Parents' tips from the Internet ABC - Christmas: Oh, happy media time!

The smartphone is at the top of children's wish lists. And digital Christmas gifts such as consoles and video games are also very much in vogue. The Internet ABC helps with gaming tips and is also on hand to offer advice on how much time children should spend in front of the screen.

Many parents are unsure: At what age should my child have its own smartphone? Which games are suitable for my child's age? Which game is also recommendable from an educational point of view? The "Game Tips" section of the Internet-ABC media literacy initiative offers help: Using a search mask, parents can sort games by genre, console system and the age of the child. With the help of pedagogical recommendations from the Internet-ABC experts, they can then make the right decision for the appropriate game. Each recommendation offers a summary of the content and also rates the respective computer or console game according to fun to play, operation and technical quality.

Christmas time: A lot of time in front of the screen?
When children receive a new smartphone or video game as a Christmas gift, they naturally have to try it out right away. But how do parents deal with the fact that their offspring then spend even more time in front of the screen? In the last two years alone, media consumption among six- to 13-year-olds has increased by 20 percent from 133 minutes to 160 minutes (see Kinderwelten Study 2018 by Super-RTL and IP-Deutschland). The current JIM study also confirms the trend. It focuses on the target group of twelve to 19-year-olds: On school days, they spend an average of around three and a half hours a day on the Internet. Especially during the upcoming Christmas vacations, these values will probably be far exceeded in many families.

Internet-ABC survey on regulating media times in the family
In many families, the question of how long children are allowed to watch TV, be online and gamble every day is a constant source of debate. The Internet ABC recommends that six- to nine-year-olds spend no more than one hour and ten- to twelve-year-olds no more than 75 minutes a day with screen media. But these are only guidelines. Parents must decide for themselves what rules should apply to their children's media use. It's best for children and parents to set the times together. The media use contract for families developed by the Internet-ABC and the EU initiative klicksafe helps with this.

"How do you do it?" - under this motto, the Internet-ABC is calling on parents to share their experiences with others and take part in the initiative's "Media Times" survey: Do they specify at home exactly how long children are allowed to spend in front of the screen? Or is it decided on a case-by-case basis? What solutions do they have if this leads to arguments? Click here for the survey.

Internet ABC: Game tips
Are you still looking for a suitable game as a Christmas present for your child? Click here for the Internet ABC game tips.

The game tips database on the Internet:

The educational software database on the Internet:


More on the topic

  • klicksafe for parents: Networked toys
  • klicksafe for parents: Usage times and rules
  • klicksafe for parents: Checklist: Is your child ready for a smartphone?