Children and the media: how do you find the right amount?

Kinder und Medien: Wie findet man die richtige Herangehensweise? Today we dedicate ourselves to a topic that is an often and hotly discussed in parenting circles, and first of all we would like to say that every mom and dad has to decide for themselves what they think is right for their own child. Nevertheless, we from the Kleine Prints team asked our founder Eva Malawska to share her very personal opinion and experience on this important topic with us:

Children and media: getting started

Lotta was about 2.5 years old when we started to introduce her very gently to various moving image media. From time to time we would watch very simple things with her, for example the sandman. From around the same time she was also allowed to use our iPad, but only special apps for children, for example one that makes animal noises. If you do a little research, you will find really great apps for children, for example the hidden object book apps or other beautifully illustrated apps. I'll reveal a few of my favorite recommendations below. Lotta also watched a YouTube channel with children's songs from time to time.

Duration and frequency of media use

When it comes to the duration of media use, I simply followed the familiar ones recommendations held by doctors & Co. According to these guidelines, 20 to 30 minutes at a time are ok from the age of 3. Of course, less never hurts. Lotta is not allowed to watch TV or use YouTube or apps every day, as we have found that she develops addictive behavior very quickly. The more media she is allowed to consume, the more she wants to watch and the more unbalanced she becomes if we don't allow it. Unfortunately, this is a very common phenomenon that most parents are familiar with; certain "addiction areas" in the brain are addressed. Kinder und Medien: Bewussten Konsum beibringenKinder und Medien: Nicht zu lange am Stück nutzen lassen For this reason alone, we make sure that television & Co. remain something special. At the weekend Lotta is allowed to watch a series, now and then we (she is five and a half) also watch a movie together. Usually, however, Lotta's attention span is not enough for a full film.

Choose and accompany age-appropriate content

Personally, I think it's important not only to consciously consider the frequency and duration of media consumption, but also to choose the age-appropriate content for your child so as not to overwhelm them. Among other things, the site helps us Flimmo often super further. Kinder und Medien: Wie findet man die richtige Herangehensweise? I also think it's important to support young children in particular, even with very simple content. Things that are completely harmless to us adults can raise questions and uncertainties in young children.

Kino: When, what kind of films do you start?

We went to the cinema with Lotta for the first time shortly before her fifth birthday. Back then we looked at "The Bunny School", which in retrospect I found a really good decision. Because the film wasn't as exciting as, for example, the often emotionally stirring Disney films, in which a lot happens. I seriously wonder how children at such a young age are supposed to process such spectacles, especially when they are sitting in front of a cinema screen for the first or second time. I've heard before that it was too much for the children. German films like the sweet bunny school are often much more relaxed. From my own experience as well as from the reports of others, I can highly recommend that you consciously select quieter films for your first few visits to the cinema. Yes, exactly, those that we parents almost fall asleep with. Lotta's second film was "The Smurfs" and that was clearly too much for her; she also had nightmares the following night. In general, I think it's important that children are introduced to a healthy use of the media at a relatively early age. Various media are simply part of our time today and media consumption should and should be fun for children. He does it to us adults too. Nevertheless, it was and is important to us to be very careful and conscious about Lotta. We adults can hardly understand what powerful impressions the first videos, apps, series and movies are for the brains and souls of our little hearts and should remind us again and again.

Listen to the feeling

In the end, as parents, we are always well advised if we just listen to our feelings. If we feel that it is somehow becoming too much for our child, we should definitely reduce media consumption, even if this is often acknowledged with reluctance on the part of our little rascals. However, I really don't believe in complete bans right through to elementary school.

Recommendations about apps

Wonderkind makes really nice apps for kids. I can particularly recommend the Wimmelbuch apps Airport, Circus and my city! (Update 2019: "Circus" and "My City" unfortunately no longer exist, but new, beautiful apps! Just have a look there!) Fox & Sheep really make crazy illustrations with so much attention to detail. My special recommendations here are the petting zoo and the Fox apps, especially Fox vet. Kinder und Medien: Analog tut auch mal gut

And for the classic love of pictures ...

Children love photos and colorful pictures. And of course not just in motion. For the classic big picture love of our sunshine, there are the products from Kleine Prints. Discover our now stable photo book for children, the stylish personalized memory game and the beautiful photo puzzle - and soon ensure that you have an extra helping of photo fun in your children's room. Would you like more stories about the photo-loving life with children? Then sign up here for our newsletter, the Kleine Sonntagspost! No spam, 100% love.

Image sources: 1 - 4 via 1) Hal Gatewood, 2) Annie Spratt, 3) Samantha Sophia, 4) Alexander Dummer; 5) Eva Malawska

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