"Just one more episode, please, please, pleaseeeeee!" (media consumption)

"Just one more episode, please, please, pleaseeeeee!" (media consumption)

Finding the right way to deal with the media

Who doesn't know them, those little moments when it feels like the "easiest thing" to put the children in front of the tablet or the television. The ten minutes in which you have to/want to have an important phone call, want to empty the dishwasher, or just need a little time for yourself. And that's completely fine, you can't be there for your children 24/7 and in everyday life there are always situations in which the child "must" be kept busy for a short time. The media are “unfortunately” all too suitable for this. There are few things that fascinate children more than a cell phone, a television, or a tablet. They grow up with it these days, it's a totally familiar image for them to see you on your smartphone, big screens at bus stops, etc.

Keeping children completely away from the media is on the one hand almost impossible and on the other hand not at all up-to-date. Your child is now growing up in a world in which media have become indispensable. As long as you keep an eye on which media your child consumes, whether they are appropriate for the age group and, above all, you pay attention to the media time, from our point of view there is absolutely nothing to say against it.

Here are a few tips that can help you teach your kids about responsible media use and find a good balance between digital and analogue interests.

  1. It is of course important that your child spends most of the day in the real, tangible environment and also has its learning experiences here. According to the BZGA (Federal Center for Health Education), children up to the age of three should not use screen media at all, children between the ages of three and six should use screen media for a maximum of thirty minutes a day and children between the ages of six and ten should consume screen media for a maximum of 60 minutes a day . It is important here that the screen times are usually adhered to, you can set a timer or an egg timer. Discuss with your child that after the time has elapsed, the medium will no longer be used.
    1. You choose what your child consumes. It is best to watch it yourself beforehand or find out about series, games, etc. so that you know exactly what your child is consuming. Pay attention to the age recommendations.
    1. Do not let your child use media with internet access alone. You should also make your devices childproof.
    1. Then talk about what you saw/played, which helps your child to process and understand the content consumed. On the other hand, language development is also promoted at the same time.
    1. Agree at what time of day or on which days your child may use media (e.g. before dinner). This way your child will know when it has media time and will not ask for it during the day either. You can also set up media usage rules for the whole family, e.g. no mobile phones at dinner etc.
    1. Be an example to him. You can set an example for your child to use media in a healthy way. It is often not possible to simply put the mobile phone aside because you are waiting for an important call, etc. However, you are the role model for your child, and in almost all areas of life it will initially orientate itself towards what and how you it does and it is the same with media consumption.
    1. Don't stress if your child has exceeded media time, as long as it's an exception it doesn't matter. Above all, there will certainly be days or weeks in which the media are completely pushed into the background.

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