Why are my parents against electronics

Smartphones: What parents shouldn't prohibit children from doing

Whether Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat: Parents are only allowed to control the activities of their children on social media to a limited extent. From the age of 13, parents are no longer allowed to forbid them to set up access to a social network, according to the German Lawyers' Association. Experts advise talking to children about its use and setting up technical hurdles.

Parents can only have access blocked for younger people. Mothers and fathers are not allowed to control how children aged 13 and over use social media. "In this case, the child's personal rights outweigh the parents' rights to upbringing," says Swen Walentowski.

Experts advise talking to children and adolescents and, if in doubt, using child locks

Seek the conversation

Many dangers are difficult to grasp for parents, also because these threats change every second. Nevertheless, they should inform themselves regularly about security vulnerabilities and familiarize children with the risks.

It is important that adults speak openly with their children about the risks that the Internet brings with it. "Parents should encourage their children to enter into a dialogue about what they should or shouldn't do on the Internet," explains Thomas Uhlemann, Security Specialist at IT security provider Eset. "In this way, you can help the youngsters make responsible decisions online and stay safe."

Use parental controls

So that children are protected from certain content, technical protective measures can also help: Many providers of apps and programs offer a range of setting options that can be used to restrict age-appropriate access. For example, parents can use it to block in-app purchases. With additional applications, parents can deactivate non-age-appropriate content and websites on Android tablets and smartphones or set times for their children to play games and fun apps.

Cyberbullying is also a serious issue that parents and their children have to deal with. According to a recent JIM study, every fifth child has been a victim of cyberbullying. Parents should encourage their children to stand up against it. This includes, for example, saving messages and reporting offensive content on social networks. It is also important to adequately secure all accesses against unauthorized access. Parents should encourage their children to protect their accounts with strong passwords and two-factor authentication, and to share content on social networks responsibly.

Crime scene actors against smartphones in children

Many parents are particularly critical of the use of smartphones and social media among children. Tatort actor Martin Brambach is also against smartphones for children. "If I were the legislator, I would forbid Internet-enabled cell phones for children and young people under the age of 16," he told "Bild am Sonntag".

Actor Martin Brambach ("Tatort") would like to have smartphones banned for children under 16. (Source: Henning Kaiser / dpa)

Constantly waiting for likes and answers

From a certain age onwards, parents would no longer have a chance to control what their offspring is looking at on the Internet. Brambach ("Tatort"), himself a father, also considers social networks to be problematic: "You have to constantly check whether someone has already liked my post on Facebook or there is an answer on WhatsApp," he told the newspaper.

The actor, born in 1967, knows this from his own experience: "We were once with the family on vacation in Turkey and spent two hours on the bus on the way to the hotel." Suddenly his eldest daughter said "Yes, 20 people think it's good that I'm in Turkey!" cheered. "I just asked her:" Have you ever looked outside? "

Do you allow your kids to use smartphones and social media? Let us know your experiences in the comments!

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  • Subjects:
  • Digital,
  • Social networks,
  • Children,
  • Parents,
  • Whatsapp,
  • Mobile,
  • Smartphone,
  • Internet,
  • Instagram,
  • Facebook