The tigerbox TOUCH wants to offer “unlimited streaming variety” – that’s what the provider’s website says. Like other Audio boxes It is also a modern and popular alternative to cassette recorders and CD players.
The best way to describe the tigerbox TOUCH is as a square Bluetooth listening box with a bamboo casing that is supposed to provide particularly good sound. The large buttons and simple touch display of the tigerbox TOUCH make it child’s play to operate. There is also a light bar that responds to music and sound and a night light. If not everyone is supposed to listen in, headphones can also be connected.
In order for your child to listen to something from the multitude of songs and stories, there are two ways: paid access to the tigertones media library via app or the use of individual cards. Depending on your subscription, the tigertones app gives you access to more than 15,000 titles such as radio plays and children’s songs. After downloading the app and connecting the tigerbox TOUCH to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, your child can listen to stories from popular characters such as Benjamin Blümchen or the Olchis within a range of up to 10 meters. Alternatively, you can buy individual tigercards that play audio games or music after being plugged into the box. The wildcards allow playing self-recorded voice messages or mp3 files. The whole thing also works offline if you download individual audio plays in the app or by playing content via a card with the box.
The simple and practical operation of the box with the cards or via the touch display as well as the large selection of audio material suitable for children makes the tigerbox TOUCH interesting for children. Individual profiles with age information and favorite characters enable age-appropriate use of the box. You can set functions such as the parental lock, sleep timer or maximum usage time via the parent area. This way you can control what your child hears and when. Playing the wildcards yourself invites you to record creative audio stories with your own child.
For the purchase of a tigerbox TOUCH you currently pay about 100,00 €, which is comparable to other listening boxes for children.
The tigerbox TOUCH is described as “The smart audio system for the kids’ room and on the go”. According to the manufacturer Tiger Media Deutschland, the difference to conventional Bluetooth speakers is that the tigerbox TOUCH was developed by experts in children’s media with children’s needs in mind. In addition to the ease of use, the carrying strap as well as the bamboo case guarantees the sturdiness of the box (also for traveling). Content is also provided via the ad-free and child-safe app tigertones.
The tigerbox TOUCH is especially exciting for older children with the wide selection of titles. Use the parents’ area and make sure that your child can only access content that is approved for his or her age. Note that for the premium account of the tigertones app– i.e. full access to all content – you need to sign up for a paid subscription starting at 6.99€ per month. With the operation via the cards, even younger children can enjoy childlike listening pleasure. The tigercards and wildcards are available from 5,99€ per piece. Stiftung Warentest has tested various listening boxes and points out that the playback volume is often too high for children, especially in conjunction with headphones. Use decibel-limited headphones or do without headphones and explain to your child how to turn down the listening box. How about getting creative together with your child, and record your own audio stories? Then playing via the device is twice as fun.
Whether it’s a podcast, book, magazine, series or movie – true crime and true crime cases are all the rage right now. The “true crime” genre is also exciting for young people. But where does the fascination come from and what should you pay attention to as a parent?
True Crime is not a fictional story, but a retelling of real criminal cases. The crimes described, often missing persons or homicide cases, are often unusual or have received special media attention because the legal decision was controversial. The fact that the cases actually happened makes them seem authentic in the eyes of the viewers. The criminal cases are told in very different ways: There are documentaries that portray the cases rather factually and close to reality. Other representations look like a movie – in them scenes are re-enacted or details are invented to make the stories even more interesting.
For users, the excitement lies above all in being “there” when a true crime is solved or explained. Real people did these things for specific reasons, and you want to know more about the motives for the act and the closer circumstances. In most cases, investigators or relatives of the victims also have their say and describe what happened from their perspective.
Telling exciting and, above all, real stories triggers thrills in many people. Putting themselves in the victim’s shoes, fathoming the motives of perpetrators, puzzling along and interpreting deeds – children and young people are attracted to reliving real criminal cases. Especially for young people, the study of the human psyche and personality development is interesting. Also attracting the penchant for the “forbidden” and unusual of these stories. When children reach puberty, they want to test their limits. This also includes watching or listening to things that are not actually suitable for their age because they can be stressful or frightening. While many older children and adolescents experience true-crime stories as entertaining and, for example, use “their” crime podcast during long train rides or while cleaning their rooms, younger children are often overwhelmed by the crime cases narrated.
The popularity of the genre means that there is an ever-increasing supply. Young people who particularly like the format may watch little other content. This can narrow their view of the world, which seems to be nothing but bleak and violent.
The depiction of real acts of violence can make children and young people afraid of becoming victims of crime themselves. Young people are particularly affected by scenes that they can identify with, such as violence against children or stories about relationships in families and partnerships. Younger people in particular often fail to recognize that a crime occurred many years ago or that a depiction is deliberately exaggerated to create suspense.
Not every series or podcast is equally carefully researched. Stories are circulating that may not have happened that way. In part, reality is distorted or simplified because it would be too costly and uninteresting to depict the real processes of a case with lengthy court hearings, interviews, etc.
Often, the perpetrator or the perpetrator is the focus of a true crime story. This can lead to viewers being fascinated by that person, which in turn can trivialize the acts themselves and diminish compassion for the victims.
The handling of gender roles within the genre should also be viewed critically. In many stories, the victims are female. Women are often portrayed as powerless and defenseless rather than empowered and strong.
Every story told touches children and young people differently. There are elements in true-crime stories that can overwhelm, unsettle, or frighten young people. Therefore, you should make sure that the true-crime show or podcast is also approved or recommended for your child’s age. Keep an eye on what your child is looking at and seek conversation.
Educate your child about the fact that not all true-crime formats are fact-based and how to verify their truthfulness – especially when it comes to trash TV shows. Ask what fascinates your child about True Crime. Whether the focus is on thrills, guesswork, or interest in investigative work: Don’t lose sight of the fact that this is True Crime, real crimes that have caused real suffering.
Read more: The project “True.Crime.Story” by Selbstkontrolle Fernsehen e. V. (FSF) and the JFF – Institut für Medienpädagogik (Institute for Media Education) investigated how young people view true-crime formats. Videos with voices of the interviewed young people and a report can be found on the website of Medienradar.
“Dad, how do you spell “sister”?” – many children around preschool age are inquisitive when it comes to learning to write. The first attempts with a piece of paper and pen can sometimes be frustrating. It takes a bit of practice until all the letters are clearly recognizable and your child finds his or her own print writing. The learning app I write in block letters want to help with this.
I write in print is a learning app for children to learn how to write and read print. There are five different categories. The simplest category is about tracing simple symbols. Basically, in each category, your child will be shown how to move their finger. If it has done its task well, it is rewarded with small funny animations that it can influence a little itself. The next categories are similar in structure and include the alphabet in upper and lower case letters and the numbers from zero to nine. Different fonts are available, for example Germany (North), Germany (Bavaria) or German Switzerland.
In addition, your child is always told which letter or number is currently visible via audio playback. The last category then involves writing whole words. This is where the special functions of I write in print come into their own, because you can configure many things yourself in the app. You can add as many words as you like to the already given words. You can also record the corresponding audio playbacks yourself. Also, the app supports different user accounts, so multiple children can use the app at the same time. I write in print even saves all the children’s input – so you can see in reports what tasks your child does, how accurate they were and if there are any possible sources of error.
At the latest when your child comes into contact with older children, e.g. with older siblings who can already write, the desire arises in many to be able to handle pen and paper themselves. The learning app gives playful practice in writing and reading print, which the children often enjoy very much. The “5 star mode” with increasing difficulty motivates children to become better and better and to receive a star as a reward for each successful attempt.
The app is recommended for ages four and up, but writing and reading are actually taught in elementary school. Children who already have skills by then tend to be bored frequently in class. However, it is a good sign if your child is enthusiastic about learning and wants to learn to write.
The app developer L’Escapadou claims not to store user data outside the app. The app is ad-free and offers a variety of settings to adjust the learning app to the child’s learning progress. For example, the appearance, sounds, animations and speeds of the tasks can be customized. In the “5-star mode”, the difficulty level can be changed. A parental lock ensures that the child stays on task. The game time limit shortens the game with the animations per task to a few seconds or minutes. A PDF can be created from the tasks and printed out to practice writing with pen and paper as well.
If your inquisitive child already feels the desire to learn to read and write before starting school, you should be positive about it and support him or her. I write in print is a child-friendly program that introduces children to writing in a playful way. However, some parents tend to expect too much from their children too soon. Your child does not need to be able to read and write before school! After all, that’s what school is for.
When your child goes to school, the app can be a good companion to the lessons. Writing on the tablet or smartphone with your finger is fun for kids. At the latest in school, it must learn to write with a pen. If your child is advanced, use a tablet pen or create individual worksheets from the app so your child can practice with the writing device in parallel.
In any case, accompany your child during the first steps and be available for questions.
Sharing children’s photos online, chatting in Minecraft or setting up the first smartphone – in everyday family life with media, there are many points of contact with the topic of privacy. But what exactly does privacy mean? And what can parents do to adequately protect their child’s privacy on the Internet? That’s what this article is about.
When we talk about privacy, we mean the personal space in a person’s life. That’s the part that’s around us where we can do things privately. In the realm of privacy, we can live our lives the way we want without it being anyone else’s business.
While we protect ourselves from prying eyes at home with curtains, there are other things we need to watch out for in the digital world. Maintaining privacy on the Internet specifically means protecting personal information and activities online. This includes personal data such as name, age, address and other private details. This starts even before birth with the sharing of ultrasound pictures, continues with the use of baby monitor apps and ends with smart toys in the nursery. As soon as your child is consciously on the Internet, you should discuss the topic of privacy on the Internet with him or her and explain to your child how to handle private information and online activities prudently. Make it clear to your child that he or she should not share personal details with strangers. Educate your child about scamming online. Make them aware of how they can recognize subscription traps, fake sweepstakes and the like in order to prevent the criminal misuse of their own data.
By the time they move on to secondary school at the latest, many children receive their first smartphone of their own. Depending on which phone your child has (Apple or Android), there are ways to set certain settings for apps to protect privacy:
In today’s connected world, it is very important to protect your child’s privacy, especially when using social media platforms:
Solutions for technical youth media protection such as parental control programs or the accompanied mode on TikTok are one way to increase your child’s safety when using media. However, they do not replace your responsible role in media education. An open conversation between you as parents and your child about what they are experiencing online is very important to help them navigate the web safely and responsibly.
A life without Benjamin Blümchen, My Friend Connie and the Grüffelo is unthinkable, especially for younger children. You probably remember your own favorite cassettes or radio play CDs from your childhood. As a modern variant of the classic listening media, there are nowadays so-called listening boxes. But what exactly can Tonie, Tigerbox and Co. actually do?
Listening boxes, also called music boxes, are available from various suppliers. Depending on the manufacturer, the prices differ, but are mostly under 100, – €. When you buy a box, stories are often included. However, if you want more audio stories or songs for your child, there may be subsequent costs.
The boxes all work on a similar principle: they are child-friendly and usually designed like a cube. Above all, they are easy to use. Colorful pens or figurines in the form of animals that you plug into the audio box, or connect via Bluetooth, can play all kinds of stories. You can also get creative yourself and record (your own) stories.
Listening boxes are specially designed to meet the needs and motor skills of younger children and are designed not to break quickly. The few functions are easy to perform, so your child can operate the box independently. Selecting and starting stories themselves, pausing, stopping or exchanging them as needed – the young users can do all this on their own. Children as young as about two years old can operate the devices intuitively. This can boost your child’s self-confidence.
Some boxes offer the possibility to set a time limit. This will help your child stick to agreed upon listening times.
Audio boxes can be used to play audio games and music, whether for entertainment or to learn new things. If the stories are stored on animal figures or similar, these figures can also be used as toys.
Find out about the different listening boxes to decide which one is right for your child. What is the right shape? Are the stories stored on some kind of USB stick or does the box always have to be connected to the Internet? How much do new stories cost?
Research what age the stories you want to listen to with the box are appropriate for. Since your child can also use the listening box on his or her own, an age-appropriate selection is especially important. Also inquire about the data protection of the respective box: What private data is collected? How is the personal information of the users protected?
An audio box does not replace the togetherness of your own reading aloud: Regularly take the time to read to your child from their favorite book or listen to the audio stories from the box together.
Many children make their first media experiences through audio media – whether audio books before bedtime, music in the nursery or children’s radio during the car ride. The selection is huge and the playback devices have long since gone beyond cassette recorders and CD players. People are increasingly listening via mobile devices, voice assistants and listening boxes.
Audio media offer many advantages, especially for young children. They can be used as a sideline medium for playing and painting, but can also be used for relaxation. In addition, turning on the children’s program at a fixed time can be a nice ritual that gives your child security and routine.
Traditional radio has evolved its distribution channels and offers a range of content suitable for children. There are special children’s radio stations and also radio stations with children’s programming that can be used both via conventional channels and via the associated website (livestream via web radio) or via app.
Regular podcasts and themed specials from children’s radio stations have the advantage that they pick up on current events and phenomena and explain them in a way that is suitable for children. The child’s perspective is taken into account and content that concerns and interests your child is discussed. Auch die Möglichkeit zum Mitmachen und des Meinungsaustausches in Form von Höreranrufen ist bei einigen Radiosendern für Kinder gegeben, wie bei Kakadu oder Radio TEDDY.
So next time you’re driving, turn on the children’s radio station or listen to a streaming children’s podcast while you’re doing housework together. We adults often learn something in the process 🙂
Other recommended radio programs for children:
A “treasure chest for audio play experiences” – that’s how the provider itself describes its Toniebox. As a contemporary alternative to cassette recorders and CD players, listening boxes can already be found in many children’s rooms. Why is the colorful box so popular and how exactly does it actually work?
Square, practical and easy to use – that’s how you can describe the Toniebox. This is a monochrome cube that can be used to play audio books by simply placing various figures on it. The play figures, called Tonies, are available in two versions. The Tonies in the design of well-known children’s characters can be used immediately. Countless contents can be played via them. The Kreativ-Tonie, in turn, can be recorded with your own recordings via an app.
The padded cube can be easily operated by children themselves: A chapter can be jumped forward by a slap on the left side. Fast forward and rewind by tilting the box slightly. On each box there are also two rubber ears, through which the volume is adjusted.
Before the Toniebox can be used for the first time, you have to set it up. A WLAN connection is required for this. You also need a smartphone, tablet or PC. To set up the box, you create a free customer account in the Toniecloud. Once the Toniebox is set up, you can put the character on the box and play it.
The Toniebox impresses above all with its simple design and easy operation, making it easy for children to use on their own. In addition, many different characters are available for both the general Tonies and the Creative Tonies: Benjamin Blümchen, The Mouse, Knight or Rockstar – depending on the child’s preference. The range of different stories and content available for the Toniebox also impresses many parents. Once the audio stories are fully loaded in the cloud, they can be listened to anywhere even without WLAN.
According to the company, the Toniebox is made of high-quality and robust material, which is why children can use it without any problems. But the box should also be easy for parents to operate: For example, the maximum volume can also be controlled via the Toniecloud. The Toniebox is suitable for children from the age of three.
If you use the option of a creative Tonie, your own sound recordings are stored in the Toniecloud. However, these can also be deleted again. When closing the entire Toniecloud customer account, all uploaded data is also deleted.
The cost factor of the Toniebox is not entirely insignificant: the starter set with one creative Tonie currently costs €79.95, and each additional Tonie (€14.99) or creative Tonie (€11.99) must be purchased separately. However, compared to the hörbert listening box, it is a cheaper alternative.
The creative tonies offer a lot of space for creativity. Why not record a story or song together with your child? Very creative people can also produce their own radio play and listen to it together later. As parents, you should always keep in mind that it is the shared media experience that counts and that you should especially accompany young children in their first media-related steps.
TikTok gehört noch immer zu den beliebtesten Apps unter Jugendlichen. Sie ist eine Plattform für kreative Kurzvideos aller Art.
TikTok ist Social-Media-Plattform und Video-App in einem: Userinnen und User können bei TikTok aus einer bunten Sammlung von bekannten Popsongs, beliebten Audios und Zitaten, z. B. aus Filmen, wählen. Dazu „singen“ oder „sprechen“ sie Playback und filmen ihre Choreografie innerhalb der App mit dem Smartphone. Aber auch komplett selbst kreierte Kurzvideos werden umgesetzt. Die meisten Videos sind ein paar Sekunden bis wenige Minuten lang. Bestimmte Clips lösen einen richtigen Hype aus, werden nachgeahmt oder im Sinne eines Trends oder einer Challenge weitergeführt.
Die Videos der TikTokerinnen und TikToker, deren Account öffentlich ist, lassen sich über einen Browser anschauen, ohne dass man bei der App angemeldet sein muss. Um selbst Videos zu erstellen, wird allerdings ein Account benötigt.
TikTok bringt immer mehr Funktionen heraus, z. B. sich im Duett mit anderen Usern filmen, die Clips anderer weiterführen (Stitch) oder Livestreams. Auch Unternehmen nutzen die Plattform, um darüber zu werben.
Jugendliche nutzen TikTok gern zum Spaß und für den Austausch untereinander. Auf TikTok lassen sich die jungen Nutzenden unterhalten, suchen nach Vorbildern, an denen sie sich orientieren können, stellen sich selbst dar und erhoffen sich positive Rückmeldung von anderen.
TikTok ist außerdem eine tolle Plattform, um die eigene Kreativität auszuleben. Die Hürde, ein eigenes Video zu erstellen und zu teilen, ist niedrig: In der App gibt es viele Videoeffekte und eine Musikbibliothek mit beliebten Songs, die sofort verwendet werden können.
Kinder und Jugendliche schätzen an TikTok, dass es darin weniger um Perfektion und Professionalität geht, wie auf Instagram oder YouTube, sondern Kreativität und Spaß im Vordergrund stehen. Die Videos sind näher am Alltag und die TikTokerinnen und TikToker werden als nahbarer empfunden.
There are a number of things you and your child should consider before using the app:
TikTok ist sich der Gefahr von verstörenden und unerwünschten Inhalten bewusst und passt seine Sicherheitseinstellungen immer wieder an. Folgende Sicherheitsfeatures stehen Jugendlichen und Ihnen als Eltern zur Verfügung:
Generell lassen sich Accounts melden und/oder blockieren und es gibt einen Filter für beleidigende Kommentare.
In der App wird nach der Registrierung durch einen roten Punkt auf die Einstellungen verwiesen. Im Sicherheitszentrum der TikTok-Website können Eltern Tipps nachlesen.
Personen, die selbst TikToks erstellen und veröffentlichen, können seit einiger Zeit „Alle Kommentare filtern“ und einzeln freigeben. Wer die TikToks anderer kommentieren möchten, wird vorher gefragt, ob dieser Kommentar auch wirklich veröffentlicht werden soll. Außerdem gibt es einen Hinweis auf die Community-Richtlinien, die unangemessene Sprache und Hate Speech verbieten.
TikTok steht wegen seiner Moderationsregeln in der Kritik, denn offenbar wird durch den speziellen Algorithmus stark kontrolliert, welche Videos die Nutzenden sehen können. Auf diese Kritik hat TikTok reagiert. Nutzende haben mittlerweile mehr Optionen, Einfluss auf die vom TikTok-Algorithmus angezeigten Inhalte in ihrem Feed zu nehmen:
Sie können Videos nun mit „nicht interessiert“ markieren oder konkrete Inhalte mit bestimmten Hashtags oder Wörtern automatisch herausfiltern. Seit März 2023 stellt TikTok eine Neustart-Option für den Für-Dich-Feed zur Verfügung. Wer findet, dass die vorgeschlagenen Videos sich wiederholen oder nicht mehr zu den Interessen passen, kann den Feed zurücksetzen und nutzt die App wie nach der erstmaligen Anmeldung. Trotz dieser Maßnahmen bleibt der Für-Dich-Feed Algorithmus-gesteuert und bleibt somit nach wie vor in der Hand des Anbieters. So filtert TikTok zum Beispiel immer wieder Videos von Menschen mit Beeinträchtigungen heraus und je nach Nutzungs-Land kann es sein, dass die Videos der Zensur ihrer dortigen Regierungen unterliegen.
Wenn Ihr Kind sich bei TikTok anmelden möchte, fragen Sie nach seiner Motivation. Sehen Sie sich vor dem Download gemeinsam die Nutzungsbedingungen an. Bei Handysektor finden Sie diese in einem kurzen Überblick. Um TikTok zu erkunden, ist es nicht notwendig, einen Account zu erstellen. Vielleicht ist das Surfen auf TikTok via Browser für den Anfang eine gute Option für Ihr Kind, um herauszufinden, ob ihm TikTok überhaupt gefällt.
Wenn es irgendwann einen Account geben soll, richten Sie diesen gemeinsam ein und probieren Sie zusammen die ersten Schritte aus. Geben Sie das richtige Geburtsjahr an. Für 13- bis 17-Jährige greifen gewisse Sicherheitsfeatures, die den Jugendschutz erhöhen. Eine Anleitung zu kindersicheren Einstellungen TikTok finden Sie auf medien-kindersicher.de.
Sprechen Sie mit Ihrem Kind über die möglichen Gefahren. Besonders wichtig ist, auf die Privatsphäre zu achten und in den Videos nicht zu viel von sich preiszugeben. Im privaten Modus ist mehr Kontrolle möglich. So ist die Kommunikation nur mit Freundinnen und Freunden möglich und Ihr Kind behält den Überblick darüber, wer die Videos sehen kann.
Versichern Sie Ihrem Kind, dass es sich jederzeit an Sie wenden kann, sollte es Beleidigungen erhalten oder belästigt werden. Zeigen Sie ihm außerdem, wie man unangemessene Inhalte blockieren und melden kann. Mehr Informationen dazu bietet der Leitfaden für Eltern von TikTok in Zusammenarbeit mit der FSM.
Um die eigene Privatsphäre und die von anderen besser zu schützen, muss bei einem Video nicht unbedingt immer das Gesicht zu sehen sein. Mit Hilfe von Emoji-Stickern oder anderen kreativen Lösungen ist das möglich.
From the ice queen via Bibi and Tina directly into the living room of beauty influencers. If you look at what’s on offer in our media, it quickly becomes clear what girls like – or should like. From the first (pink) game phone to the Netflix -The content offered to young people is often heavily trimmed to gender stereotypes and leaves little room for nuances. But is that really what girls like? And how can you, as a parent, appropriately shape your daughter’s journey through the pink and light blue world of media?
XX or XY: Our gender is the first drawer we are usually put into before we are born. For many people, the sex they are assigned according to chromosome and primary sex organs fits. But not for everyone. Some, for example, are non-binary or trans. And even those who feel comfortable as girls or boys do not automatically want to be associated with all stereotypes. For parents and educators, therefore, the following applies regardless of media use: taking a close look and keeping an open mind are important in order to see and accompany children individually. That’s why we use the asterisk to girls* in this text – to show that every form of gender identity is meant.
More information on the topic of queerness can be found in the book “Was ist eigentlich dieses LGTBQI*?” (What is this LGTBQI*? ), which is suitable for children, and at Kindersache from the German Children ‘s Fund (DKHW), as well as at the Queer Lexicon.
When girls* and boys* begin to move in media worlds, gender seems to take on even more weight than it already does. Most children are interested in audio games and videos in kindergarten, discover the Internet during elementary school, and then also want a smartphone. In terms of content, however, girls* and boys* often move in two worlds. This is because girls* are specifically addressed differently by marketing than boys* and there are not many alternative offers. For example, girls* often use services that appear to be tailored to their gender identity. They watch Barbie and horse videos, read fairy stories, and later are more likely to watch casting shows or admire beauty influencers like Bibi .
The image that young girls* are presented with of the world is often colored by stereotypes and simplifications: Girls* naturally love pink, are interested in fashion and makeup, are portrayed as needy and are bad at math. Some girls* seem to love these very clichés (at least at times) – others may find it hard to find alternatives or bow to peer pressure in kindergarten and school.
Of course, not all alarm bells have to ring immediately if your daughter likes Arielle or Gabby’s Dollhouse. Female characters of all varieties are a way for young people to express their own identity. They use stereotypical figures to test their own gender images – and possibly even consciously distance themselves from them. At the same time, too many such identification figures can also lead to stereotypes becoming fixed in the mind and prevent children from forming their own independent gender identity. Therefore, look closely and observe how your child talks about the media content.
As parents, you are important companions on the path of individual development. You serve as role models yourself – in the way you live your own gender identity, but also through your media use. Reflect on how you yourself talk about girls* and boys* and reflect together with your daughter* on the images of girls in the media. Be an*open conversationalist with whom your daughter* can discuss preferences, questions, and even stereotypes. Offer alternative (media) opportunities for your child to try content that has a different focus.
If you are open to your child’s topics, questions and interests and you accompany him or her in a loving and non-judgmental way, you will help your child the most. Because this way, young girls* can search for and live their own identity without fear.
Bob the Builder and Ninjago, war movies and baller games. If you think of “boys’ media,” you quickly get a lot of clichés together. It’s about strength and struggle, toughness and winning, and classic images of masculinity.
But does this media offering really suit all boys? And how can you as a parent guide your son through the stereotypical media images towards individual development?
XX or XY: Our gender is the first drawer we are usually put into before we are born. For many people, the sex they are assigned according to chromosome and primary sex organs fits. But not for everyone. Some, for example, are non-binary or trans. And even those who feel comfortable as girls or boys do not automatically want to be associated with all stereotypes. For parents and educators, therefore, the following applies regardless of media use: taking a close look and keeping an open mind are important in order to see and accompany children individually. That’s why we use the asterisk to boys* in this text – to show that every form of gender identity is meant.
More information on the topic of queerness can be found in the book “Was ist eigentlich dieses LGTBQI*?” (What is this LGTBQI*? ), which is suitable for children, and at Kindersache from the German Children ‘s Fund (DKHW), as well as at the Queer Lexicon.
Boys* today grow up with media from the very beginning. As kindergarteners, they watch videos or listen to radio plays; in elementary school, smartphones and game consoles become interesting. It is striking that boys* often develop different interests and consume different content at a very early age than girls*. This is shown, for example, by the current KIM study. They are more interested in sitcoms or cartoons, show more interest in gaming and action than girls*, and usually look for male role models – initially characters like Fireman Sam or superheroes, later comedians, musicians or athletes. Often these are characters and individuals who embody very stereotypical images of men* as strong, tough guys with power, money, and little emotional accessibility.
There may be various reasons why boys* often like programs in which exaggerated, stereotypical images of masculinity are cultivated: Their own preference, pressure from their friendship group, or a lack of alternatives.
For many parents, this is a difficult situation. They wonder how much they should counteract the stereotypes; how to deal with issues like violence or sexism – and how much stereotyping is okay in the media in the first place.
Exaggerations and clichés are also means that young people in particular use to form their own opinions and identities based on these extreme depictions. They can help children and young people to try out identities, to reflect and to come to their own convictions.
Direct caregivers such as you as parents play an important role in this. By the way you yourself live your (gender) identity and which media you use, you help shape your child. Think about how you yourself talk about girls* and boys* and what gender stereotypes are present in your life.
Especially in the uncertain phase of self-discovery, it is important for adolescent boys* to find open and loving partners in their parents. Engage in conversation with your child about stereotypes portrayed in the media. Offer your child alternatives to diverse media outlets and guide your child in finding his or her own gender identity by looking for different and diverse role models together.
If boys* can grow up with supportive, reflective adults and diverse offers – also in social media – it is easier for them to find an individual and good way of dealing with masculinity* and clichés for themselves.
On stage or canned, pressed on vinyl or available digitally – music accompanies us throughout our lives in the most diverse forms. Currently in vogue: music as livestream, on YouTube or on other platforms. For young people, this is a popular way to listen to their favorite music and stay in touch with others at the same time.
At first glance, it looks a bit like a return to linear television: Music is broadcast live – and users have the option of clicking in and listening along if they want. They do not select the songs themselves individually, but call up a playlist that someone has compiled for them.
In fact, there are also many similarities – but also differences – to VIVA, MTV and Co. or 1990s:
Livestreams are indeed very popular among users: 30 percent of YouTube users in a global study by Datareport in 2022 said they watch at least one livestream per week.
For children and young people, the livestream serves two important needs at once. On the one hand, they can get their favorite music here and get inspired. Depending on their tastes and the situation, they will always find the right offer – such as the hits of the year for the New Year’s Eve party or LoFi channels.(LoFi stands for “low fidelity” and refers to music recorded with simple technical devices that are a popular acoustic accompaniment for learning). At the same time, the live chat offers them the possibility of a parallel exchange with their circle of friends, with other listeners or with the creators of the stream. That’s how they find connection and community – and people with similar tastes in music.
Children and young people with their own profile can also offer livestreams themselves. In this way, they become creative themselves, share and express themselves.
So, on the whole, livestreams seem to be a good deal for music lovers of all kinds. In principle, minors may only use YouTube with the permission of their parents. The use of YouTube is permitted in Germany from a minimum age of 16 years. From the age of 13, parents can allow their children to use the Family Link.
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to live music streams – and they’re something parents should definitely address before releasing their kids into the vastness of YouTube:
Did you know that your child can hear even before he or she is born? The ear is the first sensory organ to be formed during pregnancy.
Hearing also plays a special role in baby and toddlerhood. Babies can recognize mom’s voice at an early age. Hearing is important for perceiving the environment and learning to speak. Since young children cannot yet read, they are especially dependent on hearing. They like to be read to or listen to radio plays. As soon as children begin to speak, they narrate to themselves while playing.
Especially at kindergarten age, children can be inspired with audio media. It doesn’t always have to be movies and videos. From the age of about 3 years, you can produce small audio games together or play games with sounds. This trains accurate listening and helps to learn to speak well.
With small children (about 3 years), you can just take a walk and listen carefully: What do we hear? What actually makes a noise?
If your child is already a little older (from 4 years) you can go on a sound safari together. Every smartphone has a built-in microphone, and many also have an app for recording voice memos. Go outside, e.g. to the forest, collect all kinds of sounds together. When you listen to it afterwards, do you or your child recognize what the sounds were?
Produce your own radio play (suitable for children from approx. 4 years). Almost every child has a favorite book or story. Make a little radio play out of it together. Read the dialogues with divided roles and think about how to implement sounds. What does it sound like when it’s raining or storming outside? An overview of how you can create sounds yourself can be found here.
If the weather doesn’t invite you to go outside, your child can solve audio puzzles at audiyoukids.de or Planet Schule, set a story to music themselves or put together an audio play. Accompany your child in this process – especially if he or she cannot yet read. Older children (elementary school age and up) also learn to edit sound recordings here.
Also, check out the reading tips further down this page. There you will find more ideas for creative media projects and more.
Then let’s get to the ears and have fun listening and making sounds together!
If you’re looking for good movies or podcasts for kids, you’ll quickly land on Kixi. The platform is a streaming service with a very special mission: Because on Kixi there are offers exclusively for children.
Kixi touts “educational children’s movies” on its website. These are selected by an editorial team. At Kixi there is a good selection of offers for children. These include classics such as “The Snow Queen” or stories by Astrid Lindgren as well as new on-screen heroes, e.g. the “Dragon Coconut”. Users can choose from four categories:
Under “Audio” there is a selection of audio plays and audio books. Educational offerings include educational films from the school sector, what-is-what offerings or factual films such as “Der kleine Medicus,” but also learning series that convey knowledge content with a playful character. The offers are sorted by age (the FSK rating applies here) or genre, so that you can quickly find what you are looking for.
In fact, the selection at Kixi is considerable and well sorted. Children can look, listen and learn there largely without hesitation. Since the app is ad-free, there is no risk that young viewers will click on commercial links or come across content that is actually only intended for adults.
By sorting by age, it quickly becomes clear which offers are also suitable for the youngest. Since the range is very clearly laid out, children can easily find their way around on their own. When on the road, the offline function can be used to access the program even without Internet access.
Even if the offer is safe for children, they need company even with the best program.
Select movies, audios, etc. with your child to make sure the preschooler doesn’t accidentally browse the “12+” category. In addition, it is important to jointly define rules of use and to discuss the content viewed with each other. Children have a lot of need to talk even after watching harmless films and must have a suitable contact person for this.
If you use the free offer first, you should remember to disable in-app purchases. Otherwise, your child will very quickly end up on paid content and may accidentally sign up for a subscription.
“Dear Santa, this year I would like a new smartphone. But one with a good camera, please!”
Media devices are at the top of many wish lists. For parents, however, they often trigger questions above all. Are media good gifts? Which media are suitable for which age? And what should be considered when buying?
From books or radio plays to game consoles, many things fall under the term media. And almost all of them show up as gift requests at some point. For younger children, picture books, audio games or music boxes are often found in the gifts. Later, the wishes tend to go in the direction of smartwatches or children’s tablets. And when the children get older, laptops and tablets, game consoles and, above all, smartphones increasingly end up on the wish lists.
In most cases, parents still feel relatively secure in their choices in the early years and become increasingly insecure later on. However, some things that make gift giving easier can always be kept in mind!
The question is whether media are given at all and which are the right ones? Then there are several ways to make a decision. The following questions can help:
Children often take their cue from older friends or siblings. Therefore, they are interested in offers that are not appropriate for their age. As a parent, however, you should pay attention to the age for which an offer is intended. You can read everything important about this in our article “Age-appropriate media for my child“.
Before media is purchased, you should also consider whether your child is already able to handle it. For one thing, it’s about the use itself. It can be helpful to answer for yourself whether your child is already motor and cognitively capable of using the desired device. It is also a question of whether your child, already reasoned content select alone, whether it can correctly assess the financial value of a device and handle it with appropriate care and much more.
Media gifts can quickly become quite expensive. Then you as parents are faced with the dilemma: Do we fulfill the wish at a high price – or do we disappoint the child? But often there are other solutions. For expensive devices, it is a good idea to start with older, used models. This saves money and gives you the opportunity to first try out how well your child can handle it. If your child already receives pocket money, he or she can also contribute to the costs. In this way, they also learn to better assess the value of the device and handle it more carefully.
Before buying media, it is also important to think and talk about how the media will be used later. For younger children, it is a good idea to negotiate media rules together and record them in a media use contract. In addition, you can resort to technical protection measures and set them up together with your child. Many devices have their own parental control settings. We also need to talk to older children and young people about usage times, costs and responsible use of content.
All in all, the following applies to media gifts: The purchase alone is only the first step. It is important to stay in conversation with your child about both the desire and the use. This way you can accompany your child well in their media use, discover difficulties early on and find solutions together.
Also consult with other parents beforehand if the equipment has already been purchased there. What experiences have they had?
Trying out the media together under the Christmas tree is much more fun! This way you will also get to know your child’s new device right away.
When young people on the street hold their cell phones in their hands much like a sandwich or talk excitedly into the air with headphones, it’s hardly surprising: they’re probably recording a voice message. This is also a popular way for families to stay in touch with each other in their often busy daily lives or over long distances.
Almost every messenger has the function to record voice messages. To do this, press and hold the microphone to the right of the text field within a chat or group and speak the message into the smartphone. After releasing the microphone button, the voice message is automatically sent to the selected person. This can listen to the message as many times as desired and also pause in between.
Voice is usually a better way to express how a message is meant. Does the voice sound angry, perhaps? Or is someone making a joke? The spoken voice can replace the emojis of a text message and make the message more authentic. With a voice message, there is more scope to express and communicate thoughts and feelings to others in less time than typing.
The advantages of this type of communication are the low effort and time savings that voice messages bring. On the road, for example, you can quickly ask in the family chat at the supermarket with shopping bag in hand what is needed for dinner. Eternal typing or the planning of telephone calls, for which both conversation partners must have time at the same time, are eliminated.
Voice messages can also help keep in touch with friends or family members who live farther away. Using your own voice is a quick and uncomplicated way to make it clear that you are thinking of each other.
Voice messages can also be annoying: Some people use them because they don’t feel like typing long texts. With voicemail, some get into the talking and don’t really have anything important to share. Instead, you get minutes of audio. Not always the received persons are able to listen to a voice message. While text messages can be read, voice messages must be listened to again in order to comprehend what may be important information. This is especially annoying with long audios.
Voice messages are sometimes sent faster than intended as soon as the microphone icon is released. Many messenger apps now offer the option of listening to the recorded message before sending it and checking whether it should really go out that way.
When recording and listening to voice messages, people in the vicinity should not feel disturbed. A text message can be read and typed silently – this does not apply to voice messages. Therefore, care should also be taken to ensure that when a voice message is played, not everyone can simply listen in. To avoid eavesdropping, many young people play the messages very quietly and hold the speaker of their smartphone very close to their ear. What may look a bit strange at first glance is a way to use voice messaging in public as well.
When recording voice messages, loud noises such as road noise or wind can interfere. Sometimes it also happens that you accidentally close the microphone, which means that the recipient cannot hear what is being recorded. Be aware that voice messages are a convenient option, but can never replace face-to-face exchanges. Make an agreement within the family and also with other people for which messages and in which situations audios are suitable and when not.