm the only Mom breastfeeding a toddler that I know - or have ever even seen here. It is VERY isolating! I am not close to you other gals (I am just outside Hannover) but I'd really like to connect with others in similar circumstances.


Have you tried posting signs in English shops, Bioladen or similar places looking for specifically AP or at least crunchy moms?

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrilein View Post



Have you tried posting signs in English shops, Bioladen or similar places looking for specifically AP or at least crunchy moms?



No, I haven't because I don't know of any such places around where I live.

post #13 of 17

Hmm, I don't know hannover, but a quick google using "hannover" and "bioladen" came up with a store called BioLogisch Baby & Kind . I don't know how close you live to that store or if it's even feasible for you to get there (or maybe you're already a regular customer there???), but maybe check it out and ask the owner if you can put up a sign, maybe chat up other moms, you know? I really hope you can find some other AP moms to hang out with!

And here's an English shop called Britannia that might also be interesting.

post #14 of 17

Thanks, Terrilein for the ideas!

post #15 of 17

Your very welcome, mama! Have you been able to visit those shops or similar ones and meet any like minded-mamas?

 

I got myself added to the Unerzogen mailing list and joined the yahoo group. I don't know where they all find the time to post so much! My email runneth over. dizzy.gif

post #16 of 17

P.J. (I believe we spoke on the phone earlier today?) I'd be very interested in an AP group here in Colone.

 

I've been an AP parent for nearly 5 years now and have NEVER really found other like-minded parents here. OK, maybe not never, more like once or twice, but they moved away and we lost contact. I know all about isolation! I've tried organizing English speaking play groups here (we're a very multi-cultural family and speak 3 languages at home, English being the main one), but they've all failed due (mostly) to differences in parenting style. I envy my friends in the States... while I certainly don't envy the walls they run into regarding public nursing, I certainly envy the ease with which they find AP, Breastfeeding and Babywearing groups. 

 

 

post #17 of 17

I´m following a Blog called http://www.natuerliches-baby.de/, about AP, BF, EC and slo on. It seems to me the author lives in Hannover.

 

Good luck!

 

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