Youth protection going out, alcohol, video games – what are teenagers allowed to do??

Youth protection - going out, alcohol, video games - what are teenagers allowed to do?

Alcohol, cigarettes, movies, disco – the Youth Protection Act lists many restrictions and prohibitions. More is allowed at home – but not everything either. We answer the most important questions on the subject of youth protection and explain why a ten-year-old child is not allowed to play "Grand Theft Auto," which places fall under the Youth Protection Act – and what a "muttizettel" is.

  1. Overview

How far does the parental duty of supervision extend??

At some point it comes, the youthful urge to move around the houses. Then parents get into trouble: How far does the freedom of the children go?? How far does their own supervisory duty extend?? Parents can look up the answers in the Youth Protection Act. It is intended to help with education – often a legal balancing act between care and control on the one hand and the independent development of the child’s personality on the other.

Where and for whom does the Youth Protection Act apply??

Youth protection - going out, alcohol, video games - what are teenagers allowed to do?

Visit to the cinema. Children and adolescents are only allowed to see films at certain times, depending on their age. © shutterstock

The law regulates the protection of children and young people in public. This includes the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, films or video games. The law also stipulates which public venues such as restaurants, bars, discotheques, cinemas or event halls minors are allowed to visit and at what times. Freely accessible places such as parks and streets are not covered by the Youth Protection Act. Children and adolescents are allowed to stay there at any time – for how long is basically up to the parents. However, they must ensure that their children do not get into danger.

Does the Youth Protection Act also apply at home??

No, private areas are excluded from the Youth Protection Act. In their homes, parents can decide for themselves whether to allow their children to do things that are forbidden in public – for example, smoking or drinking alcohol. Even in the private sphere, however, mother and father have a duty of care and supervision to uphold. And if the offspring has a party at the parents’ house, for example, they must also ensure that the underage guests are not harmed.

Are parents allowed to let their children play video games that are only permitted from the age of 18??

Youth protection - going out, alcohol, video games - what are teenagers allowed to do?

Computer games. Parents should pay attention to the age restrictions. © argus / Mike Schroeder

Do not completely ignore age ratings. Parents are not obligated to adhere to the age labels of computer games and movies at home – they only apply in public. However, the responsible parent should understand the age restrictions as an urgent recommendation for the protection of minors. In a recent case, the mother and father of a ten-year-old boy argued before the Bad Hersfeld District Court about the direction of parental care.

Danger to the welfare of the child. The judges ruled: If parents provide their underage child with a game console, they must ensure throughout that no games are accessible to the child that could endanger the child’s mental and emotional well-being (Az. 63 F 290/17 SO). In the case, the son owned a Playstation console on which he played "Grand Theft Auto 5" and "Call of Duty," among other games, which are only suitable for children over the age of 18, according to entertainment software self-regulation. The danger to the child’s well-being could only be countered by taking the video games in question away from the child and not making them accessible to him in the future, according to the court.

Independent. Objective. Incorruptible.

Are teenagers allowed to stay alone in discotheques??

Youth protection - going out, alcohol, video games - what are teenagers allowed to do?

At the club. For young people under the age of 18, closing time is at midnight. © fotofinder / Caro

Children and adolescents under the age of 16 are not allowed to be alone at evening dance events. Under 18s are allowed to stay until midnight. The restrictions do not apply, however, if a "person authorized to take care of the person" or a "person authorized to bring up the child" accompanies the minor.

"Person-care-entitled" are the parents or guardians of a child. They can arrange with another person over the age of 18 to supervise their child outside the home on a substitute basis on an evening and accompany them to the club, for example. This adult person then temporarily becomes a parent "Parenting officers.". Parents should give him the order in writing – templates for the so-called "Muttizettel" can be found on numerous sites on the Internet.

Are young people allowed to get alcohol for their parents??

Young people under 16 are not allowed to have any alcohol in the store or at public festivals such as fairs. At 16 and 17, they can buy and drink beer, sparkling wine and wine, but not yet spirits. Liquor is only allowed from the age of 18. One problem is the Internet. A recently published sample of the consumer center Rhein-land-Pfalz shows that only a few mail order companies check the age of their customers. The legal situation regarding mail-order sales is not clearly formulated. Providers could have the age of the ordering party checked by the parcel delivery person. At the very least, they should indicate age restrictions on their sites. This is not always the case.

At what age are Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. allowed??

Due to the new European data protection regulations, many social networks, video platforms and messengers have adapted their terms of use, including the minimum age of use. A minimum age of 13 is required for a Facebook account, but account holders must then obtain parental consent for some functions. WhatsApp allows an account from 16 years. Parents should teach their children how to use media consciously. On the website can inform you about child-friendly chatting and surfing.

Are children allowed to stay home alone??

There is no clear legal regulation for this. A child does not have to be under constant parental care. In general, according to the Federal Court of Justice, the younger and more irrational a child is, the more parents should and must supervise him or her. VI ZR 51/08). What parents allow their offspring to do and whether or how long they leave their child alone at home depends very much on the child’s stage of development and character.

From when are children allowed to travel alone?

Parents must decide for themselves whether they trust their child to travel by train, long-distance bus or plane. This also depends on the child’s sense of responsibility and maturity. Parents should read the terms and conditions of the trans-port company to find out from what age it allows traveling alone. With the major airlines, this is usually possible from the age of twelve. From the age of five, children are allowed to travel alone, but their parents must then make use of a childcare service. Travelling alone by train is possible from the age of six. Especially for younger children, parents should provide a power of attorney allowing their child to travel, including a telephone number for emergencies and the child’s planned itinerary.

This is allowed by the Youth Protection Act

Under 14 years

14 to under 16 years

16 to under 18 years


in restaurants, bars

in restaurants for eating and drinking

in the time from 5 to 23 o’clock

in night bars or night clubs

in places dangerous to young people, such as street prostitutes, drug hangouts, etc., should not be allowed

at public dance events such as disco

at dance events, for example, by children’s and youth services

in public gambling halls, participation in games with the possibility of winning

in the cinema (according to the age rating)

until 20 o’clock 1 (from 6 years)

Dispensing and consumption

of high-proof alcohol, alcopops or alcohol-containing foodstuffs

other alcoholic beverages, such as wine, beer, sparkling wine

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