This is how children fit in with mobile phones

“Welcome?” The very young still babble and hold the basic block in their ear, while the older children hold the blinking and ringing mobile phone. And most of all, of course, a real phone. From an early age, children are fascinated by the fact that you can talk in a box and hear someone else. And they note in adults: such a mobile phone should be a very important thing – adults rarely ignore it.

For this reason, even young children often show a little shyness when it comes to using the phone. However, although all this is normal, it is advisable to practice some rules of conduct, especially given the fact that more and more children have their own smartphones as early as elementary school.

“Children should be introduced to telephony step by step,” advises media educator Erin Schultz of “Look! What your child is doing with the media.” The first step could be: Allow the child to call his parents when the doorbell rings. The following skill: calling yourself, eg the stored number for ancestors. Preschool age is usually the time to let kids pick up the phone or tap the phone icon themselves when they get a call.

Report on the phone with or without a name? Experts disagree

Should they report by name? “I haven’t decided on myself yet,” Schulz admits. For Joachim Auer, who as a business coach practices making phone calls to young interns, among other things, the answer is clear: “Later in career it’s normal to use your full name.” So it can be taught to children.

The media educator stresses that the more children are allowed to use the phone and the like, the more important it is to have clear rules. That mom’s work cell phone is taboo for them or they only answer if the caller’s name is known. And hang up when a stranger is at stake. “The crucial question is always what children reveal,” says Erin Schultz. “So it should be absolutely clear that you should not send pictures to strangers.”

Raising awareness of this is even more important because photos and videos have been used more naturally in daily communication since the Corona pandemic: Grandma was spoken via zoom and there was a picture of a newborn cousin every day in the Whatsapp family group.

The range of dangers is hardly manageable

Even young children are very skilled with devices. “It is easy to lose sight of the fact that of course they do not have an overview of the range of possibilities and risks,” the media educator points out and recommends a very clear comparison of child-friendly explanation: “The apartment door is opened to every stranger only.”

Block everything to protect children – that’s not a solution, according to Media Advisor: “As kids get older, you can do more without technical limitations. Kids are increasingly able to avoid them anyway.”

Disability: Having a relationship over the phone

Instead of phone calling, many young people prefer to communicate via messaging services like Whatsapp — and then make an effort when they have to talk on the phone again during training or at work, notes Joachim Orr, a business coach. He has the impression that many young people find it difficult to “build a relationship over the phone”.

But in a professional context, it is often precisely this that is decisive: “Only those who earn their interlocutor remain positive in their memory. That is why you may get the desired order, or a lower price, or be able to profitably have a discussion on complaints. » So Auer also practices the art of small talk in his courses: “Many young people can no longer master it.”

Practice short talk at dinner

This can easily be practiced at home with the family—using the same method a media professional recommends: “It is essential to always stay connected,” says Auer: “Parents and children, for example, can see what they are doing at the dinner table in the evening. Try Beautiful and positive things throughout the day.”

And without constantly looking at your cell phone. Because the correct use of cell phones and phones also includes the ability to leave them in place when it is not convenient – on the subway, in restaurants and above all in personal conversations. However, this will only work if the parents stick to it as well.

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