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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), €7.99 to €17.99 (without advertising, for one to four devices in parallel)
  • Up to five profiles can be created
  • Parental control options available

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. In the cheapest subscription model, advertising runs in between. Those who pay more can stream on up to 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 movie and series suggestions in the profile also adhere to these settings, but what is actually suggested is calculated by an algorithm from the individual user’s viewing behavior.

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 large amount of content available, there is also a myriad of content for older teens (16+) and adults (18+) that can be scary and problematic for children and teens. 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 analog, linear television, you can theoretically keep watching indefinitely. 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 also track what content your child has watched in the last few days or you can prevent the next episode of a series from playing automatically.

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. However, this is only allowed with people who live in the same household. Violations of this condition of use are to be subject to charges from 2023.

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 Paramount+

Star Trek, Top Gun, Paw Patrol – the streaming service Paramount+ offers a wide range of movies and series of various genres for adults and children. In this article, we will take a closer look at the service and present its main settings for children.

In a nutshell:

  • Video streaming offer for the whole family
  • Available in Germany since December 2022
  • Integrated parental control options
  • Advertising-free
  • Flexible monthly subscription €7.99, annual subscription €79.90 (free with Amazon Prime and Sky Cinema subscription)

What can Paramount+ do?

The streaming service of the US media group Paramount has a selection of movies and series to offer. Including blockbusters such as The Lost City or La La Land, exclusive series such as Star Trek: Strange New Worlds or Yellowstone and live sporting events such as NFL or UEFA Champions League games.

The platform is divided into a separate category for children’s programming and offers a wide selection of animated series, children’s films and live-action programs such as all seasons of Paw Patrol, SpongeBob SquarePants and Spotlight. There is also original content produced specifically for children, such as Kamp Koral.

The price for the streaming service is lower than that of the competition. The catalog is still relatively thin compared to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and the like, but certainly extensive enough and continues to grow weekly.

What can be problematic?

Without parental controls, minors have unlimited access to all content on the streaming service – including content that is not suitable for their age and developmental level, or that may frighten or overwhelm them. Therefore, use the option to protect profiles with a PIN and set up children’s profiles.

Like every streaming service, Paramount+ is also incredibly appealing with the option of being able to keep watching indefinitely. In series, one episode after the next is played automatically. It is at least as difficult for children and young people as it is for adults to act on their own responsibility here. Make your child aware of this and set a good example. Additionally, you can limit the screen time in the children profiles.

It is also important to note that children are not always able to recognize the differences between fiction and reality. So take time to guide your child and talk about content your child sees on Paramount+ and help them understand what’s going on.

What does the provider think?

Paramount+ offers the possibility to protect profiles with a PIN and to set parental control settings. However, these settings are disabled by default. Parents must do this independently.

The settings are based on age ratings. Paramount does not specify which criteria are used for the releases.

What should parents pay attention to?

  • Age ratings and restrictions: Make sure your child can only access age-appropriate content. Please note that the age ratings are only recommendations. You decide what content is appropriate for your child.
  • Child profile and parental control: For complete protection, you need a child profile and parental control. So create a child profile – you can choose between the age groups 0/6 or 0/6/12. Depending on the setting, movies and series that are only released from a certain age are not displayed in this profile. Now make absolutely sure that your child cannot simply leave this profile. To do this, you need to activate the parental control. Please use a really secure PIN there. This is the only way to ensure that your child cannot end up in the adult section from the child profile.
  • Screen time: keep an eye on your child’s screen time. The best way to do this is to set media rules together so that media use is just one activity among many leisure activities.
  • Accompanying use: Young children perceive media much more emotionally than adults. Some things they cannot yet process or understand. Therefore, accompany your child, preferably watch together, so that your child does not feel left alone even during scary scenes. It can also turn the shared experience into a beautiful ritual.


Internet, telephone, streaming services, media libraries, television – to entertain ourselves and communicate, we resort to many different offerings at home. MagentaTV is a Deutsche Telekom platform that combines everything in one package. We present the offer and explain what parents should look out for.

In a nutshell:

  • TV streaming service and TV app
  • Provider: Deutsche Telekom
  • Bundled offer of TV programs, movies, series in connection with Internet & telephony
  • MagentaTV: €39.95 to €75.95 per month; MagentaTV app: from €10 per month (as of 3/23)
  • Child and youth protection settings available

What does MagentaTV offer?

MagentaTV is a bundled offering of Internet, telephony, and a selection of TV channels and video streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+, some of which cost extra. The platform can be used on various devices such as SmartTVs, smartphones, tablets and computers. Those who do not have an Internet or phone contract with Deutsche Telekom can access TV channels and video streaming services via the paid MagentaTV app. In addition to the basic offers, various packages can be added. Extensions are available, for example, for special subject areas such as sports, languages such as Turkish or Polish, or target groups such as children and families.

Parental control with MagentaTV

To use MagentaTV safely, child and youth protection settings can be made on all devices on which the service is used: on smartphones, tablets and computers, on the SmartTV, the MagentaTV box and the media receiver. An adult PIN prevents children and teenagers from accessing content that is not approved for their age. If content does not have an age rating from the FSK , streaming services must make the assessment themselves. It is not always obvious how this is done. In addition to the PIN, a purchase block and a hiding of erotic content can be set up. You can find detailed settings for parental control with MagentaTV at medien-kindersicher.de.

What should you as a parent pay attention to when using MagentaTV?

Watching movies, series or TV shows has a great appeal for children and young people. Whether they use it to inform themselves, entertain themselves, or relax after kindergarten and school, watching videos is often an integral part of their everyday lives as a media ritual. A comprehensive offering like MagentaTV can entice your child to watch endless videos. Also, your child may be shown content that is not age-appropriate. Therefore, note the following points:

  • Consider how much screen time is appropriate for your child.
  • Set appropriate media times with your child and keep adjusting them based on your child’s developmental stage.
  • Not all videos are suitable for children, but can disturb and frighten them. If your child is still young, do not leave him/heralone in front of the device.
  • Find out the age ratings of the content and set parental controls like the adult PIN so your child can stream safely.
  • Incorporate media into family time and watch movies and series together. Stay conversational about the content and show sincere interest.

Media libraries of the public broadcasters 

The media libraries of the public broadcasters also offer a wide range of entertainment and education for children. Parents will find numerous programs and series produced especially for children. In this article, we take a look at these media libraries, what they have to offer children, and what parents should keep in mind.

In brief

  • Educational and entertainment program
  • Prepared for children
  • Available anytime and anywhere
  • Free of charge
  • Advertising-free

The offer

The ARD-Mediathek for children offers Parents a wide range of content suitable for children, such as “Die Sendung mit der Maus,” “Bibi und Tina” and “Wissen macht Ah! They are generally suitable for children between the ages of three and twelve and offer a good opportunity to introduce children to topics such as nature, technology and the environment in a playful way. “The Elephant Show” is a popular format for younger children. Mediathek has a wide range of news programs especially for young viewers. Children can follow current events there in a form suitable for children and find out about world events.

ZDFtivi is ZDF’s children’s and youth program with series, films, fairy tales, knowledge, documentaries and entertainment for children, such as “Bibi Blocksberg,” “The Jungle Book” and “JoNaLu. The program is mainly for children aged six to 13. Especially for older children and teenagers, there are, for example, “Die Pfefferkörner” and “Schloss Einstein” or learning programs such as “PUR+”. The media library also offers a wide range of interactive games and learning apps that teach children through play. ZDFchen offers videos for media beginners and preschoolers up to the age of six, such as “Zigby the Zebra” and “Lieselotte”.

KiKA is a joint channel of ARD and ZDF and is aimed at children aged three to 13. In the KIKA media library there are a wide selection of content suitable for children and young people, such as children’s films, series, documentaries and reports. It also offers content such as interactive games, craft and cooking instructions, and background information on shows. The online platform is not only an offer for children, but also for parents, educators and teachers with valuable material to accompany the programs, information on dealing with media and game ideas.

The funk -Mediathek is a joint service of ARD and ZDF with content for teenagers and young adults between the ages of 14 and 29. It offers a wide selection of videos, reports and web series on topics such as politics, society, pop culture and science.

Also the regional programs like BR Children, MDR Children and SWR Children’s Network offer online children’s programming: For example kinder.WDR.de programs such as “Die Sendung mit dem Elefanten” and “Die Sendung mit der Maus.

All media libraries offer the option of downloading programs and watching them offline. The public broadcasters also offer apps with additional offerings for children, such as the ZDFtivi app or the KIKA player. However, apps are not discussed in this article.

What can be problematic

All videos in the media libraries for children are suitable for them. There are no advertisements or solicitations to buy. However, children can enter the adult area of the media libraries from there, even if a warning sign appears when they leave the children’s area. In the adult section, there is content that is not suitable for children. In addition, children can also access external sites on the Internet or other media libraries on the Smart TV from the media libraries. You should therefore not let children under twelve surf without supervision.

Content that is not released until the age of 16 or 18 can only be accessed in the evening (after 8 or 10 p.m.) in all media libraries of the public broadcasters.

What parents should also pay attention to

Make sure you have a healthy amount of screen time. This can vary depending on the child. Especially do not let younger children watch TV uncontrolled and pay attention to age recommendations and ratings. Watch together if possible, so you can answer questions and catch on if your child gets scared. Together, set rule for usage and choose which programs will be watched together with your child.

Amazon Prime Video

For many people, it’s hard to imagine everyday life without the online mail order company Amazon. Its video streaming portal Prime Video has the second-largest number of subscriptions after Netflix. Colloquially, the service is also called Amazon Prime, and several offers fall under this.

In a nutshell:

  • Video streaming service on the Internet
  • Variety of movies and series available
  • Prerequisite for use is an Amazon account and Internet-compatible device
  • Offer available for €8.99 monthly or €89.90 annually
  • integrated parental control options

What is Prime Video?

As with other video streaming services, Prime Video offers the ability to watch a variety of movies and series without being tied to a specific time or location. To do this, you have to register at amazon.de with your own Prime user account for a fee.
The movies and series can be watched via a web browser, the Prime Video app, or Internet-enabled devices, such as a smart TV device, game console, or smartphone. The subscription includes numerous movies and series for free availability, including formats produced specifically by Amazon. In addition, titles can be rented for a fee, for example, completely new series seasons. Amazon Channels offers the option of adding topic-specific pay channels such as Eurosport Player. Sharing a membership is not possible with Prime Video.

Most videos are marked with the legal age ratings of the FSK (Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft). There is a separate section for children’s content. The series and movies that can be found there are divided into the age groups 2 – 5 years, 6 – 8 years and 9 – 11 years, among other categorizations. In order to be able to watch video content with FSK18 ratings, you must prove that you are of age with the help of your ID or passport and a bank account.

Parental Control with Prime Video

Prime Video offers some safety settings for children:

  • Prime Video offers the possibility to create different user profiles. Under “Who is watching”, users can set up children’s profiles with the names of their children and select whether content with the age ratings FSK 0, FSK 6 and/or FSK 12 should be displayed.
  • In the settings, parental controls can be used to set restrictions for video content, blocking the playback of videos from certain age categories. To do this, the user account must be secured with a four-digit PIN.
  • The Purchase Restrictions option prevents children from buying movies and series on their own by setting a PIN for purchases.

What is problematic about the offer?

No matter what age – Prime Video has the hottest series and movies for everyone. Without parental controls, minors have unlimited access to content that is not appropriate for their age, may frighten them or overwhelm them. Many series and movies have an FSK age rating, but not all. Children and young people can watch these without hindrance, as the parental controls do not apply here.
As with many streaming offers, the appeal of constantly continuing to watch is also very high with Prime Video. You should make your child aware of this and set a good example.

What does the provider say?

By its own account, Prime Video uses the FSK ratings as the basis for its parental control settings. If no FSK ratings are available for very recent films or series episodes, for example, there is no information on the website as to whether and according to what criteria the age ratings are made by the company itself or by third-party providers.

What should parents pay attention to?

Want to integrate Prime Video into your everyday family life? Then you should pay attention to the age ratings of the movies and series, set up a child profile, set the child or parental control options accordingly and use PIN codes. Protect your user profile with a secure PIN (no birth dates or simple sequences like 1234). Otherwise, your child may switch between profiles and go from the child profile to the adult profile.

To make sure the content is really appropriate for your child, preview the movies or series your child wants to watch. Watching a movie together can be a nice family experience. Especially with younger children (at least up to ten years) this is generally recommended, so that your child does not feel left alone with scary or questionable content.
Also, make sure that prime video and media use at all should be just one activity among many other pastimes for your child.

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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You can find more videos here.

News for children and teenagers

A bad event, such as the start of the war in Ukraine, usually dominates media coverage or street conversations for days. Children get to hear what adults are preoccupied with and are thus confronted with frightening, current events. It is hardly possible and makes little sense to keep children and young people completely away from the news. In this article, we explain how young people can be accompanied on the subject of news and what age-appropriate offers there are.

Introduce children to news

Many parents rightly wonder how to explain such events to children without frightening them. Adult news overwhelms children due to its complexity and the depictions of e.g. catastrophes, terror and violence. Especially pictures or videos are often still unsuitable for them, as they are difficult to classify and process. In times of fake news and many news sources that are difficult to assess, children and young people should be strengthened in their ability to understand, analyze and evaluate news in an age-appropriate way.

Child-friendly offers in video format

A variety of safe news services suitable for children are available for this purpose. They offer a wide range of topics and cover children’s interests. Your child will find news here conveyed in an age-appropriate way, in understandable language, with simple and clear sentences. In addition, dramatic and frightening images and videos are avoided. Sometimes children even become reporters themselves and report on events from their own perspective.

Examples of messages for children and young people on the Internet are

  • logo! from ZDF – the news program for children is broadcast daily on KIKA
  • kindersache.de from the German Children’s Fund – on the join-in page, current news texts are prepared in a way that is suitable for children, and the comments from the community are moderated.
  • duda.news of the Kölner Stadtanzeiger – here the children’s editorial office of the newspaper writes

The children’s search engines blinde-kuh.de and fragfinn.de help to check news from different sites in a quick run. Here, articles from various child-friendly offers are displayed at a glance.

News podcasts

Podcasts have also long since arrived in the children’s room. In short audio files, children can get an overview of what is happening in the world right now. News in audio format comes entirely without frightening images, creating an inclusive opportunity for all children who cannot read or see.

Interesting examples of podcasts are:

  • Daily Toggo from SUPER RTL – the news portal creates a positive view of events through understandable everyday comparisons. Recommended actions for parents will help navigate difficult issues.
  • Nine and a half is the name of the children’s news from WDR’s Maus editorial team – the focus is always on a topic that has currently attracted attention.
  • Children’s news from NDR Info – every Saturday news for children as podcast
  • Ask me! News and me from BR – children’s news in participatory format with podcast telephone for listeners’ questions
  • Podcast logo! – To go from ZDF – The logo! news programs from television to listen to

News for teenagers

Young people inform themselves less via linear television and more via social media platforms such as
. Social networks and messengers are not only home to serious news offerings, but it is precisely there that young people are confronted with disinformation and opinion mongering, for example on extremist positions. The following formats from public broadcasters and other providers are recommended:

  • funk from ARD and ZDF – The content network is active on various social media channels and targets teenagers and young adults aged 14 and over with a mix of information, orientation and entertainment.
  • LeNews on YouTube – German web video producer LeFloid offers young people a mix of news and entertainment, marked by irony and satire.
  • tagesschau by ARD – The Tagesschau short clips on YouTube are hosted by young people and depict daily events in just a few minutes.
  • mitmischen.de – the website of the German Bundestag for young people is designed by young reporters directly from the Bundestag.
  • nicetoknow from WDR – The news channel on TikTok prepares news for young people between 14 and 16 years. Five young hosts write their own texts, produce clips with professional support and answer comments from the community. The selection of topics takes place in cooperation with a 10th grade class.

Do not leave children and young people alone with news

The following also applies to messages suitable for children: Depending on the child’s individual stage of development, you should watch or listen to messages specifically for the respective age group together with your child. Younger children in particular absorb news unfiltered and have difficulty assessing the extent to which the content affects them and influences their lives. Especially with bad events it is important to classify them well. Take your child’s fears seriously, talk to him about them, and comfort him. This will help your child understand the message and process it well.

For young people, it is important to continuously strengthen their information literacy. Give your child access to youth-friendly news portals. Stay in touch about what is happening on a daily basis and also talk critically about sources. Educate your child about phenomena like fake news, conspiracy myths, and propaganda, and set a good example by getting news only from reputable sources.

Music live streams on YouTube

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.

What is special about the livestream?

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 can be offered on many platforms, for example on Twitch and Instagram , Facebook or YouTube . While livestreams on social networks tend to be used for conversations, such as interviews, YouTube is home to news, gaming, and interviews, as well as many music streams.
  • In principle, any user can offer a livestream. YouTube requires a minimum number of followers and the function must first be activated – so the first livestream needs to be prepared.
  • Then you’re ready to go. Livestream providers use their webcam, external recording devices, or prepared files on their hard drive to livestream. Users can listen, chat or comment at the same time.
  • There is no time limit for the streams. After the live broadcast, however, only streams under 12 hours will remain available on the platform.

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.

Music and community: two birds with one stone for children and young people

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.

Everything great? If you follow the rules!

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:

  • For one thing, streams – of course – cost a lot of data volume. If you have a stable WLAN at home, you don’t have to worry much about this. For cell phone contracts with limited options, it is important to make it clear to children and teens that continuous streaming throughout the month is more likely not an option.
  • Secondly, although chat offers opportunities for interesting contacts, it should also be enjoyed with caution. As in other chats, forums or networks, you never know who you are dealing with. Parents should therefore make their children aware of the risks of communication on the Internet. Detailed information on this can be found in these Parents’ Guide articles: Teenagers’ Communication on the Net, Communication Risks on the Net, and Cybergrooming.
  • There are no age labels for music. In some music genres, like gangster rap, things get verbally violent. In some songs, for example, there is misogynistic content, glorification of crime, violence or drugs. Stay engaged in conversation with your child about his or her favorite music and point out boundaries for inappropriate content.
  • Finally, the same applies to young people who want to become active themselves: The same rules apply here as for other social media use. Copyright and personal rights must also be respected in the livestream. You may only use music or images to which you have all rights. For example, self-made music or music under a CC license.

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 content that is appropriate for children and their age.

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 via the paid additional subscription Amazon Kids+. Read more about how to set up the Amazon parental control here.


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.


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.

Kixi – streaming extra for kids

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.

In a nutshell:

  • Children’s streaming service with diverse content
  • Target group: children from 3 to 13 years
  • free version with small offer (after registration)
  • Full version subscription: €4.99 (browser) or €6.99 (app) per month
  • ad-free

Kixi – what’s there actually?

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:

  1. Movies,
  2. Series (animated and live-action),
  3. Education and
  4. Audio

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.

Kixi can be viewed directly in a browser via kixi.de, but it also works as an app, via Magenta TV or via other smart TV apps. Registration with an email address is required to use Kixi.

For children top …

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.

… but not a free ride for parents!

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.

Smart TV – what televisions can do today

After school on the sofa, the TV on and zapping through the program, or specifically on Sunday mornings for the “Sendung mit der Maus” – that’s what TV looked like for many adults in their childhood. Today, many families have TVs that can access various streaming services and other online content. This entails not only quasi-infinite possibilities, but also some risks.

The smart TV is networked

“Smart” comes from English and means “clever”. This is used to describe various devices or environments that are connected to the Internet or networked with each other and are thus capable of more than conventional devices. Instead of cell phones, we now almost exclusively use smartphones with a wide range of functions and options. When TVs come along as smart TVs, they can be connected to the home Internet. Just like a smartphone, a smart TV has apps that enable it to use online services. Apps from streaming providers like Netflix, Prime or Disney+ are preinstalled on many devices. It can also be used to access the media libraries of various TV stations, YouTube and other online services. In addition, content can be transferred from the smartphone to the big screen. For example, photos and videos taken with the cell phone can be viewed together on the smart TV.

Not as smart as thought

With a smart TV, children and young people theoretically have a wealth of movies, series and other content available to them at any time, in addition to the classic TV program. At the age of three or four, children can already manage to turn on the device, open the respective app via remote control and watch content. If access is not protected, children can also watch programs that are not suitable for their age.

Anyone who watches TV on a smart TV will be familiar with the overlays on data protection – similar to those on websites. Because if the TV is permanently connected to the Internet, it behaves like a computer or smartphone: applications collect data on usage behavior. That’s why there are also commercials or references to other offers of the respective station from time to time. Many smart TVs also have a Bluetooth interface, voice services, microphones and cameras. These functions could be hacked and misused by strangers.

Measures for safe use

As with other devices, settings on the TV and in apps can help ensure safe use. For smart TVs, you should therefore consider technical protection measures on two levels:

Settings on the Smart TV

With many devices, password protection can be set up so that your child cannot even turn on the TV on its own or certain functions, such as access to streaming services, are not possible without a PIN. Some TVs have an additional age rating function. This allows programs with certain age ratings to be blocked individually without the need for password protection for the entire device. Usually, you can also customize the channel list of your TV in the menu. This allows you to specifically block individual channels if you do not want your child to have access to them.

Every device works a little differently, so take a close look at the menu and setting options of your smart TV. You can also use online guides if you know the exact name of your device and search for “device name and parental controls” in the search engine.

Some smart TVs have their own app stores, for which there are also setting options, such as password protection for purchases and installation of apps. If you don’t need your TV’s Internet connection all the time, disable it after each use of online content. Only you should know the WLAN key. Also, access to Bluetooth, camera, mic, etc. should only be enabled when applications absolutely need it to work.

Streaming services child protection

If you use streaming services, you should set up a separate child profile. Not infrequently, one is already pre-installed. There you will only find content that is also approved for children. As soon as the app is started on the smart TV, the profile for the user can be selected. Profiles that are not to be used by children can be protected with a PIN.

You can find out more about the settings options for the largest streaming providers at Look!

In the case of the media libraries of the public broadcasters, the protection of minors is regulated in the same way as for linear television. Access to content that is not released until the age of 16 or 18 can only be accessed in the evening (after 8 or 10 p.m.). There is also a hint if users want to access content other than that stored in the children’s area.

Parents should also pay attention to the following

Don’t let your child, especially when he or she is younger, watch TV uncontrollably. Watch together, if possible, so that you can answer questions that arise and catch on if your child becomes afraid of certain content. If you can trust your child to watch only the videos you’ve agreed upon, you can let him or her watch them alone sometimes. However, make sure you have a healthy amount of screen time – this may be slightly different for each child.

Media under the Christmas tree

“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?

What are these ‘media’ anyway?

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!

Which media are the right ones?

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:

Is the offer suitable for my child?

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“.

Is my child ready for the device or the offer?

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.

Before purchasing a smartphone, the questionnaire “Is my child ready for a smartphone?” from klicksafeisa good way to find out.

Are the costs reasonable?

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.

What happens after the festival?

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.

What else is important

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.

Practical functions on the smartphone: Bluetooth, NFC & Co.

Connecting your own device to another is incredibly handy – whether for sharing pictures or using someone else’s mobile data. But the corresponding functions also lead to problems, or they are misused by strangers.

Bluetooth – how it works and what it’s good for

Bluetooth connects two devices with each other via radio. This makes it possible to exchange data with each other without any cables at all. This is often used to listen to music via the smartphone with so-called Bluetooth headphones. Mobile speakers, smart speakers or smart toys can also be connected to smartphones and tablets via Bluetooth. Bluetooth can connect devices that are up to 10 meters apart.

The name Bluetooth means “Blue-tooth” and comes from a story about the Danish king Harald Blue-tooth. In 958 he had ensured a good connection between Denmark and Norway.

Bluetooth is also used for various applications or functions for wireless data exchange between devices. Apple devices offer the AirDrop service for this, which connects two or more devices via Bluetooth as soon as they are close to each other. At a distance of more than 10 meters, the AirDrop connection only works when both devices are on the same WLAN. If you want to send a photo, you have to open it in the gallery and click on the share icon (rectangle with arrow pointing up) below the photo. When a device is detected nearby, the AirDrop icon appears with a red number. When you tap on it, the corresponding devices are displayed and you can select to whom the photo should be sent. The destination device must acknowledge receipt of a file before it can be sent.

With other operating systems and device types, files can either be shared on both devices just by activating Bluetooth (in the settings under Networks/Wireless Connection), or there are dedicated apps for this, for example Nearby Share for Android.

Close data transmission with NFC

Another wireless technology that many smartphones have integrated is called NFC. This stands for Near Field Communication (i.e. communication in the near environment). Data can also be sent via this – but by touching the devices to be connected or over smaller distances than with Bluetooth. This function is often used when the smartphone is used as a means of payment. For example, if a credit card is stored in the smartphone (via ApplePay, Google Pay, etc.), the smartphone is simply held up to the card reader when paying at the checkout and the payment is made. For small amounts, you don’t even have to enter a PIN.

The NFC function can also be used creatively, as our tutorialMaking your own radio play box” shows.

This is what you and your child should pay attention to

On Apple devices, the default setting is that “Only contacts” can share data via AirDrop. For this purpose, access to the user’s own contact list must be granted. In the settings, however, it is also possible to select sharing for “All” or to completely disable visibility. Passwords can also be shared with users of Apple devices via AirDrop. However, this only works if the other person is stored as a contact in the smartphone.

It is never possible to ensure one hundred percent that strangers do not tap data, such as the phone number or the e-mail address, unnoticed via Bluetooth, AirDrop and WLAN. With NFC, the probability is lower because the respective devices have to be very close to each other.

Especially with smart toys, make sure that the Bluetooth function is not permanently active so that strangers cannot gain digital access to the child’s room. Read more about this in our article Teddy and doll listen in – Smart toys in the children’s room.

If you’re on the go and look in your settings, you can see that other devices that are ready to receive are nearby. This means that your own device is also recognizable to others. Therefore, if possible, the device name should be changed so that privacy cannot be violated. Therefore, do not use a full plain name, e.g. Kai Müller’s iPhone, but rather a nickname or similar.

It should also be noted that some information is collected so that the service can be used. However, according to the service providers, this collected data should be encrypted during data transmission. In addition to the device name, this includes the user’s own contacts as well as usage information and performance data for analysis purposes.

At best, Bluetooth, AirDrop , etc. should be completely disabled and only enabled when the function is really needed. Also, don’t leave your payment information on your child’s smartphone. Then they can not be misused in case of possible loss of the device.

Talk to your child about the risks of these functions and go through the settings on the smartphone together.

K-pop, K-drama – what’s the hype about Korean pop culture all about?

Five to ten young people on one stage, colorful outfits and even more colorful hairstyles. In addition, catchy melodies, lyrics about love and life. And above all, an impeccably choreographed show. If it looks like that, it’s probably K-pop. Pop music from Korea, which has been enjoying huge success around the world for some time.

How did the K-pop phenomenon come about?

Since the 1990s, the wave of Korean pop culture was set in motion and has been growing ever since. After television productions (K-dramas), Korean music (K-pop) was increasingly exported. First in the Asian region, later to the whole world. The song ‘Gangnam Style’ by the singer ‘Psy’, for example, was one of the first Korean songs to top the international hit lists, bands like BTS got more and more presence in the international music market. Fan groups were formed, festivals were held, and international media reported. Especially in social networks, Korean stars are well known and find many fans, especially young.
Within a very short time, a real Korea hype and enthusiasm for Korean culture arose. Comics, computer games, food or fashion from South Korea received more attention than ever before.

What makes K-pop and K-drama so fascinating?

The stars of music and film offer their fans a seemingly perfect world with a high feel-good factor. The melodies and themes are catchy and indisputable, the classic themes of growing up are dealt with, emotions, love, friendship. The stars always remain politically correct and give topics with scandal potential a wide berth.

The artists themselves also always seem to do everything right. They look like works of art made flesh, deliver flawless performances during appearances or interviews, and thus serve the needs of fans excellently. Bands like BTS release several albums a year, plus merchandise of all kinds. But contact with the fans is also cultivated, there are meet-and-greets and digital lunches with the audience, behind-the-scenes videos and numerous offers that enable personal contact or at least pretend to. Add to this the exoticism of the stars, their language and culture, as perceived in Europe – and you have the perfect entertainment package.

What should parents pay attention to?

There is a large and financially strong industry behind Korean cultural products. The stars are often cast as children or teenagers and trained for years to become “perfect” entertainers. Behind the shiny facade is not only hard work, but often pressure, gagging contracts or exploitation. Parents and children should also be aware of this side of the immaculate K-pop culture. In this way, unrealistic ideas about life as an artist, but also, for example, unattainable ideals of beauty, can be questioned and illuminated.

Moreover, not all K-productions are as harmless as they sometimes seem. The series Squid Game, for example, made a name for itself primarily through brutality – and had the potential to lastingly disturb children and young people.

The same applies here: Enthusiasm for the offers with the ‘K’ is welcome, but always with the necessary critical eye.

Paranormal Television – Supernatural on TV 

The camera shakes, the wind sweeps through the forest, then a shadow…clearly: there’s an unnatural creature hiding in the trees. Or?

Television shows that go by the catchphrase “paranormal” deal with anything that seems supernatural and unexplainable. For children, such formats are often difficult to understand and classify.

In brief

  • Paranormal means “supernatural”, “not naturally explainable” and refers to all phenomena that cannot be logically grasped.
  • These include, for example, ghosts and spirits, aliens or mythical creatures like Big Foot or Nessie.
  • Television shows on paranormal topics have been around since the 1960s.
  • Today, many different programs can be found in the genre.
  • When television programs are presented in the style of documentaries, it is particularly difficult to distinguish truth from fiction.

Inexplicable but fascinating – the supernatural appeals to adults and children alike

They are called Ancient Aliens, Paranormal Challenge or Ghost Hunters. They deal with inexplicable phenomena, supernatural beings or legendary stories. And they promise their audience not only good entertainment, but also a dose of thrills and the exciting question, “Can this be true?”

In shows about paranormal topics, the lines between truth and fiction blur. In earlier television offerings, a clear distinction was made between films that were clearly fiction and formats such as documentaries that were committed to the truth. Current offers from the Trash TV often operate in a gray area. They are reality documentaries or scripted reality formats. This means that they are strongly reminiscent of documentaries in their presentation: scenes are shown as ‘close’ and ‘authentic’ as possible, cell phone shots or blurred images are presented that look as if they were taken by chance. The people involved act as eyewitnesses or experts. And the contents are also described in such a way that it is never quite clear what is fact and what is fantasy.

This play with half-truth increases the fascination because it creates a great closeness to the audience’s lifeworld. However, it also increases uncertainty, especially for younger viewers.

“What Can I Believe?” – Children and the Paranormal

The lack of clarity about the reality content poses several dangers at once.

On the one hand, semi-real formats lead viewers to be increasingly uncertain about what they can believe. Since it is not clearly marked where the facts stop, the audience is forced to make up its own mind. We believe some things, doubt others – without ever knowing what is true. This not only gives rise to rumors and conspiracy theories, but also decreases trust in television broadcasts in general. Even serious documentaries or news stories are suddenly viewed more skeptically.

Children also have a hard time separating themselves from scary depictions. For example, they may develop fears of ghosts or monsters. The younger children are, the more they still live in a fantasy world anyway and must first learn to distinguish it from reality. From about elementary school age, children develop a sense for distinguishing between reality and fiction. But for this they need clear features such as cartoon characters or flying objects. When supernatural things are presented as real in programs, this is difficult for children to see through and tends to serve as a source of uncertainty.

How can parents deal with it?

Parents should be especially vigilant when dealing with paranormal broadcasts. Children who cannot yet distinguish fact from fiction are best advised not to watch such programs at all. The parent guide FLIMMO offers pedagogical assessments of offers from TV, streaming services, YouTube and cinema. When older children become interested in paranormal shows, it is important to guide them along the way. Watch a show together, offer to talk to your child about how such shows are made. Make your child understand how paranormal stories and legends are created and that they have no reality content.

Things to know about the trending app TikTok

No app has attracted more attention in recent years than the short video app from China. Among parents, it sometimes leads to incomprehension or worries because TikTok is used a lot. You can read the most important info about the app in various articles on Elternguide.online.

TikTok – the hot short video app

Here you can find out everything you need to know about TikTok: What can the app do? What is problematic? What can and should I consider as a parent when my child uses the app? You can find our detailed tool description for TikTok here.

Control my child’s TikTok usage!?

As a parent, you may be worried about your child using the app. You hear about problematic content or even“addictive behavior“. TikTok offers the so-called accompanied mode as technical support. But technology alone is not enough to support your child’s media literacy. Read more in our article on this!

Learning with TikTok – How useful are the learning snacks in video format?

On TikTok there are not only purely entertaining clips. Some TikTokers want to convey information to viewers and answer questions. We clarify what these learning snacks in short video format can do. Read our article on the subject.

Who makes money with TikTok

As on other social media platforms, some influencers use TikTok to make money. There are several ways that young users should know to distinguish advertising from other content. You can find out which ones in the article“Who makes money with TikTok“.

TikTok and the war

You may have noticed that scary videos from the Ukraine war are also circulating on the video platform. How children and young people can protect themselves from this is explained in our article“TikTok and the war“.

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