TV Report – Real Life: “Pendelkinder” on Tuesday, 23:45 on 3sat

Family is where children are

© Eugenio Marongiu -


Family is where children are – so they say. Only not all families are the same, as a TV report shows.

When parents separate, it is often the children who suffer the most – after all, they are presented with a fait accompli. How they cope with the new circumstances and the frequent trips back and forth is shown in the report “Pendelkinder”, which can be seen this Tuesday at 23.45 on 3sat.

Luna lives in Dresden and has a daddy week again. She envies her classmates for “their beautiful home” and still hopes her parents will get back together. She has a room of her own with both her parents – her mother remarried, and they were joined by a little brother and a cat. Her father helps her with her homework, they also cook together, and he teaches her photography.

Luna seems very understanding and seems to be able to cope with the situation for the most part, but her father is crystal clear that this “alternating model” is okay for the parents, but not for his daughter: “We have a child at home every week, Luna has to change all the time.”

But there are also parents who commute – this is called the “nest model” because the children retain their familiar home and the parents are at home in turn. This is the case with an ex-couple from Hamburg, they both live in other parts of the city. The little daughter doesn’t yet understand why both parents aren’t always at home, but her slightly older brother does – even if he thinks that “it would be nicest if mum and dad were always both at home”.

Author Rita Knobel-Ulrich (70, “The Grandma and Grandpa Fire Brigade”) clearly shows that it is the children who really have to shoulder the separation of their parents every week. This is clear from the mostly astonishingly sensible comments of the children, but also from the comments of members of a Hamburg association with the beautiful name “Löwenmütter” (Lion Mothers). He assists families with many of the questions and decisions surrounding separation. Because in these constellations it is not always about the welfare of the child, but unfortunately often also about money for education and power over the children.

It is the children who have to clarify for themselves who in a new family is now stepsister, half-brother, biological dad, real mom or new dad. That’s when smart questions are asked: Why the parents no longer love each other, and what the other woman or the other man could do better. The film also makes clear that families and their division of tasks have changed rapidly, along with the roles of mothers and fathers. Only the outdated family law, which obviously disadvantages committed fathers, is still the same.

Source: / dpa


More about the show

Video on demand at ARD Mediathek

Image Sources:

  • Dad hugging daughter indoors at home: Eugenio Marongiu -