The “Prager-Eltern-Kind-Programm” aka PEKiP translates as a parent-child program from Prague created by child psychologist Dr. Jareslav Koch Zuruck in the 60’s.
He believes that “in each child a tremendous potential for development is hidden and that it is the parent’s role to unlock this potential in their movement, thoughts, behavior, speech, feelings and much more by an accumulation of life experiences and playing. It is then also the first experiences that are vitally important to the child’s development and that lays down, to a certain extent the foundation for how the child will process future experiences.”
As my babies already blew out their first candles, I brought along 6 month old “Riri” and her yummy mummy to test the waters. All 3 of us, including Riri don’t speak German.
The original program (for babies from 6 weeks to 12 months) is based on movement, sensory exploration and singing with a few key principles for development based on each baby’s immediate needs. That explains why during the class each baby is basically doing their own thing.
The room is very cosy with plenty of heating so babies can go almost naked and thereby intensifying their sensory experience.
The class is not nearly as structured as other parent & baby classes and can be better described as free play, with mothers chatting away and the instructor suggesting a few moves here and there and passing on different toys for each baby to explore. There is plenty of time for mamas to nurse their babies in between without missing a thing.
Every now and then, mamas break out in song, all the while exchanging meaningful glances with their babies or moving them about rhythmically. All in German. By the end, we were even humming along and singing a few basic words.
The class instructor very friendly welcomed us in English before the class started but as all the other mamas were German, the rest of the proceedings and exchanges all took place in German. Used to other much shorter baby classes (normally 45 min max) we were surprised that it lasted 1.5 hours.
During your 1st class, you will receive a handout in German explaining the principles of the program, details about development of baby’s hands in the first year as well as numerous German songs used throughout the program.
One of the key principles of the program highlighted in the handout is the importance of allowing baby to learn the skill of sitting on his own, when the time is right and not to force it prematurely as “crawling before sitting is better for development”.
The course is given in German, consisting of 9 weekly classes either in Itzig, Betzdorf or Beles (upon request) at a cost of €179. It is also possible to do a single class, though understandably the strength of the program builds up over the span of the course. There is even a special PEKiP course for daddies in Itzig.
More information and how to book: available here.
The conclusion – Did we like it?
If you speak German, this class is definitely something to consider if you are looking for a relaxed, unstructured environment where baby can explore and mamas can chat.
If not, this is probably not for you as you will miss out on interacting with the mamas and the key baby developmental take aways shared by the instructor. You will however improve your German singing if you make an effort, like we did…and quite frankly Riri had a blast!
More about Luxmama
As mother of two darling babies, Certified IMPI Holistic Sleep Coach, Baby Planner and Happiest Baby Educator, Marise Hyman provides worldwide maternity coaching for expecting/future/new parents through Marise Hyman Maternity Coaching – setting them up for success, so they can sail into their new lives with confidence!
She is also the founder of the Luxmama Club & ParentPrep, an edgy non-profit organisation raising awareness for green, natural & holistic parenting alternatives, birth rights and postnatal mood disorders by offering a variety of inspiring social and educational events in Luxembourg