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Media wisdom: Let's get started!

How do you ensure that your child(ren)'s media use is fun and safe? How do you handle that at home? Media wisdom is more than just online safety. It is part of the so-called 21st century skills. You want to guide your child well, but you don't always know how. This article is a handy guide with tips for parents to help children from the aged of 0 to 18 grow up media-wise.

Media is everywhere, and children can often easily access it. Nice and handy, but for parents it is often not a pleasant idea that their child can be confronted with just about anything. With Parental Control features, often already included with devices and programs, they can filter or block content, and limit and monitor media behavior where necessary. Parental Control is not a substitute for a good conversation with your child about media behavior, but it is a useful tool.

Children's play environment is changing fast. One of the most notable development is the arrival of the toy connected with the internet, called Internet of toys. This means that while playing they are exposed to the internet threats. So here are some points of consideration in this new fields of safety.

  1. Is the internet connection needed for the activation of the game or also while playing?

  2. Who's exposed to your private information?

  3. Is there a helpdesk for questions?

  4. What is the child playing and what kind of behavior influence does it have?

  5. Is it appropriate for the child's age? (look for the Pegi )

  6. Does the game have an educational value?

  7. Are there extra costs (so kids can buy themselves)?

  8. Is there an expiration date when you need to update the software?


Sharing photos, videos or other information about your child on social media is also known as “sharenting”: a combination of “sharing” and “parenting”. As a parent, how do you decide what to share about your child online? After all, young children cannot agree to the things you share, and they also have a right to privacy. Remember that whatever you are sharing or putting online, stays there forever and that can effect later on your child's life.

Filter, limit and control

So what can you practically do in order to have more control?

Young children learn through repetition, recognize the structure of a story and he will always do new things to discover. That gives a feeling security and control. So don't hesitate to talk often about the security actions when going online.

Older children can actually teach us a lot about the online gaming world. Be curious, ask questions so they can talk and share with you about their activities. Part of their social life is there so as you ask how their day was at school and with whom did they play, ask also in the online field those questions: How was your game? with whom did you play? what did you like there today? what made you sad/angry?

Software filter and internet filters help to limit the exposure of the child. For example YouTube and Google have those options. Put passwords where your child can't enter without you.

When downloading a new game (always through you), look together at the game, the options of playing, the interactions and the exposure to internet. Also, you can download it to your device and play with it for a while before permitting it to your child.

Also, teach the child to limit his time by himself so he will realize he is in control of his time and energy and not the screens. For example, time's up when the alarm goes on! Teach them the right balance. But what is a good balance in a day? We shall look in a week: 20% school time, 20% sports activities, 20% interest activities, 20% social activities and 20 % screens. These all can also be combined with each other.

From the other side, do not make them scared from the online opportunities, as they are great and teach them a lot as long as we follow those mentioned above safety actions.

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