Tips for smartphone use by children and young people

Even if many parents still use the smartphone primarily for making phone calls - for children it is a fixed everyday companion that simply belongs in various situations in life. It is the "communication center" with their circle of friends, a topic of conversation in their free time, a shared game console and much more. 

However, not everything that can be done with a cell phone is allowed. Cell phone bans should nevertheless be the last resort, as they could potentially make the necessary open exchange between parents and children much more difficult.

The following tips should help you make your child aware of responsible smartphone use.

Look together at functions and possibilities and train together a responsible and safe handling of the mobile phone.

Z. B.: At what times can the mobile phone be switched off at home? At which events, even outside the family, must it be switched off or muted? Also discuss which content should be saved on the mobile phone and which should not. Should your child ask you before installing apps? Who bears the costs if the mobile phone bill is higher than agreed? And: How often is a new mobile phone necessary and what happens if it breaks? If you work out rules together with your child and don't just "dictate" them, he or she will feel taken seriously and will be better able to accept and apply these rules.

Not everything that can be done with a mobile phone is allowed: discuss the topics "Copyright and personal rights" and "Data protection". Agree that your child will only publish photos and films of others with permission and will also use their own data sparingly. Certain contents, e.g. illegal music downloads, have no place on mobile phones.

Whether at a meal together or even on holiday, a "break from broadcasting" is good for children and young people. It is particularly exciting when the mobile phone-free time is used for joint activities for the whole family.

Your child also has a right to privacy. If your child finds out that you are secretly checking his or her mobile phone, this can lead to a breach of trust.

It is better to calmly discuss what actually happened and look for solutions together. In this way, you show your child that you are also the right person to talk to when difficulties arise.

Find out about current apps and what your friends are using. Check out supporting websites (see link tips). Checking in regularly will help you stay up to date together.

Regularly have your child show you different cell phone functions and new applications, and discuss the pros and cons. This way you can keep each other fit.