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Media as babysitter

2 minutes reading time
0-10 years
© photothek.net

Do you know it? It’s Saturday, seven o’clock in the morning: your child is already lively, while you would like to sleep a little longer. That’s when the tablet can jump in and keep the child occupied while you take another look around, right?

Accompanying children in their use of media

Yes and no! There are moments in everyday life when it’s just handy to have a little time and quiet while the child is busy with the tablet or cell phone for a while. It has fun with it and you can take care of other things meanwhile. In exceptional cases, this is certainly not a problem. It can be difficult when it becomes a habit.

Because: Children still need guidance in many things they are learning. This includes the use of media. What the accompaniment looks like depends on the age and completely individually on your child. Young children should not be left alone when watching something on a tablet or television. This way, you can witness what your child is watching and how he or she is coping with it. They can also share their media experiences with you and ask questions if they don’t understand something. This is important so that your child can process the content. What your child looks at or listens to should also be age appropriate. Keep media time low and give your child enough time to process his or her media experiences.

Media as babysitter – only in exceptional cases

Older children already have more media experience and you as a parent can already assess how your child deals with certain content. Again, though, make sure you have age-appropriate offerings, limited media time, and at least be around when your child is using media. If you can’t sit with them, settings on the device and in apps can help prevent your child from accessing content that may overwhelm or even frighten them.

It is best when media is shared within the family, such as a weekly movie night. Media are thus part of everyday family life and are not misappropriated as chaperones. Because only you can pay attention!

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