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World views in children’s media

Books, computer games and series all have one thing in common: they tell stories. However, when clicking and zapping through television programs and streaming services, it quickly becomes apparent that certain stories are repeated and others are barely shown. Through this one-sided portrayal, there is a danger of seeing discriminatory worldviews as normal from childhood.

The danger of one-sided narratives

Children have endless questions and are constantly searching for answers that explain the world around them. Media use makes a significant contribution to how your child perceives the world.
The media give us a very one-sided picture of our world by constantly repeating the same characteristics of a person such as skin color, gender, origin or religion. This leads to the fact that we no longer question the images and stories conveyed, but accept them.

Promoting diversity from an early age

That’s why children need stories that show that the world is colorful. Through access to a variety of stories, children come into contact with different realities of life, topics and perspectives.
And don’t worry: it’s okay to watch such one-sided movies and series. Rather, it is about offering different stories so that your child has the opportunity to get to know several perspectives on certain topics and representations. By dealing with diverse media content, your child can learn that people with or without disabilities, regardless of gender or skin color, can be heroes in stories.
To support this and promote an open world view, it is important to take a critical look at the content of radio plays, films, games and other media. In the best case scenario, take a look together with your child at how one-sided or varied the stories consumed so far have been told and how the characters are portrayed. Then you can search together for a series, a podcast, a game or a book with diverse characters that you and your child like.
Below you will find a list with some suggestions.

Diverse children’s media

On Instagram , TikTok and co. are dominated by one-sided role models, because clichés sell well. We have compiled tips for more diversity in social media offerings for you in this article. You can find portraits of influencers who deal with criticism of racism and show gender diversity here.

Diverse and queer – what is becoming more and more visible in our society is also increasingly reflected in media offerings for children. In this article, we present children’s media that show diverse gender images and lifestyles.

Movies and series:

All new for Lina – Lina moves to Berlin with her family and has to find her way around. (3 years)

My City of Ghosts – In this animated film, four friends interview ghosts and learn about the history of their city, Los Angeles. (5 years)

Die Sendung mit der Maus – A knowledge series for children in which diversity is also emphasized in the moderation. (5 years)

A Lousy Witch – Friendship in a witch school. (6 years)

The Checker World – The Checker Team Can, Tobi, Marina and Julian present exciting knowledge programs for children. (from 6 years)

Dandelion – Fritz Fuchs and his dog Keks experience exciting adventures as the successors to Peter Lustig together with a diverse ensemble of actors and impart interesting knowledge in the process. (6 years)

Strong! – Short portraits of strong children. (7 years)

Avatar – The Lord of the Elements – An animated series featuring characters with various disabilities, but with no focus on their impairments. (7 years)

Rico, Oskar and the Deep Shadows – two friends with different quirks and fears chase a kidnapper until one of the two boys disappears himself. (7 years)

Moooment! – A series that deals with the topic of racism and discrimination. (9 years)

Strange World – a three-generation family must save a dying plant. (9 years)

Karma’s World – (animated film) Ten-year-old Karma wants to become a rapper. Until then, however, they have to cope with everyday school and family life. (9 years)

The Peppercorns – A group of five children solve crimes. All five main characters demonstrate strength, courage and solidarity. (10 years)

Echt – web series on ZDFtivi that deals with friendships. (10 years)

Trio – A detective series (10 years)

The Help – this feature film is about the lives of black maids who work for white families every day in the 1960s. (11 years)

Einstein Castle – series about the lives of boarding school students. A format with a lot of diversity (past, skin colors, sexuality, illnesses) without being portrayed as “special” or “unnatural”. (12 years)

Funk – Free media offer and network of ARD and ZDF. (14 years)

Books:

Buuu.ch is a blog that presents children’s books and comics that convey diverse role models and avoid reproducing stereotypes or clichés.

Book suggestions for diversity-appropriate books for teens are posted regularly on CBJ ‘s blog.

Stories about strong girls can be found on this list of children’s books.

In addition, activist Raul Krauthausen collects children’s books that deal with various facets of the topic of disability.

Something completely different is the one organized by the Munich Deaf Association, where children’s books are read aloud in sign language.

In the book “My dream, my story“, eight children who became world-famous talk about their dreams and stories.

The Avalino Diversity blog and Britta’sInstagram and TikTok accountfocus a lot on the topic of diversity in the nursery. Among other things, she presents children’s books and has also written her own (children’s) book.

Zuckersüß Verlag is a publisher of children’s books with strong messages and a list of 30 books for more diversity and variety in the nursery on Jane Wayne’s blog.

Podcasts:

The Avalino children’s podcast is a knowledge podcast in which children talk about their ideas (e.g. environmental protection) or cool facts (e.g. about animals).

Die Maus is a podcast of the Sendung mit der Maus, on which a 60-minute episode for children appears daily. (4 years)

Hearooz is a podcast app that was developed especially for children and contains various child-friendly podcasts. (4 years)

The children’s podcast Kakadu discovers the world together with children and answers exciting questions. (6 years)

Games:

The Unstoppables is a puzzle game in which four friends with different disabilities rescue a dog from the clutches of its kidnapper. (Recommended by Webhelm from 8 years)

In the game Starlink: Battlefor Atlas, the prosthetic arms and legs of the strong character Chase are a matter of course. (USK 6 years)

In SIMS 4 and SIMS Freeplay, characters can freely choose any hobby and profession. When creating Sims, players can decide for themselves what skin color the characters should have and choose between two body shapes (instead of genders). Same-sex and polyamorous relationships are also possible. (USK 6 years, recommended by Spieleratgeber NRW from 10 years)

Serena Supergreen and the broken wing is a game that takes a gender-sensitive approach to technical apprenticeships in the field of renewable energies. (Recommendation from internet-abc from 12 years)

Sibel’s Journey is about dealing with the topics of sexuality, gender, body and boundaries. (Recommended by wirfuervielfalt for ages 12 and up)

In Tell me why, two siblings meet again after 10 years to sell the family estate. The game also represents trans* boys. (USK 12 years)

Media education for siblings

In many families with siblings, there are arguments about media use: the younger ones feel unfairly treated if they are allowed less than the older ones. What some people find exciting, others find boring. Conversely, some media offerings are too much for younger children. The older ones have the feeling that they constantly have to be considerate of their younger siblings. How can parents master the balancing act between the needs of siblings and encourage their children to use media competently?

Making media rules fair

Whether an only child or a sibling – rules on media use in the family give children structure and security for their everyday life with media. The needs and developmental stages of each child should be taken into account. For example, it can make sense to give older siblings more freedom when it comes to media use, while younger children are subject to stricter limits. For example, older children are allowed to take certain devices into their own room, while younger children should only use media in the shared living areas. The times of use must match the age of the children. Younger people should spend less time in front of a screen than older people. Define the rules together and make sure that they are fair and understandable for everyone. For example, a media usage contract that you draw up individually for each child can help. Everyone in the family should adhere to basic media rules such as “no media at the dinner table”.

Accompanying sibling conflicts

“Give me my tablet back now!”, “That’s for babies, I want to listen to something exciting!”, “Why do I have to turn it off when she can still watch?”. Do sentences like this sound familiar? If the age gap is large, different rules apply for each child. This can easily lead to arguments between siblings, whether over access to certain devices or the choice of content. Make the rules clear to your children and help them to put themselves in their sibling’s shoes. For example: “Your big sister wasn’t allowed to watch videos for more than an hour when she was at primary school “. Make sure you recognize conflicts in good time and support them well. This strengthens the relationship between the siblings and they learn to negotiate, compromise and resolve conflicts more and more independently.

Creating shared media experiences

Watching movies or playing games together is fun and creates a bond. Parents should support their children in choosing suitable media content for shared media use. Shared media rituals such as watching a science program on Sunday or listening to music in the car are fun and strengthen family cohesion. Siblings often process media content together and act out scenes from series or immerse themselves in the world of their favorite characters in role-playing games. Siblings can learn a lot from each other, especially when they are creative with media together and design radio plays, stop-motion films or photo collages themselves.

Tips on media use by siblings

  • Avoid excessive demands: Choose age-appropriate media, observe the age ratings and use the youngest child as a guide when using media together.
  • Create safe spaces: Make sure that younger children have limited access to media. Make it clear to the older children that they are jointly responsible and must not give the younger ones unauthorized access.
  • Make agreements: Make sure that the media rules are adhered to in the family. Take the different needs and preferences of your children seriously. Establish fairness and decide together, for example, which child is allowed to decide which media content and when.
  • Find alternatives: one child watches on the TV, the other on the tablet – this can be a solution for different preferences and levels of development. If the younger child’s media time is already over while the older child is still allowed to use media, offer your young child an alternative, media-free playtime.
  • Promote media literacy: Be aware of your role model function by setting a healthy example for your own media use. Have regular open discussions in the family about the advantages and disadvantages of media. In this way, you can help your children to deal with media in a critical and reflective way in line with their age and promote their media skills.

Instagram

Instagram is one of the most popular apps among young people. Experiences are shared as stories, influencersshowwhat’s hot at the moment, users find out about a news feed or are simply entertained.

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In a nutshell:

  • social network that can be used free of charge after registration via the app
  • Publish and view photos, short videos(reels), live streams and so-called stories
  • Minimum age: 13 years
  • Caution: contains a lot of advertising, children and young people can be confronted with unsuitable content,
  • Provider: Instagram is like Facebook a service of the large US internet company Meta

What is Instagram?

Instagram, or Insta for short, is more than just a picture platform. Above your own feed (accessible in the app via the house icon), you will find the latest stories and live streams from users you follow. These disappear again after 24 hours, but can also be saved by the person who posted the story on their own account as a so-called highlight. The feed also displays the newly posted photos and videos of the subscribed channels and people.

Users can find a wide variety of content on Insta: Posts by stars and starlets, about brands and products, current challenges and even personal profiles of friends. You can respond with likes and comments.

You can create and edit your own posts with filters, emojis, fonts, etc. directly in the app. In captions, your own content – i.e. photos and videos – can be assigned to topics with a hashtag. Under Instagram Reels (accessible below the feed via the video icon) you can find short videos in TikTok style.

What particularly fascinates children and young people about Instagram?

The popularity of Instagram lies, among other things, in its focus on photos and videos. Various and easy-to-use tools help to get the best out of your own image. It is particularly appealing for young people to present themselves in the best light and test their effect on others. The app also makes it quick and easy to document and share the best moments with friends or family.

Children and young people are constantly finding new content about their idols on Instagram. They can follow what they are doing virtually around the clock, comment on pictures, like them, save them and forward them to other people. Insta is a great way to while away the time waiting for the bus or to keep an eye on what your crush from the next class is doing in his free time.

Influencers, stars and people with a creator account can create broadcast channels. With the help of an invitation link, users can join and invite other people. Children and young people find out even more about the (public) lives of their stars in the broadcast channels and receive news before people outside this channel.

At the end of 2023, Meta also launched the app in Germany Threads app in Germany. This is (closely) linked to Instagram.

What is problematic about the offer?

The joint privacy policy of Facebook and Instagram, which all users agree to when registering, allows the sharing of user data with other services of the parent company Meta and with third parties. The app enables so-called crossposting. This means that a photo can also be posted on Facebook can be shared. If you have a Facebook account, you should check the settings carefully when publishing posts.

Instagram can determine the location of users via the posts they make. Privately set accounts prevent this. In addition, access to the location can be set both in the app and in the app permissions on your own smartphone and tablet. Then Instagram cannot see the location of public accounts either. However, a location can be added to each posted image manually afterwards.

Content on Instagram is subject to payment if children and young people not only follow an account, but also subscribe to it. The monthly price is set by the creators themselves and the subscription can usually be canceled on a monthly basis. Subscribers have access to exclusive content such as pictures, reels and stories. If you would like to subscribe to an account, you will find a “Subscribe” button next to “Follow”/”Followed” and “Messages” on the profile. A single click on this button does not yet lead to a subscription, but must first be confirmed with further clicks.

Certain content on Instagram can be problematic for young people: Inappropriate content such as erotic images, dangerous challenges and disinformation, but also advertising. Influencer business models play a special role here, which young people do not always recognize.

Instagram harbors various communication risks through functions such as chats and comments. For example, contact from strangers, hate speech or online bullying can occur.

What does the provider think?

The official minimum age for using Instagram is 13, but there is no effective age control so far. Until your child is 18 years old, you must consent to its use. There are extensive usage and setting options. If your child is under the age of 13, they can use Instagram if you manage the account. This must be included in the profile description. Accounts of children and young people under the age of 18 are automatically set to private after creation. However, this can be changed in the settings afterwards and the profile can be set to public. At Handysektor you can read a short version of the terms of use and download a flyer with the most important safety information about Instagram for young people.

Since June 2022, there has been “parental supervision”, which allows parents to link their account to that of their child. We present all the setting options in this article. You can find out how Instagram itself wants to make the app safer for young people directly on the Instagram website.

What should parents pay attention to?

Together with your child, decide at what age and according to what rules he or she is allowed to use Instagram. Make various settings together so that your child can useInstagram as safely as possible. Not all photos have to be shared with everyone or even just with friends via the internet!

Talk to your child about communication risks on Instagram, from online bullying to cybergrooming. Show your child how they can block or report other users and explain to them when these functions are useful – for example, if someone insults your child in the comments. Your child should also not simply accept subscription requests from strangers and be sparing with their own data, such as their location.

Educate your child about risks such as harmful content, hate speech, disinformation and political opinion making. Talk to your child about the critical behavior of influencers and keep talking to them about one-sided role models and clichés. Stay interested and check in regularly to see who your child is following on Instagram and who is following them. It is important that your child knows that they can always talk to you if they have an unpleasant experience on the platform.

Age-appropriate media for my child

The overwhelming range of films, series, apps and other media presents parents with the challenge of getting an overview in order to select the right content for their children. After all, the selection should not only be age-appropriate, but also entertaining and, ideally, educational. We have put together a few suggestions on where you can find age-appropriate media for your child.

Age-appropriate media – what does that mean?

The choice of media should always be based on your child’s stage of development. Media offerings are tailored to different age groups, and it is important that you as parents pay attention to this. Age recommendations and descriptions of the content can provide helpful information. However, you know your child best, so you can use this as the best basis for determining whether the offer might suit your child.

Verified media content

In descriptions of media offerings – whether apps, films or games – there are sometimes different age specifications. A distinction must be made between recommendations, general terms and conditions and age ratings. Specifications and approvals usually have a legal background. For example, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) stipulates that certain apps, such as WhatsApp and TikTok may only be used from the age of 13.

The description in the app stores often contains a different age indication – namely that the app has been approved by the youth media protection authorities. The age ratings issued by self-regulatory bodies such as the FSK or USK rate media according to statutory youth protection criteria. In each case, it is examined whether media content could be dangerous for the development and health of children and adolescents. For example, through the depiction of violence or pornography. Or whether children can be exposed to contact risks through the use of a service. It is not checked whether a plot in a series and characters are understood at a certain age. This means that a Disney movie that is released from the age of “0” is by no means suitable for babies. It just doesn’t pose a risk to them. Access to media for children is to be regulated by means of age labels and technical protection measures. But this only works if you as parents also pay attention.

When it comes to selecting content, age recommendations made by (media) educational institutions, for example, will help you. We look to see whether the content corresponds to the lifeworld of the respective age group and whether it is understandable and appealing.

Suitable media offerings and guidance for parents

The media landscape for children of nursery and primary school age is huge; older children and young people often switch to adult offerings because there are fewer offerings tailored to them.

Here you can find good media offers and information:

  • TV, streaming, YouTube, cinema: The FLIMMO parents’ guide offers educational recommendations by age for films, series and shows from media libraries, streaming services, YouTube and TV channels
  • Children’s search engines: Via fragFINN or Helles Köpfchen, children only surf on tested and child-friendly websites.
  • Websites: A large collection of child-friendly websites is listed and presented on seitenstark.de.
  • Apps: We have put together a selection of “Good apps for children” and “Apps for toddlers
  • Children’s radio and podcasts: We have put together a selection for you “There’s something for your ears“.
  • News: We have put together a selection of “News for children and young people“.
  • Games: The NRW games guide provides detailed profiles of computer games with age recommendations.
  • Online television for 14 to 25-year-olds: funk’s diverse content appeals primarily to older young people.

Tips for your own evaluation of offers

The selection and examination of media offerings requires time and attention. However, by making conscious decisions and communicating openly, you can ensure that your child uses positive and developmentally relevant media content.

  • Content review: Look at the content and consider whether it fits in with your child’s world and understanding.
  • Interaction options: Images, sounds, music and animations should be age-appropriate and appealing.
  • Simple navigation: The service should be easy to use, ideally voice-controlled for younger children and with few symbols and functions.
  • Advertising and in-app purchases: Make sure there is no advertising and preferably an offer without in-app purchases.
  • Parental settings: Familiarize yourself with the setting options for a safe environment and, if necessary, make use of offers from the technical youth media protection service.
  • Feedback from others: Talk to other parents and check whether the offer comes from trustworthy developers or educational institutions.
  • Test run: Look at or test your selection in advance – without your child.

Individual support and communication

Do not rely solely on recommendations, as every child develops differently. Actively accompany your child in their media consumption right from the start in order to understand how they react to certain content.

Netflix – good streaming for families?

Netflix is one of the most popular streaming portals among families. We explain what to look out for if your child wants to watch movies or series there.

In brief

  • streaming platform of the US company Netflix, Inc.
  • Available in Germany since December 2014
  • Flexible monthly subscription: €4.99 (with advertising), €12.99 and €17.99 (without advertising, for two to four devices in parallel)
  • Up to five profiles can be created
  • Certified youth protection functions in accordance with German law

What is Netflix?

Netflix is a video streaming service where you have unlimited access to a huge selection of movies and series with your own account. The company has the rights to use them and also produces some films and series itself. Anyone who wants to use Netflix has to pay between €4.99 and €17.99 per month. The cheapest subscription has advertising in between – but this is soon to be completely removed. If you pay significantly more (at least 12.99 euros), you can stream on two or four devices simultaneously. Up to five profiles can be created per account with different settings, e.g. age rating, age rating, subtitle display or playback settings. The film and series suggestions in the profile also adhere to these settings, but what is actually suggested is calculated by an algorithm based on the viewing behavior of the individual user.

Account sharing, i.e. the use of an account by several people at the same time, is possible to a limited extent depending on the subscription. This is permitted with persons living in the same household. This is only permitted with persons from other households for an additional charge. The provider examines violations of this in various ways and demands compensation.

The subscription also includes Netflix games. Customers receive access to specially developed or licensed games for mobile devices. These can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or in the Google Play Store as separate game apps. There is no advertising or in-app purchases for the games.

What is problematic about the offer?

Netflix offers content for all ages. For the movies and series, the streaming service adopts the existing FSK rating. If there is no FSK rating, the age ratings are made by Netflix itself, which must comply with German law.

Due to the wide range of content on offer, there is also countless content for older teenagers (aged 16 and over) and adults (aged 18 and over) that can be frightening and problematic for children and young people. Parental controls can be set up by entering a PIN for selected age ratings or specific movie/series titles. In addition, profiles can be protected with a PIN and special children’s profiles can be set up.

Unlike with analog, linear television, you can theoretically watch series from start to finish. The appeal of spending a lot of time on Netflix is therefore high. Here, personal responsibility is required to limit one’s own viewing time . What is already difficult for some adults is even more difficult to control for children and even teenagers.

What does the provider think?

Netflix displays the respective age rating for movies/series in various places, on the overview page for the movie, in the detailed information or as an overlay at the beginning when playing. Also, individual titles can be locked for individual profiles. These will then also no longer appear in the search or in the suggestion list. In addition, individual profiles – e.g. the profile for adults or older children – can be assigned a PIN so that younger children do not have access. It is also possible to create children’s profiles. This gives you, as parents, the option of making settings appropriate to the age of your child. For example, you can see what content your child has watched in the last few days or you can prevent the next episode of a series from playing automatically.

What should parents pay attention to?

Pay attention to the age ratings of movies and series. Use the child or parental control options by creating appropriate profiles and protecting them with a secure PIN . This is the only way to ensure that your child cannot end up in the adult section from the child profile.

Only display titles suitable for children in the children’s profile; these are based on the age ratings 0, 6, 12, 16 or from 18 years. Consider whether automatically playing more episodes really makes sense for you. Also, you can have animation effects reduced in the child profile when navigating on the TV. When watching on portable devices, feel free to use the screen lock so that smaller children in particular cannot adjust anything on the device themselves.

Keep an eye on your child’s screen time. It’s best to set media rules together – and set a good example yourself. Media time should be just one of many other non-media activities. If you’re not sure how much time your child should spend in front of the TV or laptop, check out our video: “How much media time is too much?”

Ask your child about his or her favorite series or movies, and it’s best to watch them together so that your child doesn’t feel alone even during scary scenes. It can also turn the shared experience into a beautiful ritual .

The streaming service Cliq – one service for everything?

The streaming service Cliq attracts customers with a wide range of multimedia offerings for films, series, sport, music, audio books and games. One app, all in one, so to speak. The service also aims to be the cheapest provider in Germany. We explain what’s behind it.

In short

  • Streaming service for films and series, sport, music, audio books and games
  • App for iOS and Android, Fire TV stick, Chromecast TV or via web browser
  • 6.99 euros/month, can be canceled at any time
  • Children’s profile for 0 to 12-year-olds possible
  • Games category: NO adequate protection for children and young people

What is behind the offer?

Cliq is a streaming service with a diverse selection: numerous German and international films, often rather older, but also blockbusters, slightly fewer series with documentary and history series, sports broadcasts, music with video, but without your own playlists, various cloud games and some audio books, albeit without a timer function. Cliq offers practical functions such as download options, parental controls and simultaneous streaming on several devices without advertising for games and audio books. In contrast to the competition, there is only one subscription model with which all multimedia areas can be accessed. There is also a rental model; the subscription includes one rental film per month.

What fascinates children and young people about it?

Cliq addresses the needs of children and young people at different stages of their lives by offering age-appropriate content. Under “Kids” there is an area for children with a manageable selection of older entertainment media: from children’s films to animated series, music stations to romp around or fall asleep to games. The “Kids” service is aimed at children under the age of 12, which is why all films, series and games there have an appropriate age rating. Most videos are labeled with the statutory age ratings of the FSK (Voluntary Self-Regulation of the Film Industry), i.e. FSK 0 or FSK 6.

What can be problematic?

Much of the content on the streaming service is not suitable for children and young people and can be frightening or problematic. Parents should protect their profile with a PIN and set up a special children’s profile. In the children’s profile, films and series are marked with the corresponding official age ratings. However, nothing can be filtered so that all content up to the age of 12 is always visible and therefore clickable for children. Music, audio books and games have no visible age rating or recommendation on Cliq. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to tell from the covers what age it might or might not be suitable for.

For many games, it is absolutely incomprehensible why they can be found in the children’s area at all. Games with an official age rating of 16 or 18 (such as USK 18 or PEGI 18) can be found there without any indication. This gives parents a false sense of security. Children should never play there unsupervised.

From the age of 13, young people at Cliq are assigned to the adult area. There, they are confronted with all available content completely unprotected – including content that is not suitable for their age. There are no age ratings and no corresponding recommendations or filter functions.
The youth protection laws in Germany require that all content (games/films) have an appropriate age rating and a corresponding protective measure – neither of which Cliq currently fulfills.

The appeal of spending a lot of time on a streaming service is very high. Here, personal responsibility is required to limit one’s own viewing time . What is already difficult for some adults is even more difficult to control for children and even teenagers.

What does the provider think?

The provider emphasizes the importance of data protection and security and provides parents with tools to monitor and restrict usage. Parents can protect their profile with a PIN and set up a special children’s profile.

This is what parents should pay attention to

Use the child profile and protect it with a secure PIN (no dates of birth or simple sequences such as 1234) so that your child cannot switch between profiles. However, be sure to check the age ratings of films, series and games yourself. Accompany your child when using media. Be approachable when questions or fears arise. And watch your child when they are watching videos or playing games. Keep an eye on how much time your child spends on the streaming service. Binge-watching can also occur in children and young people, for example.

Select content together and define media rules together with your child. And keep yourself regularly informed about current functions and parental control settings.

In our video series “You ask – we answer,” our media educator Melanie Endler explains why you shouldn’t leave children alone when watching series:

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Virtual parents’ evening on 23.04.2024 from 5 to 6 pm

My first smartphone (held in German)

When is my child actually old enough to have his or her own smartphone? It is not easy to give an answer to the question that is valid for every child. This is because, in addition to the usefulness of the smartphone, your child’s stage of development also plays a role in the decision. You know them best and can assess their media experience and general sense of responsibility.

You can find out when the right time is, how to deal with challenges, which safety settings you should make in advance and how you can help your child to use it as safely as possible at the virtual parents’ evening from Elternguide.online!

Join us live at the virtual parents’ evening of Elternguide.online and put your questions to our experts – we will provide answers and be available for discussion. The event will be held in German.

Information and registration

Date: 23.04.2024 | Time: 5 to 6 pm

Speakers: Sophia Mellitzer (JFF) and Sophie Pohle (Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk)

Moderation: FSM e.V.

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    Help, my child watches porn!

    Whether via search engines, messengers or social media – many children and young people come into contact with pornographic content online at an early age, by chance and without intention as well as out of curiosity and interest. For parents, this can be frightening when they eventually realize that their child is watching porn. Why this is not abnormal, what pornographic content can be problematic and how you should deal with it, you will learn in this article.

    Access to porn

    While porn used to be found mainly in special stores or video stores and was only accessible to adults, it is now very easy to find it on the Internet. Besides, you won’t be seen and it doesn’t necessarily cost anything. This is not only true for adults. Children and adolescents develop their own sexuality during puberty at the latest. They are looking for guidance and role models. Since sex is often still a taboo subject, people like to seek the anonymity of the net. Here they can get smart unobserved before the sexuality is lived out with others. However, provocative nude pictures of men and women can suddenly pop up on the cell phone display quite unintentionally when your child actually just wants to watch a series, research for school online or write in the class chat.

    Also on popular platforms such as
    YouTube
    and
    Instagram
    you can find photos and videos showing people with little clothing and in erotic poses. Such content is not pornography and is therefore available for all to view. However, they can still be unpleasant or even disturbing for some children, especially younger ones.

    Protection from pornography

    In Germany, youth media protection ensures that children and young people under the age of 18 are protected from content on the Internet that could endanger them or impair their development. Some content, e.g. violent pornography or depictions of the sexual abuse of children and young people, is generally prohibited for everyone!

    Pornographic content in which sex is depicted in detail is permitted in Germany, but only for adults aged 18 and over. This means that access may only be possible after a secure age check. This is strictly checked for porn sites from Germany.

    The situation is different for sites from other countries, some of whose porn content is freely accessible. Many platforms with pornographic content such as OnlyFans are not approved for minors. However, use is often possible by clicking on the “I am 18 years or older” button. However, large porn websites must now comply with the European Union’s Digital Services Act and implement much stricter rules.

    Why porn can be problematic

    Porn is particularly appealing to adolescents in puberty – also because it is forbidden. They are particularly susceptible to such stimuli and go in search of pornographic content or curiously click on the pages they happen to come across. Especially when the topic of sexuality is taboo at home and they don’t want to talk about it with their parents, they resort to what they find on the net. And that’s not necessarily age-appropriate.

    The quick availability of such content can be particularly appealing when, for example, you’re just looking for a distraction or want to escape from your everyday problems. A habit can turn into addiction for some young people. Besides, watching porn regularly can develop ideas about sex that don’t have much to do with reality. Sex and pornography are equated with love and relationship. Some young people then expect their own love life to look the same. This also includes the development of your own body. This can stress teens out if they want to become sexually active themselves. Or the girlfriend or boyfriend is put under pressure to present himself or herself in the same way, film it and send the video. Voluntary and consensual sexting is okay, but the images must not be blackmailed or misused. You can learn more about sexting in our article about it.

    What you should pay attention to as a parent

    Sex is part of our lives. Do not make the topic taboo and always be open and willing to talk. Provide age-appropriate education when your child asks questions about love and sexuality. If you are unsure, get help, for example from the parents’ helpline of the Nummer gegen Kummer. We present further digital advice services for young people and parents in this article.

    Accompany your child in their first steps on the Internet and explain to them that content can be encountered that is unpleasant. If certain pages appear unintentionally, your child should be able to talk to you about it. Younger children in particular must not be left alone with such experiences. They cannot properly categorize what they see because it has nothing to do with their own range of experience.

    Please note the following points:

    • If your child is younger, give them access to age-appropriate content and let them surf the Internet using children’s search engines. This will reduce the likelihood that your child will come across content that is inappropriate for their age.
    • Use parental control programs and filter options on your browser, smartphone or tablet so that content harmful to minors is not displayed in the first place.
    • However, such technical settings can only ever provide support, as they do not offer one hundred percent protection against such content. It is much more important that your child knows that there is also such content on the net and knows ways to deal with it.
    • However, as children get older and enter puberty, they also need their space and don’t necessarily want to talk to their parents about the changes in their bodies. Older siblings can be good conversation partners. There are also sex education sites for young people online, such as Loveline or Liebesleben.
    • If you overhear your son or daughter watching porn, talk to him or her about it, but don’t judge your child. Make it clear to him that pornography is not realistic, but that someone has made up the “stories”, the bodies are professionally portrayed and the pleasure is staged. Talk to your child about ideals of beauty and role models.
    • Mere bans and filtering measures will not help, especially with young people. They find their ways to watch porn. If anything, bans have an even more appealing effect. Therefore, an open approach to the topic of sex is more effective.
    • Explain to your child what is and is not allowed when it comes to pornography. Show your child how to report prohibited content online, for example via a complaints office.

    Klicksafe is providing detailed information on this topic as part of Safer Internet Day 2024. Click here for the information sheet for parents: https://www.klicksafe.de/materialien/voll-porno-wie-spreche-ich-mit-meinem-kind-ueber-pornografische-inhalte-im-netz

    The Internet Phenomenon Pranks: From Funny and Harmless to Cocky and Risky

    Playing a prank on someone, for example ringing the front doorbell and then just running away, that’s probably something everyone did as a child and had fun with. Much like the challenge phenomenon, which involves filming yourself completing a challenge and posting the clip online, pranks are the modern version of the childhood prank: videos of pranks played on others can be found in large numbers on YouTube & Co. You can learn more about this in this text.

    What excites teens about pranks?

    As children get older and they begin to think ahead, that is, to imagine what will happen next, they get excited about pranks and movies in which mishaps happen to people.

    “Prank” is the English term for prank. Many influencers film the pranks they play on friends, other influencers from social networks or even uninvolved passers-by. People who play pranks on others in this way are called “pranksters”. Many of them are usually harmless and funny, such as prank phone calls or scaring your girlfriend or boyfriend in their sleep. If a person has been pranked, they are said to have been “pranked”.

    Especially the social networks popular with children and young people such as
    YouTube
    and
    TikTok
    are popular platforms for pranks of all kinds.

    What can be problematic about pranks?

    In order to attract a high level of attention from the community and get as many clicks as possible, however, some pranks are becoming increasingly problematic. YouTuber ApoRed dropped a bag in a savings bank during his “bomb prank” and shouted “You all have 30 seconds, you better run if you value your life!”. Some passers-by were very scared and subsequently had trouble sleeping. ApoRed was sentenced to probation and 200 community service hours. The trial was intended to make it clear that the state also takes note of crimes in social networks and does not tolerate them.

    This example is, of course, an extreme individual case that does not represent the rule. YouTube has since tightened its terms of use, as more and more such videos have had serious consequences. It is now illegal to post pranks and challenges that involve “the risk of real danger or death” on YouTube.

    Questionable family pranks

    Whether on TikTok, YouTube or Instagram – problematic pranks affect every age group. The aim here is often to frighten the “victim” with supposedly dangerous situations, sometimes even to provoke disgust or despair. In some cases, even young children are presented in this way by caregivers such as older siblings or parents, who are often particularly well received by the community due to their awkward behavior. One example of this is the “egg cracking prank”, in which parents pretend to record a baking video and then suddenly crack an egg on the child’s forehead. Other pranks also use face filters or similar to scare children. However, consumers of such videos must be aware that such pranks can lead to emotional damage in the children concerned and a loss of trust in important caregivers.

    You can find out more about questionable family pranks here at Webhelm.

    What parents should pay attention to

    In fact, young people are more likely to watch prank videos than make them themselves. However, influencers like to encourage people to imitate the content, whether with a camera or not, whether harmless or not. Young people are often not even aware of the consequences. Others may come to harm or may not find it funny to be featured in a video. The right to one’s own image is part of the personal rights to which everyone is entitled – including underage children. Explain to your child that uploading photos or videos without the consent of the persons recorded is prohibited. Disregarding personal rights can be prosecuted under criminal law in Germany.

    If your child enjoys watching such videos online, let them show you and tell you what they like about them. However, also make it clear that dangerous pranks in particular are not suitable for imitation and that a lot of content on social networks is staged, even if it appears authentic. Keep an open mind for funny and harmless challenges or pranks from your child’s influencers.

    You can find out more about the phenomenon of challenges in this article.

    YouTuber, Let’s Player, novelist – who is Paluten?

    Paluten – sounds like a breakfast garnish or an accessory from a Swedish furniture store? Far from it. In fact, Paluten can be found wherever children and young people use media – and has been doing so quite successfully for a long time. So it’s high time to take a closer look!

    Who is Paluten actually?

    Paluten is the media alter ego of Patrick Mayer. The Hamburg native (*1988) founded his first YouTube channel under this artistic name in 2012. YouTube -channel in 2012 and began to mainly Let’s Play -videos on various games there.

    The audience was enthusiastic, grew quickly and Paluten quickly became one of the most important German Let’s Players. In his videos, he increasingly specialized in the game Minecraft – and gradually built an entire Paluten world there, whose characters, stories and content he tells and sells across all media.

    Paluten now not only has around 8,000 YouTube videos, but also profiles on Twitch , TikTok and Instagram He can be heard on two different podcasts and has published the book series “Freedom”, which follows on from his video series “Minecraft FREEDOM” and is set in the same Minecraft world. He sells these, along with clothes, cuddly toys, drinking bottles and all kinds of other products in his store, living the dream of many YouTubers: He turns his clicks into money and does so very successfully. The computer magazine Chip estimated the resourceful gamer’s fortune at around €3 million in 2023.

    What role does Paluten play for children and young people?

    For children and young people, Paluten slips into the role of a slightly older but cool friend, who picks up on their interests with his videos. He builds his Minecraft world and invites his followers to join in and be part of it. He picks up on the topics of young people and processes them in short, funny videos at eye level – and always presents himself as emphatically young in his clothing, appearance and language, even though he himself has long since outgrown his target group. Young people in particular, who like to spend their free time playing games themselves, find in him something like a role model who knows and understands their own world.

    His successful career as a YouTube and media creator makes him an idol for young people, who has achieved what many wish for: Becoming rich as an influencer.

    What should parents pay attention to?

    Even if the topics, visuals and language of the videos are perhaps not quite to your taste: Take your children’s enthusiasm for Paluten and its topics seriously. Take an interest and watch a video – or even stack a few bricks in Minecraft yourself. This gives you the chance to find out about your child’s topics and interests and to discuss them. And by communicating openly and respectfully, you will also remain the point of contact if your child has unpleasant experiences (online or elsewhere).

    Nevertheless, it is important to talk to each other about the background of media figures like Paluten: as funny as Patrick Mayer appears on screen, Paluten remains a small company whose main aim is to make money. Many of the videos are pure advertising and the products in the store also generate a lot of money. Of course, there is nothing wrong with supporting your own stars financially – but an awareness of the background and reflected consumption are always good and important.

    And especially when children want to follow in the footsteps of their idols and create and fill their own profiles, it is important to think together about how and what to post in order to protect their privacy online and avoid trouble later on.

    Paluten’s YouTube channel also contains excerpts from films and videos that are only approved for viewers aged 16 or 18. Your child may encounter inappropriate content such as violence or drastic language. Observe how your child deals with this content and support them in dealing with it. Offer your child access to alternative, age-appropriate content. We present other Let’s Play channels in this article.

    JUUUPORT – Help for young people with questions about online topics

    Whether cyberbullying, computer game addiction or data protection: If young people have problems and questions about the Internet, they can contact the youth scouts and experts from JUUUPORT turn. The website also provides information, links and online seminars.

    Advice from experienced young people at eye level

    When young people have problems or questions, they sometimes find it difficult to talk to their parents or other adults, especially about sensitive topics such as cyberbullying or sexting. That’s why JUUUPORT has youth scouts who have experienced something similar and can advise other youth. They have undergone special training on Internet topics and in the areas of psychology and law and can be requested anonymously. If they get stuck, the young people’s concerns are passed on to adult experts who then take care of them.

    Various contact and information channels

    On JUUUPORT, counseling takes place free of charge, anonymously and in compliance with data protection laws. In addition to the contact form on the website, since May 2020 there is also the possibility to get advice via WhatsApp or Telegram chat. Messenger counseling is available Monday through Friday between 6 and 8 p.m.

    The JUUUPORT website also contains a wide range of information on Internet topics. In addition to tips on how to deal with cyberbullying, there is a magazine on various topics such as “Trends on the Net” or “Games”. They also provide a collection of links to other places for youth to go.

    Online seminars for schools, youth clubs and associations are also offered by JUUUPORT. Topics here include “Hate on the Net” and “WhatsApp Stress.” Perhaps there is a need for a seminar at your child’s school or you would like to draw attention to the offer with information material.

    Why not tell your child about JUUUPORT – maybe there are topics he or she would rather not discuss with you, but rather anonymously with other young people. If your child would like to get involved with JUUUPORT themselves and become a scout, they can sign up for training here.

    Media education in plain language

    When growing up with smartphones, consoles and the like, media education in the family is of crucial importance. Offers in plain language support parents in this important task, using clear and easy-to-understand language. We present some websites.

    What is plain language?

    Easy language is a simplified form of German that makes information understandable for people with learning difficulties or other impairments. Characteristics are simple words, a clear structure, a limited vocabulary, supporting elements such as pictures and graphics and the avoidance of technical terms. It was developed to break down barriers to communication and ensure that information is easily accessible to a wider population.

    Information on media education for different age groups on Elternguide.online

    Offers on the subject of media education in plain language enable all parents to obtain the necessary information to accompany their children safely and responsibly in the digital world. Elternguide.online offers clear and easy-to-understand explanations on important aspects of media education for all age groups from 0 to 17 years. The topics range from dealing with screen time and selecting age-appropriate content to internet safety. You can find the Parents’ Guide.onlne website in plain language here: https://elternguide.online/leichte-sprache

    Dealing with social media and co on Webhelm

    Webhelm is a project of the JFF – Institut für Medienpädagogik in Forschung und Praxis e. V. and offers articles and information material for educational professionals and parents so that they can support children and young people in dealing competently with online media. Texts on the subject of media and media education can be downloaded from the website. The topics range from data protection to online bullying and social media. Webhelm also offers descriptions of various platforms such as Instagram, Twitch and TikTok. You can find the Webhelm website in plain language here: https://webhelm.de/leichte-sprache/

    Support services for children and parents

    Problematic or illegal content on the Internet, such as child pornography, hate speech or extremist posts, often violate youth media protection laws. It is therefore important that users report such content. Either via the platform itself or with complaints bodies such as the Voluntary Self-Regulation of Multimedia Service Providers. The FSM complaints office in plain language can be found here: https://www.fsm.de/leichte-sprache/beschwerdestelle/

    Whether it’s online bullying, excessive gaming or constant arguments about screen time – media use by children and young people can pose major challenges for all family members. Sometimes it is good to seek professional help. A large number of advice centers are available on the Internet. You can find the counseling services offered by Nummer gegen Kummer for children, young people and parents in plain language here: https://www.nummergegenkummer.de/leichte-sprache/

    Security settings

    The website medien-kindersicher.de provides information on technical youth media protection and gives parents instructions on how to set devices, services and apps to be childproof. You can find the instructions in plain language here: https://www.medien-kindersicher.de/leichte-sprache/startseite-medien-kindersicherde

    Children’s rights in the digital world

    Children have rights that have been enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child since 1989. These include the right to health and the right to play and leisure. But a lot has changed since then. The rapid development of digital media and technologies has significantly changed the way children grow up. Digital media play an important role from an early age. We explain the key aspects of children’s rights in the digital world.

    Understanding the digital world and children’s rights

    The digital world encompasses various digital technologies, from the internet and mobile devices to online games and social media. All children’s rights apply everywhere. Some rights play a special role:

    Right of access to media

    Every child has the right to unrestricted and equal access to the digital world. However, this does not mean that children should use media without restriction. Depending on your child’s age and stage of development, you as parents can agree rules with your child on how long and which media may be used.

    Right to freedom of expression and information

    Like adults, children also have the right to freely express their opinions and obtain information. The Internet offers children the opportunity to obtain age-appropriate information in a variety of ways and to express and disseminate their own opinions. Make sure your child only accesses websites that are safe and suitable for children.

    Right to privacy and data protection

    Every child has the right to privacy. As parents, you should therefore be aware of and considerate of your child’s personal rights on the Internet. Avoid disclosing personal data such as your child’s name or address. Ask your child for permission before you post photos of them online or send them via Messenger. Respecting your child’s privacy also means not checking your child’s smartphone out of curiosity. If you are concerned about your child, seek a trusting conversation with him or her.

    Right to leisure and play

    Digital media offer children a wide range of opportunities to express themselves creatively, learn and network with their peers. Encourage your child to explore age-appropriate platforms such as the Knipsclub photo community and digital play worlds. Ensure a good balance with other activities. Encouraging creative play in the digital world allows your child to develop their imagination.

    Right to education and media literacy

    Every child has the right to equal access to education. With regard to the digitalized world, support from the family, nursery and school is important so that children learn to deal safely and responsibly with the opportunities and risks in the media world. Today, the right to media access is also always a right to access educational media offerings such as playful learning sites.

    Right to protection and security

    Children’s rights focus on the best interests of the child. Children must be protected from all forms of violence, abuse and poor treatment (such as cyberbullying, cybergrooming and hate speech) in all areas of life, including the digital sphere. Special youth protection programs can help to minimize risks. Talk to your child about security risks and problematic content on the internet to empower them to protect themselves.

    Right of association and assembly

    Children have the right to network online with their peers, share common interests and form digital communities. Parents should encourage their children to use online platforms such as the helpando help site or participation platforms that are designed to be age-appropriate, safety-conscious and promote positive interactions. This allows children to cultivate digital friendships and develop important social skills for life in an increasingly networked world – always aware of the challenges and opportunities that the digital environment offers.

    This is what parents should pay attention to

    Talk to your child about their rights. The family plays an important role for children’s rights in the digital space. As parents, you have the task of enabling your child to grow up well. This also includes teaching them basic media skills and values. Therefore, find out about your child’s media use, stay in contact and make (joint) decisions that are appropriate for your child’s age and development. Cooperative cooperation and a respectful and trusting relationship are the basic prerequisites for your child to turn to you as a contact person in the event of problems. Children need to know their rights. Only then can they claim them for themselves and stand up for them. Incidentally, your importance as parents for the development and well-being of your child is also expressly emphasized in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    Further information on children’s rights can be found in a child-friendly format on Kindersache and at Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk .

    Secure streaming on Netflix, Disney+ and more.

    Many families no longer rely on linear television, i.e. watching what’s on. Instead, people use their smart TVs or tablets to access streaming services – whenever they have the time and the inclination to watch TV.

    Kids and teens like to stream

    The offer for children and young people is virtually unlimited and available at any time with streaming services and media libraries. Children watch movies and series partly on their own. This makes it all the more important to set the services so that they can only access child-friendly and age-appropriate content.

    Keep track of how much your child watches. Binge-watching can also occur among children and young people if they are not accompanied in their media use.

    Use parental control settings

    Youth protection measures are intended to prevent children and young people from having experiences that are inappropriate for their age. These are, for example, content that may frighten or disturb them, or unwanted contact by strangers. Streaming services must use certain settings to ensure that their services are safe for children and young people to use.

    Each streaming service has its own parental control settings, which are adjusted from time to time. Therefore, we can only reflect a current status (December 2022) of the most popular services in each case.

    Regularly inform yourself about current functions and parental control settings of “your” streaming provider. Many have their own information portals for parents.

    Amazon Prime Video

    You can find the parental controls in Prime Video either in your Amazon account via the browser (Gear: Settings) or in the app under “My Area”. Here you can set up a PIN, after entering which secured content can still be viewed. In addition, purchase restrictions and playback restrictions can be activated with the parental control. Parents can create their own children’s area on Amazon with the additional paid subscription Amazon Kids+. Read more about how to set up Amazon parental controls here.

    Disney+

    Disney+ also allows children’s profiles to be created with a child-friendly user interface. In these, only content with age ratings from FSK 0 up to and including FSK 6 is displayed. However, it is not possible to specify preferences for certain age ratings of content. A PIN can be used to prevent the creation of new profiles. Read more on the Disney+ help page.

    Media libraries of the public broadcasters

    ARD and ZDF have implemented youth protection in two ways: Films, series and programs that are not suitable for children and young people under the age of 16 or 18 can only be watched without registration from 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. (until 6 a.m.). There is also a children’s section that displays only content suitable for children. As soon as this is left, there is a hint. Those who set up an account to use the media libraries can also make additional individual settings, such as additional age ratings, setting a code, and creating a personalized media library. More about this on the help pages of ARD and ZDF.

    Netflix

    With Netflix Kids environment, you can create one or more kids profiles for Netflix. This parental control allows you to set age ratings for a profile, block individual titles, set up a PIN, and enable or disable autoplay. With a child profile, no changes can be made to the own or a
    other profile can be made. The Netflix Kids environment does not only apply to movies and series, it can also be used to restrict access Netflix games. You can get step-by-step instructions on how to set up parental controls on the corresponding Netflix help page.

    Technology only partially protects

    Technical parental control settings are particularly useful when children know about them. Talk to your child about possible dangers and the goal of the settings. You should regularly consider whether settings can be adjusted – together with your child.

    Despite a parental control, your child needs companionship in their media use. Be approachable when questions or fears arise. And watch your child when they watch videos. Choose content together in advance – then you can let your child watch an episode alone. When you set media rules together, you support the promotion of media literacy.

    You can read more about the setting options and detailed instructions in the klicksafe guide.

    Media tips around Christmas

    The smell of cookies, shopping stress, shining children’s eyes: the holidays are approaching and digital devices and games are on the wish lists of many children and young people. What should parents consider before and after giving a gift? Between the years and during the vacations, there is also time for shared family media experiences. How can this be designed in a safe, age-appropriate and even creative way? In this article, we give you an overview of offers from the Elternguide.online partner network.

    Using media to combat boredom

    The Christmas vacations can be long, especially when the weather outside doesn’t really invite you to play. You probably have devices such as smartphones, tablets, cameras or a laptop lying around at home. How about you and your child simply getting started, taking photos or filming yourselves, trying out new creative apps and organizing media time creatively? It’s great fun and your child will also learn something about media skills along the way.

    On the website kinder.jff.de there are suggestions for simple media projects that children aged 6 and over can do on their own or from the age of 3 with support from you as parents at home. This is helped by child-friendly video instructions in which the implementation of the media projects is shown step by step. How about a photo memory with Christmas tree decorations or an audio story about New Year’s Eve traditions?

    (Media) challenges in the family

    You are probably familiar with challenges from social media, e.g. dance challenges on TikTok. Children and young people love to take on challenges. Challenges don’t necessarily only have to take place on the Internet, you can also play them at home with your family! Why not try the Top Photo Challenge, the Clip Challenge or the Recreation Challenge? We have made a few suggestions in our parents’ guide article. You can find more Advent challenges on the website of the JFF project webhelm.de.

    Christmas movie tips from FLIMMO

    Your child will probably also enjoy watching videos. If you are still looking for suitable films, series or YouTube clips, take a look at FLIMMO.

    In addition to age information and educational recommendations for all formats from TV, streaming and YouTube, you will find winter movie tips from the Grüffelokind to the Grinch and the Polar Express under the special “Advent tips. A TV evening together can be a really nice family experience, especially when it’s as cold and dark outside as it is during the winter vacations.

    Finding child-friendly answers to questions about Christmas

    Children have many questions and learn early on that their questions will be answered on the Internet. How is Christmas celebrated in other countries? What craft tips and baking recipes are there for Christmas? The children’s search engine fragFINN offers children access to 3500 verified websites, including more than 400 children’s sites. Primary school children can gain their first Internet experience here in a protected surfing room and learn how to use search engines and search results. In the fragFINN Advent calendar, children can open a little door every day, behind which there are links to other children’s sites with Christmas information.

    You can find more playful learning pages in this parents’ guide article.

    A smartphone under the Christmas tree – a good idea?

    Parents must decide individually when their child is ready for their first smartphone, depending on their level of development and experience. After all, a smartphone theoretically opens up the whole world of the Internet to your child, with all its opportunities and risks. klicksafe offers extensive information for parents. Use the smartphone readiness checklist to see whether a smartphone is ready for the Christmas tree. Has the decision been positive? Then find out about technical setting options for Android and iOS and watch the instructions in the form of explanatory videos. All klicksafe information material can be found here.

    Would you like to prepare your child for the first smartphone under the Christmas tree? Child-friendly information on the first smartphone is available in the children’s magazine Genial Digital from Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk. The fragFINN app gives your child a protected surfing space on their first smartphone and gives them access to quality, positive content.

    Are you considering buying a smartwatch as an alternative? Then take a look at this topic from klicksafe. Please note: technical protective measures are no substitute for family discussions and media rules. Stay in contact with your child and accompany them as they take their first steps with a smartwatch or smartphone.

    Using media safely – with the help of technical youth media protection

    In addition to discussions and media rules, technical youth media protection is an important component of media education. Use the screen time and digital wellbeing settings on smartphones to set time limits for the entire device or for different apps and to filter content. The parental control program JusProg offers a precise filtering option for websites and safe default settings for mobile devices and laptops. Google Family Links and YouTube Kids offer the opportunity to make media experiences safer for your child in the world of the internet giant Google. Social media apps such as Instagram and TikTok also offer safety features and parental guidance options. Streaming with the family can be a fun activity during the vacations. Almost all streaming services have certified offers for the protection of minors. Use your own child profiles and the parental control function with the PIN. Detailed instructions for all devices are available on the website medien-kindersicher.de.

    Smart gift giving – tips for games under the Christmas tree

    Which games should I give my child for Christmas? Are games okay for preschoolers? In the family section of the USK website, you will find all the information you need on the USK’s age ratings, the new additional information and how to deal with the topic of games in the family.

    The USK mark indicates the age at which a game does not cause any developmental impairments. The additional information such as “fantasy violence” or “pressure to act” gives parents a good indication of whether a game is suitable for their own child. Educational assessments of games can be found at the NRW games guide. Descriptions of popular games such as Fortnite, Minecraft or Roblox are available on Elternguide.online.

    Would you like to make your child happy with a game for Christmas? Find out about the distribution channels for games and technical precautionary measures. Various settings for the protection of minors can be made on consoles as well as in game stores and the games themselves. Play together with your child and ask them interesting questions about their favorite games.

    The team at Elternguide.online wishes you and your family a wonderful Christmas season and lots of fun using media safely and creatively!

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