Media literacy and media knowledge for children is important and is becoming more and more important. Television, the Internet and the increasing use of smartphones are great fun for most boys and girls. But unchecked and uncontrolled media use can lead to gambling addiction, mobile phone addiction,contact poverty, cyber bullying or impoverished social behavior, and cause great harm, especially in younger children.
The rapid development of the media landscape has already brought us a wide variety of modern products and their possibilities in this century. As a result, there is hardly a child left in Germany who grows up without a computer, mobile phone or game console. Dealing with the modern media is a difficult balancing act for parents. They must protect their child from possible negative consequences without condemning the positive achievements of the modern information society.
School subject Media knowledge for children
Nevertheless, a school subject of media literacy for children is still controversial and is hardly on the curriculum. At the moment, as a parent, you are still on your own in communicating such important media literacy. But it’s not only worth it, it’s essential if your child is to survive in the media jungle.
- Do you watch closely what media your child uses?
- Do you know what it looks at on TV,what video games it likes and what it does with its phone?
- Talk about the information from the web.
- Ask questions and search for solutions together.
- Show yourself interested and open-minded.
Show interest and understanding
You should definitely do this, because only by this you can see how important these offers are for your child and how competently they already use them. Engage with your child’s media world to see what it means.
Do not prejudge rashly and in a blanket manner: “This series is total crap!”, “You don’t learn anything in the video game!”, “This website is confusing and only distracts you from learning!” Instead, try to understand what is part of responsible media relations, that is, media literacy.
- www.kjm-online.de The legal protection of youth media aims to keep out of children and adolescents influences of the adult world that do not yet correspond to the level of development of adolescents and thus to support them in their personal development.
- www.medienbewusst.de provide information materials and practical guidance to encourage parents and teachers to take a closer look at the topic of children and the media.
- www.klicksafe.de Since 2004, klicksafe has been implementing the mandate of the EU Commission in Germany to provide Internet users with the competent and critical use of the Internet and new media.
These 5 steps help you understand your child’s use of media
- Do you remember your own early experiences with media, your first visit to the cinema, the first feature films or the first video games? Your child may feel the same way when he or she gets his or her first mobile phone or is allowed to surf the Internet.
- Let us explain your children’s favorite games or websites and try to understand the fascination without prejudice.
- See what your child is using each media for. Some things are used for relaxation, others for contacting, pastime or even information.
- Observe your own dealings with the media critically. Can you do without an exciting show for a good conversation?
- Can you teach your child that media can also be used creatively? For example, you can use your PC to assemble books from digital photos or try out simple music software together.
Brochure mobile phone in children’s hand. Information and tips for parents,
Brochure Violence on mobile phones
Brochure Mobile phones and the Internet – tips against cost traps
Ed. Ministry of the Environment, Forestry and Consumer Protection, February 2008
- handysektor.de/download/fertigmachen_ist_tabu.pdf Flyer “FERTIGMACHEN ist TABU” Comic flyer on the topic of bullying by mobile phone
- fwu.de CD-ROM learning software: Mobile phone course with Polly and Fred
- schau-hin.info A page for parents with children who discover the media world