How can I get knowledge without reading

How children gain media literacy

Rules and Limits of Media Education

Learning to use media in a meaningful way is a process. This learning process must take place in small steps if the child is not to be overwhelmed. Everything that flows into small children from the television, computer game or other media initially arrives at them “unfiltered”. They still have to learn how to classify what they have seen and experienced and how to deal with them. And they also have to learn to deal with other things again despite all the attraction of the media. A good media education therefore includes protecting the child from being overwhelmed by the media.

The first question that arises is when which media are suitable for children at all. How children use, perceive, understand and interpret media depends on their level of development and their media experience and - especially with older children - also on their current life situation. The “suitable” starting age also differs accordingly. There are, however, various recommendations that are taken up by the “3-6-9-12” rule, among others. This suggests the following guidelines:

  • No screen media under 3 years of age
  • No game console of their own 6 years ago
  • No cell phone or smartphone 9 years ago
  • No unattended computer / internet use 12 years ago

Once you, as a parent, have decided that your child can use certain media devices and consume media content, further clear rules are required, for example how much and how long they can watch TV or play on the computer, which programs they can watch and which games they can play etc. With increasing age, the child can and should be more and more involved in the decisions, for example in the selection of games and programs. In small steps, it can find its way to an increasingly independent way of dealing with the media.