Learning from the children
There are always new social media channels, apps and digital role models for children and young people. The digital world is spinning fast! But don't despair, because it is enough to take one step at a time. Your child may already be a professional at using his or her own phone. Why not learn from the young people and let them explain things to you? It's important to get an idea of the content and apps that are being viewed and clicked on. This way you can keep in touch with your child and become active as a parent if something is unsuitable for the child.
The Golden Rules
Rules are important. They create a safe framework in which children can try out and develop undisturbed. At the same time, they provide stability, create trust and security. This is particularly important when dealing with digital media and content that is difficult to control. Talk to your child about age-appropriate online times and posting content. A good tip for everyday family life: record the common agreements on a poster and hang it up visibly. That way you can remember them again and again.
Bringing light into the dark together
With Instagram, TikTok and Co., children dive into worlds that are often not entirely transparent. Much of what seems real is actually an elaborate staging. Paid advertising also plays a major role on the profiles of the digital role models. It can be very helpful to take the time as a family to talk together. What is actually behind the people who have received a "Like"? What is real and what is not? What does the child like about the profiles? By the way, you can find out a lot about the child's hidden interests and talents.
Not losing sight of the real world
Keeping in touch with the child through social media is not only important but also very enriching. Whether fashion, sports, distant destinations or nature conservation. From the examples of Instagram and Facebook, you can see very well where exactly the interests of the child lie. As a parent, you can use these insights and provide variety in the offline world. Maybe you can find common ideas on how to bring inspiration from the Internet into the child's everyday life.
Dealing with media is a competence. So it's not just passing time when the child uses a mobile phone, a PC or the social media channels. Digital skills can prove to be very helpful later on and can already support learning at school.
More information for parents about social media and the Internet can be found here
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