Youth and media

Today’s children are growing up in an increasingly digital world. This presents opportunities, but also risks. On the one hand, UPC wants to make its customers aware of the dangers of material which is illegal or harmful to children and young people. On the other hand, parents and teachers need to be supported in protecting children from age-inappropriate content. Parents should closely monitor what children are doing and accompany them as they venture into the digital world. Below, you will find important advice and links to sources of further information about protecting young people in the context of media.

Latest:

UPC is one of the first companies to sign the new industry initiative for the protection of young people in the media published by asut. The official text is available at www.asut.ch.

UPC

Safer Internet Day

UPC wants to provide support for parents and teachers in helping their children use online technologies safely. For this reason, we organise activities on the subject of protecting young people from harmful media each year on Safer Internet Day. To mark this year’s Safer Internet Day, we are launching a helpful brochure. This includes tips on how parents can improve their children’s digital and media literacy, as well as information about how UPC products can be made childproof. Numerous links also offer the possibility of accessing further information about protecting young people from harmful media. The brochure can be downloaded free of charge (German only).

Tips for protecting children and young people

Children and TV
UPC

Watching TV consciously

What impact is television having on your child?

 

Television plays an important role in children’s lives. Various studies and investigations advise parents to reduce the amount of time their children spend watching television. Did you know that parents of children under two years of age are often advised not to let their children watch any television at all? A ban is not always the right option, however. Think about the role you want television to play in your child’s overall development.

 

We hope that the tips and advice on these pages will help you get an impression of the impact that television has on small children and that you will recognise that television can also have a positive effect on your child’s development.

Television can play a necessary role in the lives of young children. Although some media researchers and paediatricians recommend that parents reduce the amount of time that their children spend watching television – they recommend that children under two years of age do not watch any television at all – it may be better to think about whether television is suitable for your child’s overall development or not.

 

Communicate to your child that television can be an active experience instead of a passive one. Repeat words or sentences that you hear during a programme and encourage your child to dance and sing with the characters, or talk to them about what they can see and hear.

7 ways to create good television habits:

1) Be particular about the television programmes that you watch with your child

Read online reviews or printed media to find out which television programmes are suitable for your child’s age group and level of development. Instead of simply hoping to find something suitable by chance, have recorded programmes and suitable videos ready that children will enjoy, that are educational, and that will fire their imagination. Turn the television off when the programme is over.

2) Watch television with your child

Small children often copy what they see and hear on television. Ask your child questions which will encourage them to come up with their own dialogue or to modify the plot. A conversation about television might begin as follows: What happened at the start of the film? Which character would you like to be? If you could think up a new story with the same characters, how would your story end?

3) Make sure that television does not replace time with family or active play

Limit the amount of time your child spends watching television. By doing so you will make sure that they are still able to spend time with you, play with their friends, and discover the world around them. Use the musical aspects of a programme or the physical attributes of a character to encourage your child to dance, jump and clap, instead of simply sitting still and watching.

4) Use television programmes and videos to increase your child’s ability to listen

Make television into an audio drama: Ask your child to turn away from the television while you watch a familiar programme or film together. If a familiar character starts to talk or sing, ask your child to identify him or her simply by listening.

5) Avoid programmes in which characters resolve conflicts through violence

If your child sees that a character solves a problem by hitting, kicking or biting, tell them that that is the wrong thing to do. Suggest alternative actions: «Instead of hitting his sister, the boy could also have asked her to stop annoying him.»

6) Make it clear that cartoon characters do things that people can’t do

If your child imitates things that a character on television does, you should remind them that even if cartoon characters simply get up and walk away after accidents, jumping from a swing can really hurt.

7) Avoid television programmes that could scare your child

If a programme or a film scares your child, reassure them with a cuddly toy, a hug or something to drink. Physical affection is often more comforting than reassuring words.

At the age of six or seven years, children begin to understand that people have different opinions. At around eight or nine years, they begin to discover that people have an «inner life» – that is to say that they may think one thing, but do another thing. Both developments will allow your child to encounter television – and other forms of storytelling – in a new way.

 

Instead of simply soaking it up, your child can watch television actively. How? By learning about what they see and hear, and by asking questions. Even if you don’t have an answer to everything, think out loud and talk to your child about the programme that you are watching together. By doing so, you are showing your child that television programmes do not always have to be one-sided. Each programme is in reality the result of a number of decisions taken by people during the production stages.

8 ways to teach your child to watch television actively

1) Ask your child questions about what they see and hear on television

Use the control offered to you by a video recorder. Or use the commercial breaks to ask «why» and «how», instead of asking yes or no questions. I wonder why the scriptwriter wanted the actor to say that? Did you notice that the scary music began at that precise moment?

2) Talk to your child about why they like particular characters

Your child may look for role models. If you don’t ask your child what they regard as brave, admirable or clever, you won’t find out why they are attracted to certain characters. Who do we know who does that? Is this character really admirable or does he just look cool?

3) Encourage your child to create their own pictures

Make your child aware that all pictures on TV, on websites or on buses are created by people. Come full circle by explaining that they can create their own pictures. Let them take photos, paint, draw or doodle – everything that will encourage them to tell stories using pictures from their own imagination. Keep pencils, coloured pens and other drawing materials close by, so that your child can express ideas that they come up with while watching television. This is the first step towards helping your child understand the value of visual arts for themselves.

4) Give your child a glimpse behind the scenes of films or television productions

Your child may not know how directors use camera angles, digital animations, stuntmen, miniature models, make-up, costumes and other means to create a fictional story. Talk to them about these elements. Ask out loud how different programmes were made.

5) Help your child to find activities (including physical activities) which provide a good balance

Teach your child to select television programmes in advance instead of zapping aimlessly from channel to channel. (Try to do the same thing yourself!) Try to get your child to take an interest in long-term projects – a collection, a puzzle, a collector’s album – that they can turn to when they are bored. If the project requires a table or a special shelf to store the materials, make space in a place where your child will not be disturbed.

6) Get your child used to the sound of the television

Ask your child questions such as: Which music is being played – and why? How do the voices of the different characters vary? How is silence used? (Possible answers include: to create tension, to show that someone is deaf, to change the mood.)

7) Make «watching closely» into a game

Find out how many voices or accents, how many types of clothing, or how many places you and your child can identify. This is also a good opportunity to talk about stereotypes; who is shown on television? Who is missing?

8) Avoid programmes in which characters solve problems by using violence

Make your child aware of when a character tries to solve their problems by hitting, kicking or biting. Ask them about other ways of resolving conflict, such as negotiation or discussion. Explain that violence almost always has consequences, but that these are rarely shown in cartoons.

When it comes to television, the most useful skill you can teach your child at this age is to ask questions. Make it clear to them that all television programmes are created by people, so that they do not view what they see on the screen as the objective truth. Advertisers use TV series because they increase product sales. Directors choose a particular storyline to tell a gripping story. And producers can influence the cutting process to reach a broader public and achieve economic success.

 

The more you encourage your child to ask how, why and for what purpose a programme was produced, the greater their understanding of TV formats will be.

8 ways to teach your child to watch television actively

1) Help your child develop a critical awareness of what they see on television

Start a conversation by asking your child about their feelings («Would you like to be this character?»), whether they think the programme reflects their life («Do you know someone who looks or behaves like that?») or how much they know about TV production («Do you think that was the actor or a body double?»). Contradict the television if a programme does not make sense or if an advertising message is unrealistic.

2) Point out the elements that make up a programme

Use simple film vocabulary for when characters are talking («speech is called dialogue»), where they live (houses, schools and workplaces are  «film sets») and how they act («main storyline, sub-plot, etc.»). Point our recurring elements: canned laughter or a live audience in sitcoms; sub-plots which are spun out into dramas lasting several hours; unrealistic elements in «reality» shows or a dominant point of view in a documentary film.

3) Tell your child about the close link between TV scheduling and advertising

Ask your child to think about the appeal of a programme and the products that are promoted in the commercial breaks. For a particular advert, you could ask: «Who do you think is watching this programme? What is the marketer trying to sell? What feelings does this advert trigger?»

4) Encourage your child to act, and not just to watch

If your child shows an interest in something specific in a programme, encourage them to learn more about whatever it is by reading a book or visiting a website on the subject. To find out whether a claim made in a programme is correct, they could conduct an experiment or ask a teacher.

5) Find out what your child believes to be real

If you don’t ask them, you will never find out what your child thinks about things that they see and hear on television. Find out whether they have developed an unrealistic view of how people look or act, what they consider to be the best way of resolving conflict, and what relationship they have to actors from films and adverts.

6) Have suggestions ready in case your child complains that they «have nothing to do»

If your child zaps aimlessly from channel to channel when they are bored, suggest that they actively do something: They could write a letter to the producers or the channel about what they like or don’t like about a programme or channel. Help your child to come up with a list of alternative activities instead of letting television become a habit. And don’t forget to come up with a list for yourself! 

7) As a family, take a break from television

Choose a time – perhaps during your family holiday – to skip programmes that you usually watch. Talk about this experience together. Together, think about how you can change your family’s television habits.

8) Make sure that your child is active

If your child’s physical activity level decreases as a result of television, make your everyday life more active. If your child has their own television in their room, move it to a family room.

Transform your child from a couch potato into a film lover by teaching them the technical language of film and television. Your child will discover that there is no «right»way of interpreting a story or an image. The value that a person draws from a programme or a film depends on who they are, what they know about the world and what they know about the art form.

 

With your help, your child will learn that living in a visual culture requires them to decode messages. That is much better than accepting these images at face value.

6 ways to teach your child to watch television actively

1) Talk to your child about the tricks used in television

Point our recurring elements: canned laughter or a live audience in sitcoms; sub-plots which are spun out into dramas lasting several hours; unrealistic elements in «reality» shows or a dominant point of view in a documentary film. Instead of zapping in the commercial breaks, switch off the sound and talk to your child.

2) Find out whether television influences your child’s self-image

Pop culture can determine what is cool and what it means to be accepted. Talk to your child about media messages. Start your conversation by asking your child what they feel (do you envy this character?), whether the programme reflects their life (do you know someone who looks or acts like that?) and what they know (do you think that could happen in real life?).

3) Help your child to question what they have seen

By drawing attention to contradictions if a programme does not make sense, or if a commercial makes unrealistic claims. This way, your child will learn that not everything on television reflects the truth.

4) Talk to your child about the link between content and advertising

Teach your child about the economic background to programming by drawing their attention to product placements. Why do companies use television programmes to market their products? (so that the viewer links brands with popular actors; to create brand awareness). You can ask questions about a particular advert: Who do you think is watching this programme? What is the marketer trying to sell? What feelings does this advert evoke?

5) Use the remote control

If you watch a film at home, rewind a particular scene and watch it again. Find out whether the scene was important by discussing the following questions: How did this scene contribute to the development of the plot? Was it intended to create a particular atmosphere? What did it tell us about the main character?

6) Talk about how media coverage influences our beliefs

Ask your child where they acquired their knowledge about other countries. Ask questions about how the story is told, the «facts», the quotes and the «experts» when you watch the news. Draw links between the way in which a message is presented and the thoughts and feelings that it triggers in you and your child. Explain how bias can influence journalism. Challenge your child to obtain more detailed information instead of simply believing the first source of information.

Children and computer

Children and the Internet

In the same way that not everything we see on television corresponds with reality, not everything on the Internet is true, either. It reflects opinions, news and interpretations that are constantly changing. Teach your child to ask where this information comes from.


Talk to your child about the discoveries that they make online. Let them know that there are also lots of alternatives if content is poor or difficult to understand.


Your child should also know about the value of their personal data. This means that your child protects their own privacy and respects others’ privacy. They should also know that in the virtual world there are people who pretend to be someone other than who they are in reality.

 

The numerous computer games available for small children may have convinced you that there is no age limit on the educational value of the computer. Like other toys and devices in your child’s surroundings, the computer is most beneficial when used alongside natural play, however.


Make sure that the PC does not influence your child’s development needs. Children need time for creative play, for example, and to be able to share their inventions and discoveries. They need adults like you to take part in their play. You would not want your child to stare at the computer screen for hours on end, but would instead want them to make the most of their time.

6 ways to get the most out of computer time

1) Ask lots of questions if your child uses a computer

Although it is tempting to walk away when your child is engaged in an activity, take the time to ask your child questions about their activities on the PC. Get your child used to thinking about what is happening on the screen by asking questions such as: How do you play this game? What happens when you move in that direction? Which character is talking at the moment?

2) Do not allow time in front of the computer to replace physical activity

Always switch the computer off again and encourage your child to play outside, to paint and make things, to look at books, sing songs, to dance, make up stories or embark on a journey of discovery.

3) Show your child software and websites that will stimulate their creativity

Drawing pictures and telling stories are ways for your child to express things that they may not be able to express through everyday conversation. Your child may want to share what they have done with someone or keep it to themselves. Both answers are OK.

4) Teach your child to play electronic games with others

Look out for games that have a discovery element and that allow your child to play with others and not against others. Encourage your child to play with friends and siblings; discourage them from resorting to video games when they are on their own. Play along with them, then you will get to know the game yourself.

5) Find opportunities for your child to make their own decisions and try new things

Even simple decisions – choosing a character, choosing the background for a picture, choosing a game – are good opportunities for your child. If your child gets bored during an activity, suggest something new; it can be a different level of the same game or an entirely new game. (If you do not point them out, your child will not recognise that they have choices.)

6) Make sure that the choice of program is not dominated by one child or a group

The choice of program does not have to be limited by your child’s friends saying that a game is «only for boys» or «only for girls». Talk to your child about how it is important to take turns with the mouse when playing on the computer.

If your child has an idea, they will want to follow it through. This exploration plays a crucial role in your child’s development. A computer can encourage them to do this.

 

Like libraries, the Internet is also a fantastic place for your child to discover and learn. While your child is using the Internet for homework, you can help them form good habits – such as the habit of asking critical questions. By accustoming them to ask questions instead of copying and simply accepting information, you are teaching your child that there is not just one expert, one single source and one single way of doing something. By using the Internet, you can also teach them to organise information and develop successful search strategies.

5 ways to make the most of computers

1) Familiarise your child with the librarians at your local library

Librarians know how to sort information. They can help your child learn how to use the Internet for research, and to find the answers to questions.

2) Encourage your child to reformulate information from the Internet in their own words

If your child uses an electronic picture from the Internet, let them write their own caption to describe what is going on in the picture – and what it means. Teach them to state their sources if they use material – a quote, a picture or an idea – that is not their own. The usual way to do this is by giving the address of the website from which the information originates.

3) Emphasise how important online security is

Help your child become a skilled Internet user. Show them sources of information about Internet security, such as CyberSmart. When you talk about the importance of personal information, warn your child not to disclose their name, address, telephone number or other details from which someone could identify them on the Internet. Show them how to select and use a user name – and never to disclose their real name. Do not let your child take part in online competitions.

4) Introduce your child to child-friendly search engines and directories

By noting down a few research pointers for your child, you can encourage them to explore their interests. Good starting points include:

You can visit these sites (and any others your child is interested in) yourself and add the sites you both like – and that you are happy for them to visit – to your favourites.

5) Help your child to check information sources on the Internet

Ask key questions:

  • What is the main topic?
  • Who is expressing their opinion? Is it a person, an organisation, a company or an authority?
  • Why is this information here? Is there a hidden intention? Is this website trying to sell me something? Is it trying to make me believe something? Or encourage me to do something? Is there an “About us” page?
  • How is the main idea presented – in words, images, personal stories, opinions or as research? How does the format influence my thinking about the information? (For example, are pictures and personal stories more credible than verbose statements?)
  • What is missing? Can you think of any information that is not covered on this website? Are certain people or opinions missing?
  • Who is affected? Why is the information on this website important?

Children between nine and 13 years have become a lucrative market in recent years. Protect yourself from the increasingly aggressive advertising targeted at this age group by encouraging your child to think for themselves.

 

To entice your child, advertisers create ads targeted at emotions rather than at critical thinking. Advertising is intended not just to sell products, but also to sell feelings. Advertisers want to trigger your child’s desire to be clever and popular. Their strategy is to make your child scared of being left out and to create the illusion that their product will make them feel better again.

 

It is up to you to influence the way in which your child decodes the messages it receives from the market. Help them learn to analyse advertising astutely and to develop self-confidence. Children between the ages of nine and 13 have become a lucrative market in recent years. Protect yourself from the increasingly aggressive advertising targeted at this age group by encouraging your child to think for themselves.

5 ways to encourage critical thinking

1) Encourage your child to challenge all sides

Get your child to ask: Where does this information come from? How does the information on this website – its text, its images, its overall impression – influence my view? Which standpoint is presented? What information is missing? Are particular people and opinions not presented?

2) Show your child how to assess a website by first noting down the address and then looking for background information

Talk to your child about sites that look appealing, but which do not clearly show where the information originates from. So as not to fall into a trap, first note down the website address and then look for more detailed background information: Follow the «About» and other «Who we are» links to find out which people or which group created this website.

3) Teach your child to be suspicious of unsolicited e-mails

Show your child websites for uncovering misinformation and fraud. Enter the term «urban legends» into a search engine and you will find sites which debunk famous rumours. The virus and hoax section of the Symantec Anti-Virus Research Center offers help with rumours about computer viruses.

4) Help your child understand that not all sites have identical structures

Search engines are increasingly using «pay-for-placement» models whereby preference is shown towards paying companies. Show your child where the paid rankings appear on the screen and how they can look out for lists that relate more closely to their search. Show them the variety of search engines available.

5) Go online with your child

By discovering websites and software programmes together with your child, you will get to know the online functions that appeal to your child. This is easier if the computer is in a room used by the entire family instead of in a separate bedroom.

5 ways to enhance security online

1) Stop your child from disclosing their personal details on the Internet

Whether your child visits a commercial website or writes to a friend online, they should never give out their name, address, telephone number or other information from which they could be identified. Show them how to use a user name instead of their real name. Warn your child to talk to you first before they register for competitions.

2) Compare filter programs

Internet filters block access to sites that are unsuitable for children. No Internet filter is foolproof, however – every product has characteristics that may or may not meet your family’s needs – but you can use tools such as GetNetWise and online reviews such as those on CNET to help you with your decision.

3) Talk to your child about the difficulty of identifying others online

The anonymity provided by the Internet makes it easy for people to pretend to be someone else. Make sure your child knows that. You can restrict his or her online contact to the people he or she knows in real life. The Think U Know page offers a crash course in online chat and instant messaging for both parents and children

4) Create a safe space for your child to talk about what they see on the Internet

Talk to your child about what they find on the Internet. Make them aware that unsuitable pages can come up on the screen without any fault on their part. Get your child into the habit of telling you about reprehensible content and topics that you have prohibited.

5) Help your child limit their computer time

Make sure that the time your child spends in front of the computer does not impact on time for friends, family, physical activity and school work.

Your challenge is to get your child to understand that websites may be misleading or unreliable. That can be difficult if your child is a technological whiz-kid and you are not.

 

Ultimately, your child will see that there is not just one source of information and that to really understand a topic, they will have to comb through various sources. It is not enough simply to cite one source or to say: «I read it on the Internet, so it must be true.» If you want to form an independent opinion, you have to challenge statements and check where these statements come from.

6 ways to make the most of online information

1) Encourage your child to challenge all websites

Ask your child: «Where does this information come from?» «How does the information on this website (text, images, overall impression) influence my opinion?» «Which standpoint is presented?» «What information is missing?» «Are particular people and opinions not presented?» «Is someone trying to sell me something?»

2) Talk to your child about the type and source of online information

Click on «About» and other «Who we are» links; these will provide you with background information about websites. Talk to your child about the gap between proven facts and unchecked statements. You could say: Which research is available to back up this point of view? How do you know that?

3) Encourage teenagers to visit different sources/sites on the same topic

Comparing websites can show the limits of one side and expose bias. This can also reveal the site’s sponsor and show how the content is influenced by this.

4) Talk to your child about what something may look like and whether it can be trusted

Appealing is not the same as reliable: A well designed website is no guarantee for reliable information. Help your child understand that web designers can create a striking design, clear navigation and convincing recommendations without offering real content.

5) Encourage your child to check facts through research

Pages which debunk urban legends can help dispel rumours and claims that are too good to be true and «news» about supposed computer viruses. Enter «urban legends» in a search engine such as Google and visit the virus and hoax area of Symantec’s Anti-Virus Research Center.

6) Tell your child to view health information found on the Internet with scepticism

Pseudo-truths about health – information found quickly on the Internet – can be useful, but often they lack context or background. Help your child investigate health topics. Instead of being satisfied with the first answer to a search query, visit a number of sources and weigh up different views.

Children and video games

Die Invasion der Computerspiele

Wissen Sie, welche Spiele Ihr Kind spielt?


Mit zunehmendem Alter verbringen Kinder häufig mehr Zeit mit Videospielen als mit anderen Aktivitäten wie bspw. Fernsehen. Es ist verständlich, weshalb sich Kinder ab einem gewissen Alter sehr zu Videospielen hingezogen fühlen: Sie benötigen dafür bestimmte Fähigkeiten, müssen die Spiele verstehen und komplexe Regeln anwenden. Das ist spannend für Kinder, die sich immer mehr für die Welt und ihren Platz darin interessieren.

 

Viele beliebte Videospiele vermitteln Gewalt, unrealistische Bilder von Frauen und Männern und unter den Charakteren sind oft nur wenige unterschiedliche Kulturen vertreten. Aber Sie können dafür sorgen, dass Ihr Kind auch bei solchen Spielen etwas lernt. Sprechen Sie mit Ihrem Kind über diese Spiele, helfen Sie ihm zu verstehen, was es sieht und erlebt, stellen Sie ausdrücklich jegliche negative Darstellung in Frage. Interessieren Sie sich aktiv für die Spiele, die Ihr Kind gerne spielt, und Sie erhalten einen wertvollen Einblick, womit sich Ihr Kind zur Zeit beschäftigt.

Viele Kleinkinder haben nicht die physischen und kognitiven Fähigkeiten, um ein Videospiel mit Konsole und Handheld-Steuerung zu spielen. Das hält einige aber nicht davon ab, schon im Kleinkindalter mit Computerspielen zu experimentieren.


Auch wenn es verlockend ist, sich anderen Dingen zu widmen, während Ihr Kind von Bild und Ton eines elektronischen Spiels eingenommen ist, findet der grösste Lernprozess statt, wenn es mit Ihnen und dem Spiel interagiert. Stellen Sie Fragen, geben Sie Ihrem Kind die Gelegenheit zu zeigen, was es geschafft hat und lassen Sie sich das Spiel aus seiner Sicht erklären; das alles hilft ihm, das Beste aus seiner Computer- oder Videospielzeit zu machen. (Seien Sie nicht überrascht, wenn Ihr Kind ein Spiel ganz anders sieht als Sie.) 

4 Wege, das Beste aus elektronischen Spielen zu machen

1) Stellen Sie Ihrem Kind Fragen zu den Video- oder Computerspielen, die ihm gefallen

Ihre Fragen werden Ihr Kind anregen, über Folgen nachzudenken: Was versuchst du zu tun? Was passiert wenn du diesen Knopf drückst? Wenn Sie sich über ein Spiel nicht sicher sind, spielen Sie mit und finden Sie heraus, worum es geht.

2) Fragen Sie Ihr Kind, was es über ein neues Spiel herausgefunden hat

Finden Sie heraus, was Ihr Kind von seinem Computerspiel versteht. Weil das, was es geschafft hat nicht dem gleicht, was es entdeckt hat, müssen Sie vielleicht Hilfsfragen stellen: Was hast du Neues gemacht? Hast du das schon einmal gemacht?

3) Legen Sie fest, wie lange Ihr Kind elektronische Spiele spielen darf

Körperliche Aktivitäten im Freien, mit Freunden und Familie zusammen sein, Malen und Basteln und das Erkunden von anderen Spielen sind Schlüsselfaktoren in seiner Entwicklung.

4) Machen Sie sich vorher mit Spielbewertungen und Rezensionen vertraut

Die Pan-European Game Information und die Bundesstelle für die Positivprädikatisierung von Computer- und Konsolenspielen bewerten sowohl Video- als auch Computerspiele. Webseiten wie VideoGame Review bieten Rezensionen der Redaktion und von Benutzern. Nachdem Sie mehrere Rezensionen gelesen haben, können Sie das Spiel mieten oder ausleihen und ausprobieren, bevor Sie beschliessen es zu kaufen.

4 Software-Eigenschaften, die positiv zur Entwicklung Ihres Kindes beitragen

1) Unterschiedliche Schwierigkeitsgrade

Durch das Einstellen verschiedener Schwierigkeitsgrade kann Ihr Kind in einem unbegrenzten «Entdecker»-Modus beginnen. Je nachdem, wie es das Spiel meistert, kann es dann in eigenem Tempo zu anspruchsvolleren Levels wechseln.

2) Gelegenheiten, Entscheidungen zu treffen

Halten Sie Ausschau nach Spielen und Beschäftigungen, die Ihrem Kind die Gelegenheit bieten, seine Vorlieben und Interessen auszudrücken, statt nach Spielen mit voreingestellter Software. Die Freiheit eine Farbe oder einen Charakter zu Beginn des Spiels selbst auszuwählen - ebenso wie die Möglichkeit, während des Spiels weitere Entscheidungen zu treffen - helfen Ihrem Kind, Unabhängigkeit und das Gefühl von Kontrolle zu entwickeln.

3) Mehrere Spieler gleichzeitig

Ein Computerspiel oder -programm mit jemand anderem zu spielen - einem anderen Kind oder vielleicht mit Ihnen - bietet Ihrem Kind die Gelegenheit, über das, was es lernt und entdeckt, zu sprechen. Diese Unterhaltungen sind eine guter Weg herauszufinden, was es gerade erlebt. Sie werden überrascht sein: Was Ihr Kind tut, kann sich von dem unterscheiden, was es denkt zu tun.

4) Keine Klischees und Gewalt

In manche Handlungen können subtile Vorurteile über Geschlechter oder Kultur eingebettet sein. Die Stimme eines Charakters zum Beispiel kann einen bestimmten Akzent mit negativem Verhalten verknüpfen. Lesen Sie Online-Rezensionen oder mieten Sie Spiele, bevor Sie sie kaufen. Meiden Sie Spiele, deren Charakter Konflikte durch Gewalt lösen.

Wenn Volksschüler älter werden, widmen Sie dem Spielen mehr Zeit. Sportmannschaften, Spielplätze, Pfadfindergruppen und Brettspiele sind nur ein paar Möglichkeiten, wie Kinder in diesem Alter Begriffe wie Regeln, Wettbewerb und Zusammenarbeit erfahren können.

Videospiele können ein weiterer Weg sein. Obwohl Videospiele sich gravierend von Verstecken spielen und Monopoly unterscheiden, können Sie dieselben Vorteile beinhalten: Teamplay zum Beispiel oder den Wert ein fairer Sportsmann zu sein. Aber Videospiele können auch problematische soziale Botschaften übermitteln, wie «Mädchen sind nicht so gut wie Jungs» oder «Der Stärkere setzt sich durch». Genauso wie Sie die nicht-elektronischen Spiele beaufsichtigen, sollten Sie auch immer darüber informiert sein, was Ihr Kind gerade am Video- oder Computerbildschirm spielt.

7 Wege, das beste aus elektronischen Spielen herauszuholen

1) Sprechen Sie mit Ihrem Kind über die Spiele, die es gerne spielt

Spiele werden in unterschiedliche Genres eingeteilt. Sie werden nicht wissen, was Ihr Kind toll findet, bevor Sie nachfragen. Sie werden einen oder mehrere der folgenden Beweggründe finden: Lust auf Wettbewerb; sich in Fantasiewelten zu verlieren; den Wunsch, Probleme zu lösen; der Reiz, des Machtgefühls übermenschliche Fähigkeiten zu besitzen; die Lust sich mit anderen zu verbinden; oder die Beliebtheit eines Spiels unter Gleichaltrigen.

2) Ziehen Sie erst Videospiel-Bewertungen und Rezensionen zu Rate, bevor Sie Ihr Kind ein Spiel spielen lassen 

Die Pan-European Game Information und die Bundesstelle für die Positivprädikatisierung von Computer- und Konsolenspielen bewerten sowohl Video- als auch Computerspiele. Viele Webseiten bieten sowohl Rezensionen der Redaktion als auch der Benutzer. Nachdem Sie und Ihr Kind ein paar Rezensionen gelesen und über sie gesprochen haben, können Sie ein Spiel für einen Probelauf mieten oder ausleihen, bevor Sie es kaufen.

3) Heben Sie die sozialen Aspekte eines Spiels hervor

Halten Sie nach Spielen Ausschau, die verschiedene Spieler oder Mannschaftsspiel zulassen. Bestärken Sie Ihr Kind darin, den gemeinschaftlichen Aspekt von Videospielen zu erkennen, indem es Spieltipps mit Freunden austauscht. Und scheuen Sie sich nicht, selbst mitzuspielen. Diese Schritte können Ihr Kind davor bewahren, dass es sich mit elektronischen Spielen alleine zurückzieht.

4) Zeigen Sie Ihrem Kind Spiele, die von anderen Kindern gemacht wurden

Helfen Sie Ihrem Kind zu erkennen, dass Spiele nicht wie von Zauberhand in den Regalen erscheinen, sondern von Menschenhand gemacht worden sind - manchmal sogar von Kindern. Suchen Sie nach Spielen zum Herunterladen, die von Kindern gemacht wurden, wie die von Toontalk Playground.

5) Helfen Sie Ihrem Kind, die Spielzeit zu begrenzen

Arbeiten Sie mit Ihrem Kind gemeinsam daran, dass körperliche Betätigung, Hausaufgaben und Zeit mit Freunden und Familie nicht zu kurz kommen.

6) Achten Sie auf negative Darstellungen von Mädchen und Frauen

Zusätzlich zur unrealistischen und freizügigen Darstellung von weiblichen Körpern, wird in vielen Spielen Gewalt gegen weibliche (und männliche) Charaktere ausgeübt. Sollte Ihr Kind solche Spiele spielen, sprechen Sie mit Ihm darüber, was es über die weiblichen Charaktere denkt. Es ist wichtig für Ihr Kind, dass Sie sich gegen Bilder und Ideen, die Ihnen verwerflich erscheinen, aussprechen.

7) Achten Sie auf Gewalt

Vermeiden Sie Spiele, die Töten als gerechtfertigt und frei von Konsequenzen zeigen. Sprechen Sie mit Ihrem Kind darüber, wie sich echte Gewalt von den Gewaltakten unterscheidet, die Fantasie-Charaktere ausüben. Machen Sie einen Bogen um «Ego-Shooter»-Spiele, in denen Ihr Kind die Identität eines gewalttätigen Charakters annimmt.

5 Tipps, elektronische Spiele auszuwählen

1) Suchen Sie nach Tätigkeiten, die Ihrem Kind das Gefühl geben etwas «Echtes» zu tun

«Echte» Tätigkeiten könnten das Finden eines Rezepts und das Zubereiten von wirklichen Speisen sein; das Schreiben und Versenden eines Briefes an eine echte Person; und einen Newsletter zu erstellen und ihn auszudrucken.

2) Machen Sie Webseiten ausfindig, die Ihr Kind zum Erkunden ermutigen

Ihr Kind fühlt sich vielleicht zu Fantasiewelten hingezogen, die es ihm ermöglichen, sich kräftig, allwissend, allmächtig und kreativ zu fühlen. Elektronische Spiele, die ihm die Möglichkeit bieten, diese Fantasien auszubauen können ein wichtiges Ventil darstellen.

3) Finden Sie Beschäftigungen, durch die Ihr Kind seine eigene Kunst schaffen kann

Eine reiche Auswahl an Farben und Texten lässt Ihr Kind mit den visuellen Aspekten seiner Kreativität experimentieren. Ebenso wie die Gelegenheit, Dinge zu beleben oder sie in eine Reihenfolge zu bringen.

4) Suchen Sie nach Spielen, mit denen Ihr Kind mit Musik experimentieren kann

Sie können eine CD-ROM oder eine Webseite ausfindig machen, die Ihrem Kind ermöglicht, mit rhythmischen Mustern zu spielen, Lieder zu lernen, wiederkehrende Klänge abzuspielen, und Melodien aufzunehmen und zu speichern.

5) Nutzen Sie die Zeit am Computer, um soziale Kompetenz zu entwickeln

Kleineren Kindern das Gefühl von Fairplay zu vermitteln ist wichtiger, als Gewinnchancen zu erhöhen. Finden Sie Spiele, in denen man sich abwechseln muss, oder Spiele, die Wert auf das Verbessern von Fähigkeiten legen, statt darauf, andere zu schlagen. Wenn Kinder älter werden und entschlossener sind zu gewinnen, wird diese Grundlage dafür sorgen, dass sie mit Ihren Gegenspielern fair umgehen.

Wenn Kinder älter werden, nimmt die Zeit, die sie mit Videospielen verbringen oft zu und nimmt den Platz anderer Beschäftigungen, wie Fernsehen, ein. Es ist offensichtlich, warum Schüler in diesem Alter Videospiele so anziehend finden: Man braucht Geschick im Umgang mit der Steuerung, komplizierte Regeln müssen verstanden und umgesetzt werden und Kinder haben in diesem Alter grosses Interesse sm Erkunden der Welt und ihrem eigenen Platz darin.


Viele beliebte Videospiele sind voll von Gewalt, unrealistischen Bildern von männlichen und weiblichen Körpern und dem Fehlen von ethnischer Vielfalt unter den Charakteren. Trotzdem können Sie Schritte unternehmen, damit Ihr Kind positive Erfahrungen machen kann. Helfen Sie ihm, das Gesehene und seine Erfahrungen zu interpretieren, und stellen Sie Meinungen, die es übernehmen könnte in Frage, indem Sie mit ihm über seine Spiele reden. Durch Ihr Interesse an den Spielen und Webseiten, die Ihr Kind fesseln, gewinnen Sie unschätzbare Einsichten in seine Vorlieben.

7 Wege, das meiste aus elektronischen Spielen herauszuholen

1) Sprechen Sie mit Ihrem Kind über die Spiele, die es gerne spielt

Achten Sie darauf, welchen Zusammenhang Ihr Kind zwischen sich und Videospiel-Charakteren herstellt. Stellen Sie sicher, dass ihm die echten Konsequenzen dessen, was es auf dem Bildschirm sieht, bewusst ist. Fragen Sie, warum Spiele anziehend sind: Ist es der Wettbewerbsaspekt? Sich in einer Fantasiewelt zu verlieren? Die Fähigkeit, Probleme zu lösen? Das Machtgefühl und übermenschliche Fähigkeiten zu haben? Oder ist es die Beliebtheit, die ein Spiel unter Freunden hat?

2) Lernen Sie die Videospiele, die Ihr Kind zuhause und mit Freunden spielt, kennen

Lesen Sie Anleitungen, Leitartikel und Benutzerbewertungen, Empfehlungen von Eltern und anderen Quellen, um die Spiele Ihres Kindes sachkundig auszuwählen. Nachdem Sie und Ihr Kind einige Rezensionen, wie solche von de Pan-European Game Information oder von der Bundesstelle für die Positivprädikatisierung von Computer- und Konsolenspielen gelesen und über sie gesprochen haben, können Sie ein Spiel für einen Probelauf mieten oder ausleihen, bevor Sie es kaufen.

3) Halten Sie Ausschau nach negativen Darstellungen von Frauen und anderen Kulturen

Laut Forschern werden Jugendliche übergewichtig, wenn die Zeit vor dem Bildschirm den Platz von körperlichen und sozialen Tätigkeiten einnimmt. Helfen Sie Ihrem Kind, körperliche Betätigung, Hausaufgaben und die Zeit, die es mit Freunden und Familie verbringt, höher zu schätzen als Spielzeit.

4) Helfen Sie Ihrem Kind, bei der Spielzeit Grenzen zu setzen

Die Pan-European Game Information und die Bundesstelle für die Positivprädikatisierung von Computer- und Konsolenspielen bewerten sowohl Video- als auch Computerspiele. Viele Webseiten bieten sowohl Rezensionen der Redaktion als auch der Benutzer. Nachdem Sie und Ihr Kind ein paar Rezensionen gelesen und über sie gesprochen haben, können Sie ein Spiel für einen Probelauf mieten oder ausleihen, bevor Sie es kaufen.

5) Betonen Sie die sozialen Aspekte des Spielens

Halten Sie nach Videospielen Ausschau, die verschiedene Spieler als Mannschaft zulassen. Bestärken Sie Ihr Kind darin, den Gemeinschaftssinn in Spielen zu sehen, indem es Spieltipps mit anderen Spielern online oder mit Freunden austauscht. Diese Schritte können Ihr Kind davor bewahren, dass es elektronische Spiele dazu nutzt, sich allein zurückzuziehen.

6) Lernen Sie Ihrem Kind, wie es Produkt-Placements und andere Werbung erkennt

Vermarkter nutzen Videospiele, um Marken bewusst zu positionieren und ihre Produkte mit angesagten Dingen zu verbinden. Wenn Sie sehen, dass ein Videocharakter Markenware trägt oder benutzt, weisen Sie darauf hin. Wenn ein Produkt im Hintergrund auftaucht, erklären Sie Ihrem Kind, dass es sich dort befindet, weil das Unternehmen den Videospiel-Hersteller bezahlt hat, es dort zu positionieren.

7) Vermeiden Sie Spiele, die Charaktere zeigen, die Konflikte mit Gewalt lösen

Machen Sie einen Bogen um «Ego-Shooter-Spiele» - also Spiele, in denen Ihr Kind die Identität eines gewalttätigen Charakters annimmt. Wenn Ihr Kind einen Charakter sieht, der ein Problem durch Schlagen, Treten oder Beissen löst, weisen Sie es darauf hin. Fragen Sie Ihr Kind, wie man das Problem anders hätte lösen können.

Videospiele sind Unterhaltung, doch vermitteln sie auch starke Botschaften darüber, was die Gesellschaft wertschätzt und wer Kontrolle ausübt. Für Eltern besteht die Herausforderung darin, nicht nur den Hype um die Gewalt in Videospielen zu sehen, sondern tiefer zu gehen. Versuchen Sie die Beziehung Ihres Kindes zu Videospielen zu verstehen und zu erkennen, dass diese komplex sein kann.


Ein erster Schritt ist, die Namen der Spiele zu kennen, die Ihr Kind spielt. Es spielt keine Rolle, ob Sie technologisches Know-how haben oder nicht ganz so viel Talent für Videospiele besitzen wie Ihr Kind. Eine einfache Unterhaltung ist ein guter Weg, um zu starten.

7 Wege, das meiste aus elektronischen Spielen herauszuholen

1) Lernen Sie die Spiele kennen, die Ihr Kind spielt

Spiele üben aus vielen Gründen Anziehungskraft auf Spieler aus. Sie werden nicht erfahren, was Ihr Kind fasziniert, solange Sie nicht fragen. Ist es die Möglichkeit, andere besiegen zu können? Die Faszination, sich in einer Fantasiewelt zu verlieren? Die Chance, Probleme zu lösen? Oder könnte es das Erlangen von Superkräften sein, mit anderen vernetzt zu sein oder einfach ein Spiel zu spielen, das im Freundeskreis angesagt ist? Prüfen Sie das Spiel in der Bundesstelle für die Positivprädikatisierung von Computer- und Konsolenspielen oder bei der Pan-European Game Information. Das europaweite PEGI-System zur Vergabe von Altersempfehlungen wurde eingeführt, um Eltern in Europa beim Kauf von Computerspielen wichtige Informationen zur Hand zu geben. Es trat im Frühjahr 2003 in Kraft und ersetzte verschiedene nationale Altersempfehlungssysteme durch ein einzelnes, das nun in nahezu ganz Europa Anwendung findet.

2) Meiden Sie Spiele, die Stereotypen und ein negatives Frauenbild vermitteln

In vielen Spielen richtet sich Gewalt gegen Frauen, oder die Spiele haben keine ethnische Vielfalt. Menschen mit weisser Hautfarbe werden als Helden dargestellt und Menschen mit dunkler Hautfarbe als Athleten oder Gewaltopfer. Reden Sie über die Botschaften, die diese Spiele vermitteln, und halten Sie Ihr Kind dann davon ab, sie zu spielen. Es ist gut für Ihr Kind, wenn Sie sich offen gegen Vorstellungen und Bilder aussprechen, die sie verwerflich finden.

3) Seien Sie wachsam, was Gewalt betrifft

Meiden Sie Spiele, die das Töten als gerechtfertigt oder als straffrei darstellen. Ermutigen Sie Ihr Kind, die Finger von «Ego-Shooter-Spielen» zu lassen, in dem der Spieler in die Rolle eines gewaltbereiten Charakters schlüpft.

4) Lernen Sie Ihrem Kind, Produkt-Placements zu erkennen

Vermarkter benutzen Videospiele dazu, ihre Marken zu platzieren und ihre Produkte mit dem zu verknüpfen, was angesagt ist. Reden Sie mit Ihrem Kind darüber, warum die Charaktere in Videospielen Markenartikel benutzen oder Markenkleidung tragen. Gibt es finanzielle Gründe, warum Produkte in Action-, und Sportspielen auftauchen?

5) Betonen Sie die sozialen Aspekte des Spieles

Ermutigen Sie Ihr Kind, Videospiel-Tipps online mit anderen Spielern oder mit Freunden auszutauschen. Dies kann vermeiden helfen, dass elektronische Spiele ein einsamer Rückzugsort werden.

6) Reden Sie mit Ihrem Kind über die Spieler, die es online trifft

Wenn Ihr Kind online gegen andere kämpft - oder mit anderen während des Spiels auf dem Bildschirm chattet - sprechen Sie an, wie wichtig Privatsphäre ist. Erinnern Sie es, keine privaten Informationen preiszugeben, vor allem nicht an Menschen, die es nicht kennt. Ermutigen Sie Ihr Kind zu hinterfragen, was andere online sagen.

7) Lernen Sie Ihrem Kind, am Kreativprozess, durch den Videospiele entstehen, teilzunehmen

Spiele liegen nicht ausserhalb des Einflussbereichs Ihres Kindes. Sie sind kreative Werke, durch die sich Ihr Kind verbessern kann. Die International Game Developers Association stellt Schüler an, die Karrieren in der Videospieleindustrie anstreben.

Kinder und Werbung

Der Einfluss von Werbung auf Kinder

Immer häufiger werden Produkte und Geschäfte auf die Zielgruppe «Kinder» ausgerichtet. Egal wie sehr Sie sich bemühen, Sie können nicht verhindern, dass Ihr Kind Werbung und ansprechende Produkte sieht. Aber Sie können sicherstellen, dass Ihr Kind davon weniger beeinflusst wird.

 

Ziel ist es, dass Ihr Kind nachdenkt, und nicht sofort alles haben möchte, was es sieht. Das ist allerdings nicht so einfach und Sie brauchen dabei eine Menge Geduld und Kreativität. Geben Sie aber nicht auf, denn mit zunehmendem Alter des Kindes wird es leichter zu verstehen, dass es nicht immer sofort alles haben kann, was es möchte.

Immer häufiger werden Produkte und Geschäfte so gestaltet, dass sie speziell auf Kinder anziehend wirken. So sehr Sie sich auch bemühen, Sie können nicht verhindern, dass Ihr Kind Werbung und Produkte sieht - aber Sie können ihren Einfluss mindern.

Das Ziel ist, Ihrem Kind beizubringen, dass es darüber nachdenkt was es möchte, und nicht sofort nach dem verlangt, was es sieht. Das ist keine einfache Aufgabe. Sie werden viel Geduld und Kreativität aufbringen müssen. Aber es gibt auch eine gute Nachricht: Kindern abzugewöhnen etwas sofort zu «brauchen» wird leichter, je älter die Kinder sind.

5 Wege, mit Werbung umzugehen

1) Schalten Sie bei Werbung den Ton aus oder sprechen Sie kritisch darüber

Bringen Sie Ihrem Kind bei, in Frage zu stellen was es sieht, indem Sie selbst fragen und kommentieren: «Würde es dir gefallen, wenn wir das auch machen würden?» «Das sieht aber nicht aus wie etwas, das wir tun, wenn wir in den Park gehen.» «Das sieht aus, als würde es gleich kaputt gehen.»

2) Machen Sie Kunstprojekte aus Einkäufen

Sie können sagen: «Wir müssen keine Karte für Oma kaufen, weil wir mit Glitter selbst eine basteln können.» «Ich wette, wir können zuhause mit Lebensmittelfarben richtig coole Weihnachtsplätzchen backen.»

3) Sagen Sie Ihrem Kind, bevor Sie ein Geschäft betreten, was es haben und was es nicht haben kann

Eine kurze Erinnerung vorher hilft, die Erwartungen Ihres Kindes zu beeinflussen: «Wir sind hier, um ein paar Lebensmittel zu kaufen, aber es gibt nichts extra.»

4) Lesen Sie mit Ihrem Kind die Produktetiketten

Ihr Kind wird die Bedeutung der Wörter noch nicht verstehen - Sie werden vielleicht selbst über das eine oder andere stolpern -, aber gewöhnen Sie Ihrem Kind an, Fragen zu den Produkten zu stellen: Woraus ist das gemacht? Was wissen wir über dieses Nahrungsmittel, das die Werbung uns nicht sagt?

5) Führen Sie eine Liste für Sonderwünsche

Wenn sich Ihr Kind etwas von Herzen wünscht, fragen Sie es: Sollen wir das auf deine Geburtstagswunschliste schreiben?

Wenn Ihr Kind älter wird, werden Werbebotschaften zu einflussreichen Informationsquellen. TV-Werbespots, Radiowerbung und Werbebanner im Internet sind voller Botschaften darüber, wie man cool, attraktiv oder erfolgreich ist.Obwohl Ihr Kind Werbung wahrscheinlich als solche erkennen kann - es kann darauf zeigen und sagen, «Das ist eine Werbung» - wird es trotzdem nicht immun gegen ihre Wirkung sein. Helfen Sie Ihrem Kind unterschwellige Botschaften, die es in der Werbung aufschnappt, zu verstehen, indem Sie ihm erklären, was hinter der Werbesprache steckt. Machen Sie klar, was die meisten Werbungen beabsichtigen:

  • informieren (neue Fakten oder Ideen);
  • unterhalten (einen zum Lachen bringen, Spannung aufbauen, eine Reaktion hervorrufen);
  • überzeugen (Verhalten beeinflussen, Überzeugungen oder die Denkweise ändern)

 

5 Wege zu einem klugen Umgang mit Werbung

1) Stellen Sie die Werbespots in Frage, wenn Sie mit Ihrem Kind fernsehen

Bringen Sie Ihre Skepsis zum Ausdruck, indem Sie folgende Fragen stellen: Was glaubst du, von wem diese Werbung gemacht worden ist? Was denkst du, ist die Botschaft? Was glaubst du, sagt uns der Werber nicht? Bist du der Meinung, dass du glauben kannst was du siehst? Fangen Sie mit offensichtlichen Zielen an - Spots, die zum Beispiel für fetthaltige Nahrungsmittel werben -, gehen Sie dann weiter zu subtileren Werbungen, wie zum Beispiel jenen, die einen coolen oder attraktiven Lebensstil anpreisen. Erklären Sie, dass Werbung oft zum Ziel hat, Menschen das Gefühl zu vermitteln, dass in ihrem Leben etwas fehlt.

2) Erklären Sie Ihrem Kind die Familieneinkäufe

Machen Sie Ihrem Kind klar, warum Sie bestimmte Artikel kaufen und andere nicht. Helfen Sie Ihrem Kind zu verstehen, dass Sie Entscheidungen bewusst treffen. Machen Sie deutlich, dass das, was Sie einkaufen, Ihre Werte widerspiegelt.

3) Ermuntern Sie Ihr Kind dazu, sich zu fragen, was bei einer Werbebotschaft nicht erwähnt wird

Weisen Sie darauf hin, wenn eine Werbung unrealistisch ist oder sich Vorurteilen bedient: Was sagt uns das Unternehmen nicht? Kennst du jemanden, der so aussieht? Jemanden der so lebt?

4) Sensibilisieren Sie Ihr Kind für neue Werbemethoden im Internet

Viele Werbeelemente sind offensichtlich - zum Beispiel Werbebanner oder Websites, die vorwiegend Produkte darstellen. Andere Werbeelemente sind jedoch weniger eindeutig. Dazu gehören interaktive Bots, das sind Computerprogramme, die bspw. in Form von Webcrawlern auf der Arbeitsoberfläche des Computers auftauchen, um ein Produkt anzupreisen und ganze Seiten, die für ihre Kunden Kindermeinungsforschung betreiben. Weisen Sie Ihr Kind eindringlich darauf hin, im Internet niemals persönliche Daten preiszugeben. Machen Sie Ihrem Kind schliesslich bewusst, dass Dinge, die auf dem Bildschirm echt aussehen, im wirklichen Leben genau das Gegenteil sein können.

5) Lassen Sie Ihr Kind wissen, dass Sie gegen aggressive Werbung sind

Weisen Sie auf Werbeanzeigen hin, die an Orten angebracht sind, die Sie als unpassend erachten - vor allem solche Werbebotschaften, die Ihren Kindern in Schulen oder anderen öffentlichen Einrichtungen begegnen.

Kinder im Alter von neun bis 13 Jahren - sind in den letzten Jahren zu einem lukrativen Markt geworden. Wehren Sie sich gegen die immer aggressivere Werbung, die auf diese Altersgruppe abzielt, indem Sie Ihr Kind dazu ermutigen, selbständig zu denken.

Um Ihr Kind zu locken, erschaffen Werbemacher Anzeigen, die eher auf Emotionen abzielen, als auf kritisches Denken. Werbung ist nicht nur dazu gedacht Produkte, sondern auch Gefühle zu verkaufen. Werbemacher wollen in Ihrem Kind den Wunsch auslösen, klug und beliebt zu sein. Die Strategie liegt darin, Ihrem Kind die Angst zu vermitteln, ausgeschlossen zu sein und die Illusion zu schaffen, dass ihr Produkt dazu beiträgt, sich wieder gut zu fühlen.

 

Es liegt in Ihrer Hand zu beeinflussen, auf welche Weise Ihr Kind die Botschaften, die es vom Markt erhält, entschlüsselt. Helfen Sie ihm zu lernen, Werbung scharfsinnig zu analysieren und Selbstvertrauen zu entwickeln. Kinder im Alter von neun bis 13 Jahren - sind in den letzten Jahren zu einem lukrativen Markt geworden. Wehren Sie sich gegen die immer aggressivere Werbung, die auf diese Altersgruppe abzielt, indem Sie Ihr Kind dazu ermutigen, selbständig zu denken.

6 Wege zu einem klugen Umgang mit Werbung

1) Gewöhnen Sie Ihrem Kind an, Werbung in Frage zu stellen

Stellen Sie während der Fernsehwerbung den Ton ab und lassen Sie Ihr Kind raten, was in der Werbung gesagt werden könnte. Oder lassen Sie Ihr Kind mit geschlossenen Augen zuhören und fordern Sie es auf zu raten, was gerade gezeigt wird.

2) Fordern Sie Ihr Kind auf zu fragen, was in einer Werbung fehlt

Weisen Sie darauf hin, wenn eine Werbung unrealistisch ist oder sich Vorurteilen bedient: Was sagt uns das Unternehmen nicht? Kennst du jemanden, der so aussieht oder so lebt?

3) Fordern Sie Ihr Kind dazu auf, über wirtschaftliche Interessen hinter der Werbung nachzudenken

Sehr viele Werbespots sind ansprechend und clever; man vergisst leicht, dass sie dazu dienen, Produkte zu verkaufen. Sprechen Sie mit Ihrem Kind darüber, warum eine Werbung versucht, Kinder zu unterhalten und zu überzeugen.

4) Zeigen Sie Ihrem Kind, dass man mit Werbung experimentieren kann

Werbung zielt auf Emotionen ab. Ihr Kind kann dies am eigenen Leib erfahren, indem es an Wettbewerben, wie den New Mexico Media Literacy's Bad Ad teilnimmt, oder indem es bspw. auf der Don't Buy It-Website mitmacht. Zeigen Sie, welchen Einfluss Werbung darauf hat, wie eine Person sich fühlt, indem sie den Wunsch weckt, attraktiv zu sein, oder die Angst schürt uncool zu sein.

5) Sprechen Sie mit Ihrem Kind darüber, welche Einkäufe Ihre Familie macht und warum

Helfen Sie Ihrem Kind zu verstehen, warum Sie bestimmte Artikel kaufen und andere nicht; erklären Sie ihm, dass Sie bewusste Entscheidungen treffen. Erklären Sie, dass Ihre Einkäufe häufig durch Ihre Werte bestimmt sind.

6) Sensibilisieren Sie Ihr Kind für Werbemethoden, vor allem für neue Arten im Internet

Manche Werbeelemente - wie Werbebanner oder Websites, die vorwiegend Produkte darstellen - sind vielleicht offensichtlich. Andere Elemente sind weniger leicht zu durchschauen. Dazu gehören interaktive Bots, das sind Computerprogramme, die bspw. in Form von Webcrawlern auf der Arbeitsoberfläche des Computers auftauchen, um ein Produkt anzupreisen und ganze Seiten, die Kinder- und Teenager-Meinungsforschung für ihre Kunden betreiben. Schärfen Sie Ihrem Kind ein, niemals persönliche Daten online preiszugeben.

Viele Werbeanzeigen - zum Beispiel Fernseh- und Radiowerbung - sind für Jugendliche und Erwachsene leicht zu erkennen. Andere sind schwerer zu entdecken. Jugendliche behaupten oft, dass sie sich von Werbung nicht beeinflussen lassen; in Wahrheit wissen sie nicht, warum sie denken, dass etwas cool oder begehrenswert ist.

 

Ein Grossteil der Werbung, die ein Jugendlicher zu sehen bekommt, will ihn dazu zu bringen, etwas haben zu wollen. Werbespots wollen die Aufmerksamkeit Ihres Kindes auf sich ziehen und in ihm ein bestimmtes Gefühl auslösen - sogar Angst oder Einschüchterung -, um ihn zum Handeln zu bringen. Als Eltern stehen Sie vor einer ähnlichen Herausforderung: Sie wollen ebenso, dass Ihr Kind etwas fühlt - in Ihrem Fall soll es sich selbstbewusst und informiert fühlen, und dass es durch selbständiges Denken handelt. So eindringlich Werbung auch ist, mit folgenden Schritten können Sie den Werbe-Einfluss, auf das Leben Ihres Kindes vermindern.

5 Wege zu einem klugen Umgang mit Werbung

1) Erinnern Sie Ihr Kind daran, dass Werbung gerade dadurch Erfolg hat, dass sie das Selbstbewusstsein untergräbt

Wenn Sie sehen, dass eine Werbung Angst schürt, unattraktiv zu sein oder uncool zu wirken, sprechen Sie das Thema an. Diskutieren Sie, auf welche Weise der Werber die Unsicherheit des Zuschauers ausnutzt. Sprechen Sie mit Ihrem Kind über die Weise, wie Werbung versucht, eine Emotion oder einen Lebensstil zu verkaufen. Fragen Sie: «Woher kommt dein Wunsch ein bestimmtes Produkt (Kleidung, Schmuck oder ähnliches) haben zu wollen?» «Was bedeutet es für dich, es zu haben?» «Ist das Produkt an sich toll?» «Oder kommt die Anziehung von den Models und der Kulisse, durch die es präsentiert wurde?»

2) Ermuntern Sie Ihr Kind, Produkt-Placements zu entdecken

Medien und Werbung verbindend, nutzen Werber immer häufiger Videospiele, Fernsehsendungen und Filme, um Markenbewusstsein zu schaffen. Sie versuchen ihre Produkte mit dem neuesten Film, Videospiel, etc. zu verbinden. Wenn Sie entdecken, dass ein Videocharakter Markenware benutzt oder trägt, oder während eines Films oder einer Fernsehsendung ein Produkt rein zufällig in der Hand eines Charakters landet, sagen Sie Ihrem Kind, dass das kein Zufall war.

3) Machen Sie sich und Ihr Kind mit dem Konzept des «Coolhunting» vertraut

Um herauszufinden was cool und trendig ist, untergraben Unternehmen auch Webseiten anderer, wie zum Beispiel Reine Mädchensache!. Besuchen Sie «Merchants of Cool» von Frontline, um mehr über die trickreichen Methoden der Werber zu erfahren, Jugendliche zu erreichen.

4) Zeigen Sie Ihrem Kind, dass man auch gegen Werbung sein kann

Trotz der wachsenden Präsenz von Werbung arbeiten viele Menschen daran, Kommerzialisierung, vor allem im öffentlichen Raum, zu bekämpfen.

5) Ermuntern Sie Ihr Kind dazu, aktiv gegen Kommerzialisierung einzutreten

Viele von uns behaupten, gegen Werbung immun zu sein, aber nur wenige von uns sind wirklich frei davon. Ermuntern Sie Ihr Kind dazu, die Arbeit von Gruppen wie dem New Mexico Media Literacy Project, das vom alljährlichen BadAd Contest gesponsert wird, und Werbeblogkade, zu entdecken.

Children and TV

UPC

Watching TV consciously

What impact is television having on your child?

 

Television plays an important role in children’s lives. Various studies and investigations advise parents to reduce the amount of time their children spend watching television. Did you know that parents of children under two years of age are often advised not to let their children watch any television at all? A ban is not always the right option, however. Think about the role you want television to play in your child’s overall development.

 

We hope that the tips and advice on these pages will help you get an impression of the impact that television has on small children and that you will recognise that television can also have a positive effect on your child’s development.

TV and films: children under the age of 6

Television can play a necessary role in the lives of young children. Although some media researchers and paediatricians recommend that parents reduce the amount of time that their children spend watching television – they recommend that children under two years of age do not watch any television at all – it may be better to think about whether television is suitable for your child’s overall development or not.

 

Communicate to your child that television can be an active experience instead of a passive one. Repeat words or sentences that you hear during a programme and encourage your child to dance and sing with the characters, or talk to them about what they can see and hear.

7 ways to create good television habits:

1) Be particular about the television programmes that you watch with your child

Read online reviews or printed media to find out which television programmes are suitable for your child’s age group and level of development. Instead of simply hoping to find something suitable by chance, have recorded programmes and suitable videos ready that children will enjoy, that are educational, and that will fire their imagination. Turn the television off when the programme is over.

2) Watch television with your child

Small children often copy what they see and hear on television. Ask your child questions which will encourage them to come up with their own dialogue or to modify the plot. A conversation about television might begin as follows: What happened at the start of the film? Which character would you like to be? If you could think up a new story with the same characters, how would your story end?

3) Make sure that television does not replace time with family or active play

Limit the amount of time your child spends watching television. By doing so you will make sure that they are still able to spend time with you, play with their friends, and discover the world around them. Use the musical aspects of a programme or the physical attributes of a character to encourage your child to dance, jump and clap, instead of simply sitting still and watching.

4) Use television programmes and videos to increase your child’s ability to listen

Make television into an audio drama: Ask your child to turn away from the television while you watch a familiar programme or film together. If a familiar character starts to talk or sing, ask your child to identify him or her simply by listening.

5) Avoid programmes in which characters resolve conflicts through violence

If your child sees that a character solves a problem by hitting, kicking or biting, tell them that that is the wrong thing to do. Suggest alternative actions: «Instead of hitting his sister, the boy could also have asked her to stop annoying him.»

6) Make it clear that cartoon characters do things that people can’t do

If your child imitates things that a character on television does, you should remind them that even if cartoon characters simply get up and walk away after accidents, jumping from a swing can really hurt.

7) Avoid television programmes that could scare your child

If a programme or a film scares your child, reassure them with a cuddly toy, a hug or something to drink. Physical affection is often more comforting than reassuring words.

TV and films: primary school children

At the age of six or seven years, children begin to understand that people have different opinions. At around eight or nine years, they begin to discover that people have an «inner life» – that is to say that they may think one thing, but do another thing. Both developments will allow your child to encounter television – and other forms of storytelling – in a new way.

 

Instead of simply soaking it up, your child can watch television actively. How? By learning about what they see and hear, and by asking questions. Even if you don’t have an answer to everything, think out loud and talk to your child about the programme that you are watching together. By doing so, you are showing your child that television programmes do not always have to be one-sided. Each programme is in reality the result of a number of decisions taken by people during the production stages.

8 ways to teach your child to watch television actively

1) Ask your child questions about what they see and hear on television

Use the control offered to you by a video recorder. Or use the commercial breaks to ask «why» and «how», instead of asking yes or no questions. I wonder why the scriptwriter wanted the actor to say that? Did you notice that the scary music began at that precise moment?

2) Talk to your child about why they like particular characters

Your child may look for role models. If you don’t ask your child what they regard as brave, admirable or clever, you won’t find out why they are attracted to certain characters. Who do we know who does that? Is this character really admirable or does he just look cool?

3) Encourage your child to create their own pictures

Make your child aware that all pictures on TV, on websites or on buses are created by people. Come full circle by explaining that they can create their own pictures. Let them take photos, paint, draw or doodle – everything that will encourage them to tell stories using pictures from their own imagination. Keep pencils, coloured pens and other drawing materials close by, so that your child can express ideas that they come up with while watching television. This is the first step towards helping your child understand the value of visual arts for themselves.

4) Give your child a glimpse behind the scenes of films or television productions

Your child may not know how directors use camera angles, digital animations, stuntmen, miniature models, make-up, costumes and other means to create a fictional story. Talk to them about these elements. Ask out loud how different programmes were made.

5) Help your child to find activities (including physical activities) which provide a good balance

Teach your child to select television programmes in advance instead of zapping aimlessly from channel to channel. (Try to do the same thing yourself!) Try to get your child to take an interest in long-term projects – a collection, a puzzle, a collector’s album – that they can turn to when they are bored. If the project requires a table or a special shelf to store the materials, make space in a place where your child will not be disturbed.

6) Get your child used to the sound of the television

Ask your child questions such as: Which music is being played – and why? How do the voices of the different characters vary? How is silence used? (Possible answers include: to create tension, to show that someone is deaf, to change the mood.)

7) Make «watching closely» into a game

Find out how many voices or accents, how many types of clothing, or how many places you and your child can identify. This is also a good opportunity to talk about stereotypes; who is shown on television? Who is missing?

8) Avoid programmes in which characters solve problems by using violence

Make your child aware of when a character tries to solve their problems by hitting, kicking or biting. Ask them about other ways of resolving conflict, such as negotiation or discussion. Explain that violence almost always has consequences, but that these are rarely shown in cartoons.

TV and films: school children under the age of 13

When it comes to television, the most useful skill you can teach your child at this age is to ask questions. Make it clear to them that all television programmes are created by people, so that they do not view what they see on the screen as the objective truth. Advertisers use TV series because they increase product sales. Directors choose a particular storyline to tell a gripping story. And producers can influence the cutting process to reach a broader public and achieve economic success.

 

The more you encourage your child to ask how, why and for what purpose a programme was produced, the greater their understanding of TV formats will be.

8 ways to teach your child to watch television actively

1) Help your child develop a critical awareness of what they see on television

Start a conversation by asking your child about their feelings («Would you like to be this character?»), whether they think the programme reflects their life («Do you know someone who looks or behaves like that?») or how much they know about TV production («Do you think that was the actor or a body double?»). Contradict the television if a programme does not make sense or if an advertising message is unrealistic.

2) Point out the elements that make up a programme

Use simple film vocabulary for when characters are talking («speech is called dialogue»), where they live (houses, schools and workplaces are  «film sets») and how they act («main storyline, sub-plot, etc.»). Point our recurring elements: canned laughter or a live audience in sitcoms; sub-plots which are spun out into dramas lasting several hours; unrealistic elements in «reality» shows or a dominant point of view in a documentary film.

3) Tell your child about the close link between TV scheduling and advertising

Ask your child to think about the appeal of a programme and the products that are promoted in the commercial breaks. For a particular advert, you could ask: «Who do you think is watching this programme? What is the marketer trying to sell? What feelings does this advert trigger?»

4) Encourage your child to act, and not just to watch

If your child shows an interest in something specific in a programme, encourage them to learn more about whatever it is by reading a book or visiting a website on the subject. To find out whether a claim made in a programme is correct, they could conduct an experiment or ask a teacher.

5) Find out what your child believes to be real

If you don’t ask them, you will never find out what your child thinks about things that they see and hear on television. Find out whether they have developed an unrealistic view of how people look or act, what they consider to be the best way of resolving conflict, and what relationship they have to actors from films and adverts.

6) Have suggestions ready in case your child complains that they «have nothing to do»

If your child zaps aimlessly from channel to channel when they are bored, suggest that they actively do something: They could write a letter to the producers or the channel about what they like or don’t like about a programme or channel. Help your child to come up with a list of alternative activities instead of letting television become a habit. And don’t forget to come up with a list for yourself! 

7) As a family, take a break from television

Choose a time – perhaps during your family holiday – to skip programmes that you usually watch. Talk about this experience together. Together, think about how you can change your family’s television habits.

8) Make sure that your child is active

If your child’s physical activity level decreases as a result of television, make your everyday life more active. If your child has their own television in their room, move it to a family room.

TV and films: teenagers

Transform your child from a couch potato into a film lover by teaching them the technical language of film and television. Your child will discover that there is no «right»way of interpreting a story or an image. The value that a person draws from a programme or a film depends on who they are, what they know about the world and what they know about the art form.

 

With your help, your child will learn that living in a visual culture requires them to decode messages. That is much better than accepting these images at face value.

6 ways to teach your child to watch television actively

1) Talk to your child about the tricks used in television

Point our recurring elements: canned laughter or a live audience in sitcoms; sub-plots which are spun out into dramas lasting several hours; unrealistic elements in «reality» shows or a dominant point of view in a documentary film. Instead of zapping in the commercial breaks, switch off the sound and talk to your child.

2) Find out whether television influences your child’s self-image

Pop culture can determine what is cool and what it means to be accepted. Talk to your child about media messages. Start your conversation by asking your child what they feel (do you envy this character?), whether the programme reflects their life (do you know someone who looks or acts like that?) and what they know (do you think that could happen in real life?).

3) Help your child to question what they have seen

By drawing attention to contradictions if a programme does not make sense, or if a commercial makes unrealistic claims. This way, your child will learn that not everything on television reflects the truth.

4) Talk to your child about the link between content and advertising

Teach your child about the economic background to programming by drawing their attention to product placements. Why do companies use television programmes to market their products? (so that the viewer links brands with popular actors; to create brand awareness). You can ask questions about a particular advert: Who do you think is watching this programme? What is the marketer trying to sell? What feelings does this advert evoke?

5) Use the remote control

If you watch a film at home, rewind a particular scene and watch it again. Find out whether the scene was important by discussing the following questions: How did this scene contribute to the development of the plot? Was it intended to create a particular atmosphere? What did it tell us about the main character?

6) Talk about how media coverage influences our beliefs

Ask your child where they acquired their knowledge about other countries. Ask questions about how the story is told, the «facts», the quotes and the «experts» when you watch the news. Draw links between the way in which a message is presented and the thoughts and feelings that it triggers in you and your child. Explain how bias can influence journalism. Challenge your child to obtain more detailed information instead of simply believing the first source of information.

 

Children and video games

UPC

Children and the Internet

In the same way that not everything we see on television corresponds with reality, not everything on the Internet is true, either. It reflects opinions, news and interpretations that are constantly changing. Teach your child to ask where this information comes from.


Talk to your child about the discoveries that they make online. Let them know that there are also lots of alternatives if content is poor or difficult to understand.


Your child should also know about the value of their personal data. This means that your child protects their own privacy and respects others’ privacy. They should also know that in the virtual world there are people who pretend to be someone other than who they are in reality.

 

Computers: children under the age of 6

The numerous computer games available for small children may have convinced you that there is no age limit on the educational value of the computer. Like other toys and devices in your child’s surroundings, the computer is most beneficial when used alongside natural play, however.


Make sure that the PC does not influence your child’s development needs. Children need time for creative play, for example, and to be able to share their inventions and discoveries. They need adults like you to take part in their play. You would not want your child to stare at the computer screen for hours on end, but would instead want them to make the most of their time.

6 ways to get the most out of computer time

1) Ask lots of questions if your child uses a computer

Although it is tempting to walk away when your child is engaged in an activity, take the time to ask your child questions about their activities on the PC. Get your child used to thinking about what is happening on the screen by asking questions such as: How do you play this game? What happens when you move in that direction? Which character is talking at the moment?

2) Do not allow time in front of the computer to replace physical activity

Always switch the computer off again and encourage your child to play outside, to paint and make things, to look at books, sing songs, to dance, make up stories or embark on a journey of discovery.

3) Show your child software and websites that will stimulate their creativity

Drawing pictures and telling stories are ways for your child to express things that they may not be able to express through everyday conversation. Your child may want to share what they have done with someone or keep it to themselves. Both answers are OK.

4) Teach your child to play electronic games with others

Look out for games that have a discovery element and that allow your child to play with others and not against others. Encourage your child to play with friends and siblings; discourage them from resorting to video games when they are on their own. Play along with them, then you will get to know the game yourself.

5) Find opportunities for your child to make their own decisions and try new things

Even simple decisions – choosing a character, choosing the background for a picture, choosing a game – are good opportunities for your child. If your child gets bored during an activity, suggest something new; it can be a different level of the same game or an entirely new game. (If you do not point them out, your child will not recognise that they have choices.)

6) Make sure that the choice of program is not dominated by one child or a group

The choice of program does not have to be limited by your child’s friends saying that a game is «only for boys» or «only for girls». Talk to your child about how it is important to take turns with the mouse when playing on the computer.

Computers: primary school children

If your child has an idea, they will want to follow it through. This exploration plays a crucial role in your child’s development. A computer can encourage them to do this.

 

Like libraries, the Internet is also a fantastic place for your child to discover and learn. While your child is using the Internet for homework, you can help them form good habits – such as the habit of asking critical questions. By accustoming them to ask questions instead of copying and simply accepting information, you are teaching your child that there is not just one expert, one single source and one single way of doing something. By using the Internet, you can also teach them to organise information and develop successful search strategies.

5 ways to make the most of computers

1) Familiarise your child with the librarians at your local library

Librarians know how to sort information. They can help your child learn how to use the Internet for research, and to find the answers to questions.

2) Encourage your child to reformulate information from the Internet in their own words

If your child uses an electronic picture from the Internet, let them write their own caption to describe what is going on in the picture – and what it means. Teach them to state their sources if they use material – a quote, a picture or an idea – that is not their own. The usual way to do this is by giving the address of the website from which the information originates.

3) Emphasise how important online security is

Help your child become a skilled Internet user. Show them sources of information about Internet security, such as CyberSmart. When you talk about the importance of personal information, warn your child not to disclose their name, address, telephone number or other details from which someone could identify them on the Internet. Show them how to select and use a user name – and never to disclose their real name. Do not let your child take part in online competitions.

4) Introduce your child to child-friendly search engines and directories

By noting down a few research pointers for your child, you can encourage them to explore their interests. Good starting points include:

You can visit these sites (and any others your child is interested in) yourself and add the sites you both like – and that you are happy for them to visit – to your favourites.

5) Help your child to check information sources on the Internet

Ask key questions:

  • What is the main topic?
  • Who is expressing their opinion? Is it a person, an organisation, a company or an authority?
  • Why is this information here? Is there a hidden intention? Is this website trying to sell me something? Is it trying to make me believe something? Or encourage me to do something? Is there an “About us” page?
  • How is the main idea presented – in words, images, personal stories, opinions or as research? How does the format influence my thinking about the information? (For example, are pictures and personal stories more credible than verbose statements?)
  • What is missing? Can you think of any information that is not covered on this website? Are certain people or opinions missing?
  • Who is affected? Why is the information on this website important?

Computers: school children under the age of 13

Children between nine and 13 years have become a lucrative market in recent years. Protect yourself from the increasingly aggressive advertising targeted at this age group by encouraging your child to think for themselves.

 

To entice your child, advertisers create ads targeted at emotions rather than at critical thinking. Advertising is intended not just to sell products, but also to sell feelings. Advertisers want to trigger your child’s desire to be clever and popular. Their strategy is to make your child scared of being left out and to create the illusion that their product will make them feel better again.

 

It is up to you to influence the way in which your child decodes the messages it receives from the market. Help them learn to analyse advertising astutely and to develop self-confidence. Children between the ages of nine and 13 have become a lucrative market in recent years. Protect yourself from the increasingly aggressive advertising targeted at this age group by encouraging your child to think for themselves.

5 ways to encourage critical thinking

1) Encourage your child to challenge all sides

Get your child to ask: Where does this information come from? How does the information on this website – its text, its images, its overall impression – influence my view? Which standpoint is presented? What information is missing? Are particular people and opinions not presented?

2) Show your child how to assess a website by first noting down the address and then looking for background information

Talk to your child about sites that look appealing, but which do not clearly show where the information originates from. So as not to fall into a trap, first note down the website address and then look for more detailed background information: Follow the «About» and other «Who we are» links to find out which people or which group created this website.

3) Teach your child to be suspicious of unsolicited e-mails

Show your child websites for uncovering misinformation and fraud. Enter the term «urban legends» into a search engine and you will find sites which debunk famous rumours. The virus and hoax section of the Symantec Anti-Virus Research Center offers help with rumours about computer viruses.

4) Help your child understand that not all sites have identical structures

Search engines are increasingly using «pay-for-placement» models whereby preference is shown towards paying companies. Show your child where the paid rankings appear on the screen and how they can look out for lists that relate more closely to their search. Show them the variety of search engines available.

5) Go online with your child

By discovering websites and software programmes together with your child, you will get to know the online functions that appeal to your child. This is easier if the computer is in a room used by the entire family instead of in a separate bedroom.

5 ways to enhance security online

1) Stop your child from disclosing their personal details on the Internet

Whether your child visits a commercial website or writes to a friend online, they should never give out their name, address, telephone number or other information from which they could be identified. Show them how to use a user name instead of their real name. Warn your child to talk to you first before they register for competitions.

2) Compare filter programs

Internet filters block access to sites that are unsuitable for children. No Internet filter is foolproof, however – every product has characteristics that may or may not meet your family’s needs – but you can use tools such as GetNetWise and online reviews such as those on CNET to help you with your decision.

3) Talk to your child about the difficulty of identifying others online

The anonymity provided by the Internet makes it easy for people to pretend to be someone else. Make sure your child knows that. You can restrict his or her online contact to the people he or she knows in real life. The Think U Know page offers a crash course in online chat and instant messaging for both parents and children

4) Create a safe space for your child to talk about what they see on the Internet

Talk to your child about what they find on the Internet. Make them aware that unsuitable pages can come up on the screen without any fault on their part. Get your child into the habit of telling you about reprehensible content and topics that you have prohibited.

5) Help your child limit their computer time

Make sure that the time your child spends in front of the computer does not impact on time for friends, family, physical activity and school work.

Computers: teenagers

Your challenge is to get your child to understand that websites may be misleading or unreliable. That can be difficult if your child is a technological whiz-kid and you are not.

 

Ultimately, your child will see that there is not just one source of information and that to really understand a topic, they will have to comb through various sources. It is not enough simply to cite one source or to say: «I read it on the Internet, so it must be true.» If you want to form an independent opinion, you have to challenge statements and check where these statements come from.

6 ways to make the most of online information

1) Encourage your child to challenge all websites

Ask your child: «Where does this information come from?» «How does the information on this website (text, images, overall impression) influence my opinion?» «Which standpoint is presented?» «What information is missing?» «Are particular people and opinions not presented?» «Is someone trying to sell me something?»

2) Talk to your child about the type and source of online information

Click on «About» and other «Who we are» links; these will provide you with background information about websites. Talk to your child about the gap between proven facts and unchecked statements. You could say: Which research is available to back up this point of view? How do you know that?

3) Encourage teenagers to visit different sources/sites on the same topic

Comparing websites can show the limits of one side and expose bias. This can also reveal the site’s sponsor and show how the content is influenced by this.

4) Talk to your child about what something may look like and whether it can be trusted

Appealing is not the same as reliable: A well designed website is no guarantee for reliable information. Help your child understand that web designers can create a striking design, clear navigation and convincing recommendations without offering real content.

5) Encourage your child to check facts through research

Pages which debunk urban legends can help dispel rumours and claims that are too good to be true and «news» about supposed computer viruses. Enter «urban legends» in a search engine such as Google and visit the virus and hoax area of Symantec’s Anti-Virus Research Center.

6) Tell your child to view health information found on the Internet with scepticism

Pseudo-truths about health – information found quickly on the Internet – can be useful, but often they lack context or background. Help your child investigate health topics. Instead of being satisfied with the first answer to a search query, visit a number of sources and weigh up different views.

 

Children and video games

UPC

L'invasione dei giochi al computer

Sapete a quali giochi gioca vostro figlio?

 

Crescendo, i bambini passano sempre più tempo coi videogiochi preferendoli rispetto ad altre attività, come ad esempio la televisione. È comprensibile perché i bambini, a partire da una certa età, si sentono maggiormente attratti dai videogiochi: per giocare hanno bisogno di determinate capacità, devono essere in grado di capire i giochi e devono applicare regole complesse. Questo è emozionante per i bambini, i quali si interessano sempre di più al mondo che li circonda e al loro posto al suo interno.

 

Molti dei giochi preferiti trasmettono violenza, immagini irreali di donne e uomini e tra i protagonisti vengono spesso rappresentate solo poche culture diverse. Ma voi potete fare in modo che vostro figlio apprenda qualcosa anche con questo tipo di giochi. Parlate con vostro figlio a proposito di questi giochi e aiutatelo a capire cosa vede e vive, e ricordatevi di mettere espressamente in discussione ogni rappresentazione negativa. Interessatevi attivamente per quei giochi ai quali a vostro figlio piace giocare e riceverete un'importante panoramica di come vostro figlio passa il proprio tempo.

Bambini fino a 6 anni

Molti bambini piccoli non hanno le capacità fisiche e cognitive necessarie per poter giocare ad un videogioco con consolle e comando manuale. Ma questo non impedisce ad alcuni bambini di sperimentare i videogiochi già in tenera età.

 

Anche se è allettante dedicarsi ad altre cose mentre vostro figlio è catturato dalle immagini e dai suoni di un gioco elettronico, il più maggiore processo di apprendimento ha luogo se il bambino interagisce con voi e il gioco. Ponete domande, date al bambino la possibilità di dimostrare cosa ha ottenuto e fatevi spiegare il gioco dal suo punto di vista: tutto questo lo aiuta a ottenere il meglio dal tempo che dedica ai videogiochi o ai giochi al computer. (Non sorprendetevi se vostro figlio interpreta un gioco in maniera completamente diversa da voi).

4 modi per ottenere il massimo dai giochi elettronici

1) Ponete domande a vostro figlio sui videogiochi che più gli piacciono

le vostre domande stimoleranno vostro figlio a riflettere sui seguenti punti: cosa cerchi di fare? Cosa succede se premi questo tasto? Se non siete sicuri di un gioco, giocate insieme a vostro figlio e scoprite di cosa si tratta.

2) Chiedete a vostro figlio cosa ha scoperto riguardo il nuovo gioco

Scoprite cosa vostro figlio capisce del suo gioco al computer. Perché ciò che ha ottenuto non è uguale a ciò che ha scoperto, e magari voi potete porre domande di aiuto: Cosa hai fatto di nuovo? Avevi già fatto questo prima?

3) Stabilite per quanto tempo vostro figlio ha il permesso di giocare a giochi elettronici

Le attività fisiche all'aperto, passare del tempo con amici e familiari, disegnare, fare lavori manuali e scoprire nuovi giochi sono fattori chiave per il suo sviluppo.

4) Familiarizzate prima con le valutazioni dei giochi e le recensioni

La Pan-European Game Information e la Bundesstelle für die Positivprädikatisierung von Computer- und Konsolenspielen (Ufficio federale austriaco per la positiva predicazione dei videogiochi) valutano sia i videogiochi che i giochi al computer. Pagine Web com Video Game Review mettono a disposizione recensioni della redazione e degli utenti. Dopo aver letto molte recensioni, potete noleggiare il gioco e provarlo prima di decidere di acquistarlo.

4 Caratteristiche del software che contribuiscono positivamente allo sviluppo del vostro bambino

1) Diversi livelli di difficoltà

Impostando diversi livelli di difficoltà, il vostro bambino può iniziare in una modalità di «scoperta» illimitata. A seconda di come riesce ad affrontare il gioco, può passare al livello di difficoltà successivo al proprio ritmo.

2) Occasioni di prendere delle decisioni

Prediligete giochi e attività che diano a vostro figlio la possibilità di esprimere le proprie preferenze invece di giocare a giochi dotati di un software preimpostato. La libertà di selezionare autonomamente a inizio gioco un colore o un personaggio, così come la possibilità di prendere altre decisioni durante il gioco, aiutano il vostro bambino a sviluppare indipendenza e la sensazione di controllo.

3) Più giocatori alla volta

Giocare a un gioco o programma per computer con qualcun altro o magari con voi offrirà a vostro figlio la possibilità di parlare di ciò che ha imparato e scoperto. Queste discussioni sono un buon modo di scoprire cosa sperimenta vostro figlio. Resterete sorpresi: ciò che fa suo figlio potrebbe essere diverso da ciò che pensa di fare.

4) Piccoli cliché e violenza

In determinate azioni possono essere inseriti sottili pregiudizi di carattere sessuale o culturale. Ad esempio, se una voce di un personaggio con un determinato accento viene collegata a un comportamento negativo. Leggete le recensioni online o noleggiate il gioco prima di acquistarlo. Evitate quei giochi nei quali i personaggi risolvono i conflitti facendo uso della violenza.

Bambino della scuola elementare

Quando i bambini della scuola elementare crescono, dedicano più tempo al gioco. Squadre sportive, parchi gioco, gruppi di boy scout e giochi di società sono solo alcune delle possibilità di come i bambini di questa età possono apprendere concetti quali le regole, la competizione e il lavoro di squadra.

 

I videogiochi possono essere un altro modo. Malgrado i videogiochi siano molto diversi dai giochi come nascondino e Monopoly, possono avere gli stessi vantaggi: il gioco di squadra, ad esempio, oppure il valore di essere uno sportivo onesto. Ma i videogiochi possono anche trasmettere messaggi sociali problematici come «le ragazze non sono brave quanto i ragazzi» oppure «vince solo il più forte». Così come sorvegliate i giochi non elettronici, dovreste sempre essere informati del contenuto del videogioco con il quale gioca vostro figlio.

7 modi per ottenere il meglio dai giochi elettronici

1) Parlate con vostro figlio dei giochi a cui preferisce giocare

I giochi sono suddivisi in generi diversi. Non saprete cosa piace a vostro figlio fino a che non glielo chiederete. Scoprirete una o più delle seguenti motivazioni: voglia di competizione; perdersi in mondi di fantasia; desiderio di risolvere problemi; eccitazione di possedere il potere e capacità sovrumane; voglia di mettersi in contatto con altri; oppure preferenza di un gioco tra coetanei.

2) Prima di permettere a vostro figlio di giocare con un gioco, fatevi aiutare da valutazioni e recensioni dei videogiochi

La Pan-European Game Information e il Bundesstelle für die Positivprädikatisierung von Computer- und Konsolenspielen valutano sia i videogiochi che i giochi per computer. Molte pagine Web offrono sia recensioni della redazione che degli utenti. Dopo che voi e suo figlio avete letto alcune recensioni e ne avete discusso, potete noleggiare il gioco per metterlo alla prova prima di acquistarlo.

3) Mettete in risalto gli aspetti sociali di un gioco

Prediligete giochi che permettono di giocare a più giocatori o in squadra. Spronate vostro figlio a riconoscere l'aspetto collettivo dei videogiochi invitandolo a scambiare consigli di gioco con gli amici. E non abbia timore di giocare anche voi. Questi passi possono evitare che vostro figlio si ritiri in solitudine con i giochi elettronici.

4) Mostrate a vostro figlio i giochi che vengono fatti da altri bambini

Aiutate vostro figlio a comprendere che i giochi non compaiono per magia sugli scaffali, bensì sono creati da persone reali e a volte addirittura da bambini. Cercate di scaricare giochi realizzati da bambini come quelli di Toontalk Playground.

5) Aiutate vostro figlio a limitare il tempo di gioco

Lavorate insieme a vostro figlio affinché dedichi tempo sufficiente all'attività fisica, ai compiti a casa e al tempo con gli amici e la famiglia.

6) Prestate attenzione alle rappresentazioni negative di uomini e donne

Oltre alla rappresentazione non realistica e libertina del corpo femminile, in molti giochi vengono commesse violenze contro personaggi femminili (e maschili). Se vostro figlio dovesse giocare a tali giochi, discutete con lui di cosa pensa dei personaggi femminili. Per vostro figlio è importante che voi esprimiate il vostro dissenso contro le immagini e le idee che reputate riprovevoli.

7) Prestate attenzione alla violenza

Evitate quei giochi nei quali uccidere è ammesso e resta impunito. Parlate con il vostro bambino di come la vera violenza sia diversa dalle azioni di violenza dei personaggi di fantasia. Evitate i cosiddetti giochi «sparatutto in prima persona» nei quali vostro figlio assume l'identità di un personaggio violento.

5 consigli per come scegliere i giochi elettronici

1) Cercate attività che diano a vostro figlio l'impressione di fare qualcosa di «vero»

«Vere» attività potrebbero essere cercare una ricetta e preparare pasti veri; scrivere e inviare una lettera a una persona vera; oppure creare una newsletter e stamparla.

2) Scoprite siti Web che stimolano vostro figlio a esplorare

Vostro figlio è magari attratto dai mondi di fantasia che gli permettono di sentirsi forte, onnisciente, potente e creativo. I giochi elettronici che gli offrono la possibilità di sfogare questa fantasia possono essere un'importante strumento di regolazione.

3) Trovate attività attraverso le quali vostro figlio può creare la propria arte

Un'ampia scelta di colori e testi permettono a vostro figlio di sperimentare gli aspetti visivi della sua creatività. Così come la possibilità di vivere le cose o di metterle in ordine.

4) Cercate giochi con i quali vostro figlio può sperimentare la musica

Potete trovare un CD-ROM o un sito Web che permetta a vostro figlio di giocare con modelli di ritmo, di imparare canzoni, di riprodurre suoni che si ripetono e di registrare e salvare melodie.

5) Sfruttate il tempo al computer per sviluppare competenze sociali

Trasmettere il senso del fairplay ai bambini piccoli è più importante che aumentare le loro chance di vittoria. Trovate giochi nei quali ci si deve scambiare i ruoli oppure che sottolineano il valore del miglioramento delle proprie capacità piuttosto che del vincere battendo gli altri. Quando i bambini crescono e sono più decisi a vincere, questa base permetterà loro di affrontare i propri avversari in maniera più onesta.

Scolari fino a 13 anni

Con la crescita, spesso aumenta il tempo che trascorrono coi videogiochi e va a sostituire altre attività come ad esempio guardare la televisione. Il motivo per cui gli scolari in questa età sono più attratti dai videogiochi è evidente: c'è bisogno di abilità per usare i controlli, bisogna comprendere e applicare regole difficili e i bambini in questa età hanno un grande interesse per la scoperta del mondo e del loro posto all'interno di esso.

 

Molti dei giochi preferiti sono pieni di violenza, di immagini irreali dei corpi maschili e femminili e inoltre manca la varietà etnica dei personaggi. Tuttavia potete prendere alcune misure affinché vostro figlio faccia delle esperienze positive. Aiutatelo a interpretare ciò che vede e sperimenta e mettete in discussione opinioni che lui potrebbe assorbire dai giochi discutendone con lui. Attraverso il vostro interesse ai giochi e ai siti Web che catturano l'attenzione di vostro figlio, riuscirete ad ottenere un'inestimabile panoramica delle sue preferenze.

7 modi per ottenere il massimo dai giochi elettronici

1) Parlate con vostro figlio dei giochi ai quali preferisce giocare

Prestate attenzione a quali legami vostro figlio crea tra sé stesso e i personaggi dei videogiochi. Assicuratevi che sia sempre consapevole delle conseguenze reali di ciò che vede sullo schermo. Chiedetegli perché gli piacciono i giochi: È l'aspetto competitivo? Gli piace perdersi in un mondo di fantasia? Predilige la capacità di risolvere problemi? Di avere la sensazione di potere e capacità soprannaturali? Oppure gli piace il fatto di giocare con gli amici?

2) Conoscete i videogiochi a cui vostro figlio gioca a casa e con gli amici

Leggete le istruzioni, gli articoli e le valutazioni degli utenti, i suggerimenti di altri genitori e altre fonti così da scegliere i giochi di vostro figlio con cognizione di causa. Dopo che voi e vostro figlio avete letto e discusso alcune recensioni come quelle di Pan-European Game Information o del Bundesstelle für die Positivprädikatisierung von Computer- und Konsolenspielen, potrete noleggiare il gioco per provarlo prima di acquistarlo.

3) Prestate attenzione alle rappresentazioni negative delle donne e di altre culture

Oltre alla rappresentazione non realistica e libertina del corpo femminile, in molti giochi vengono commesse violenze contro personaggi femminili (e maschili). Parlate con vostro figlio di cosa pensa dei personaggi femminili di un gioco. Cercate di scoprire cosa i personaggi insegnano a vostro figlio sugli altri e sulle altre culture. Esprimete la vostra contrarietà verso immagini e opinioni che reputate riprovevoli.

4) Aiutate vostro figlio a porre dei limiti al tempo di gioco

Secondo i ricercatori, i giovani soffrono di sovrappeso se il tempo davanti allo schermo prende il posto delle attività fisiche e di quelle sociali. Aiutate vostro figlio a valutare più importante trascorrere il proprio tempo facendo attività fisica, i compiti di scuola o con amici e familiari piuttosto che investirlo con i videogiochi.

5) Sottolineate gli aspetti sociali del gioco

Prediligete videogiochi che permettono di giocare in squadra con più giocatori. Spronate vostro figlio a vedere l'aspetto collegiale dei giochi ad esempio condividendo suggerimenti di gioco con altri giocatori online o con gli amici. Questi passi possono evitare che vostro figlio utilizzi i giochi elettronici per ritirarsi in solitudine.

6) Insegnate a vostro figlio come riconoscere le pubblicità dei prodotti e di altro tipo

I distributori sfruttano i videogiochi per posizionare consapevolmente i marchi e i loro prodotti collegandoli a cose particolari. Se vedete che un personaggio del videogioco indossa o utilizza merce di marca fatelo notare a vostro figlio. Se un prodotto compare sullo sfondo, spiegate a vostro figlio che si trova lì perché l'azienda ha pagato il produttore del videogioco per posizionarlo proprio lì così che lui lo potesse vedere.

7) Evitate i giochi nei quali i personaggi risolvono i conflitti usando la violenza

Evitate i cosiddetti giochi «sparattutto in prima persona» nei quali vostro figlio assume l'identità di un personaggio violento. Se vostro figlio vede un personaggio che risolve un problema colpendo, calciando o mordendo, fateglielo notare. Chiedete a vostro figlio come sarebbe possibile risolvere il problema in altro modo.

Giovani

I videogiochi sono intrattenimento però trasmettono anche messaggi forti sui valori della società su chi esercita il controllo. Per i genitori la sfida sta non solo nel vedere come viene pubblicizzata la violenza nei videogiochi ma anche nel riuscire ad andare più a fondo. Cercate di comprendere la relazione di vostro figlio con i videogiochi e di riconoscere che possa essere complessa.

 

Il primo passo è conoscere il nome del videogioco a cui gioca vostro figlio. Non importa che abbiate o meno il know-how tecnologico o un grande talento per i videogiochi come vostro figlio. Una semplice conversazione è un buon modo per iniziare.

7 modi per ottenere il massimo dai giochi elettronici

1) Conoscete i giochi a cui gioca vostro figlio

Sono diverse le ragioni per le quali i giochi esercitano un'attrazione sul giocatore. Non capirete ciò che affascina vostro figlio fino a che non glielo chiederete. È la possibilità di vincere sugli altri? È il fascino di perdersi in un mondo di fantasia? Si tratta della possibilità di risolvere problemi? Oppure è il fatto di acquisire superpoteri, di essere connesso in rete con gli altri o semplicemente di giocare un gioco che va di moda tra gli amici? Verificate il gioco sul sito Web del Bundesstelle für die Positivprädikatisierung von Computer- und Konsolenspielen oppure della Pan-European Game Information. Il sistema a livello europeo PEGI per l'assegnazione dei limiti di età è stato introdotto in Europa per fornire ai genitori preziose informazioni per l'acquisto di giochi per computer. È entrato in vigore nella primavera del 2003 e ha sostituito i diversi sistemi nazionali di assegnazione dei limiti di età con un unico sistema utilizzato praticamente in tutta Europa

2) Evitate giochi che trasmettono stereotipi e immagini negative delle donne

Molti giochi prevedono atti violenti contro le donne o mancano completamente di varietà etnica. I personaggi di pelle bianca vengono rappresentati come eroi e i personaggi con la pelle scura come atleti o vittime di violenze. Parlate dei messaggi che questi giochi trasmettono e impedite a vostro figlio di giocarci. Che voi parliate apertamente delle rappresentazioni e delle immagini che giudicate riprovevoli è di buon esempio per vostro figlio.

3) Siate attenti alla violenza

Evitate i giochi nei quali uccidere è ammesso oppure resta impunito. Spronate vostro figlio a stare alla larga dai giochi «sparatutto in prima persona» nei quali il giocatore assume il ruolo di un personaggio violento.

4) Insegnate a vostro figlio a riconoscere le pubblicità dei prodotti

I distributori sfruttano i videogiochi per posizionare i loro marchi e collegare i loro prodotti a ciò che va di moda. Parlate con vostro figlio del perché i personaggi di un videogioco utilizzano o indossano merce di marca. Ci sono motivi finanziari dietro al perché certi prodotti appaiono in giochi d'azione o sportivi?

5) Sottolineate gli aspetti sociali del gioco

Spronate vostro figlio a condividere suggerimenti del videogioco online con altri giocatori o amici. Questo aiuterà vostro figlio a trasformare i giochi elettronici in un nascondiglio.

6) Parlate con vostro figlio dei giocatori che incontra online

Se vostro figlio gioca online contro altri giocatori, o chatta con altri durante il gioco, spiegategli quanto è importante la sfera privata. Ricordategli di non condividere informazioni private, soprattutto con persone che non conosce. Incoraggiate vostro figlio a valutare criticamente ciò che altri dicono online.

7) Insegnate a vostro figlio a partecipare al processo creativo che nasce attraverso i videogiochi

I giochi non sono al di fuori dell'influenza del vostro bambino. Sono strumenti creativi attraverso i quali vostro figlio può migliorare. La International Game Developers Association (associazione internazionale degli sviluppatori di giochi) impiega ragazzi in età scolare che ambiscono ad una carriera nell'industria dei videogiochi.

 

Children and video games

UPC

L'influenza della pubblicità sui bambini

Sempre più spesso, prodotti e attività vengono rivolti al gruppo target «bambini». Non importa quanto vi impegnate: non potete evitare che vostro figlio venga esposto alla pubblicità e ai relativi prodotti. Ma voi potete assicurarvi che vostro figlio ne subisca meno l'influenza.


L'obiettivo è che vostro figlio rifletta e impari a non desiderare subito tutto quello che vede. Tuttavia, questo non è così facile e avrete bisogno di una gran quantità di pazienza e creatività. Però non rinunciate perché crescendo, per vostro figlio diventerà più facile capire che non può avere subito tutto ciò che vede

Bambini fino a 6 anni

Sempre più spesso, prodotti e attività vengono realizzati così da far presa in modo mirato sui bambini. E per quanto possiate impegnarvi, non riuscirete ad impedire che vostro figlio veda la pubblicità e i prodotti ad essa legati: ma potete ridurre l'influenza che questi hanno.

 

L'obiettivo è insegnare a vostro figlio che deve riflettere su ciò che desidera e non subito pretendere di avere ciò che vede. Non è un compito semplice. Avrete bisogno di molta pazienza e creatività. Ma ci sono anche buone notizie: più crescono, e più sarà facile far perdere l'abitudine ai bambini di «aver bisogno» subito di ciò che vedono in pubblicità.

5 modi di affrontare la pubblicità

1) Durante la pubblicità, disattivare il suono oppure parlarne in modo critico

Insegnate a vostro figlio a mettere in questione ciò che vede chiedendo e commentando voi stessi: «Ti piacerebbe se lo facessimo anche noi?» «Questo però non assomiglia a ciò che facciamo noi quando andiamo al parco». «Sembra che si debba rompere da un momento all'altro».

2) Invece degli acquisti, fate progetti creativi

Potete dire: «non dobbiamo acquistare il biglietto di auguri per la nonna perché ne faremo uno da noi» «Scommetto che a casa, usando colori per gli alimenti, saremo in grado di cuocere dei biscotti di Natale davvero buoni.»

 

3) Prima di entrare in un negozio, dite a vostro figlie ciò che può e ciò che non può avere

Ricordare brevemente questo punto prima di entrare, aiuta ad influenzare le aspettative di vostro figlio: «siamo qui per acquistare del cibo e non ci saranno extra».

4) Leggete insieme a vostro figlio le etichette dei prodotti

Vostro figlio non capirà ancora il significato di tutte le parole, anche voi magari non le capirete proprio tutte, ma abituate il vostro bambino a porre domande sui prodotti che acquistate: di cosa è fatto questo? Cosa sappiamo di questo alimento che la pubblicità non ci dice?

5) Fate una lista dei desideri speciali

Quando vostro figlio desidera davvero qualcosa, chiedetegli: dobbiamo scriverlo sulla tua lista dei desideri per il compleanno?

Bambino della scuola elementare

Quando vostro figlio cresce, i messaggi pubblicitari diventano influenti fonti di informazioni. Spot pubblicitari alla TV, pubblicità alla radio e banner in Internet sono pieni di messaggi di come si essere "fighi", attraenti o di successo. Malgrado vostro figlio probabilmente riconosca la pubblicità in quanto tale, ovvero è in grado di indicarla dicendo "questa è una pubblicità", non sarà del tutto immune al suo effetto. Aiutate vostro figlio a capire i messaggi inconsci celati dietro la pubblicità spiegandogli cosa si nasconde dietro il linguaggio pubblicitario. Chiaritegli qual è l'obiettivo della maggior parte delle pubblicità:

  • informare (nuovi fatti o idee);
  • intrattenere (far ridere, creare tensione, scaturire una reazione); e/o
  • convincere (influenzare il comportamento, convincere o modificare il pensiero)

 

5 modi per affrontare la pubblicità in modo intelligente

1) Mettete in questione gli spot pubblicitari quando guardate la TV con vostro figlio

Esprimete il vostro scetticismo ponendo le seguenti domande: cosa pensi delle persone che hanno realizzato questa pubblicità? Quale pensi sia il messaggio che vogliono trasmettere? Cosa credi che la pubblicità non ci dica? Pensi di poter credere a ciò che vedi? Iniziate con gli obiettivi più evidenti, spot che ad esempio pubblicizzano cibi molto grassi, e poi passate alle pubblicità più sottili come ad esempio quelle che illustrano uno stile di vita «figo» o attraente. Spiegate che la pubblicità spesso ha l'obiettivo di trasmettere alle persone la sensazione che manchi loro qualcosa.

2) Spiegate a vostro figlio gli acquisti che fate in famiglia

Chiarite a vostro figlio perché acquistate determinati articoli e altri no. Aiutatelo a capire che prendere una decisione consapevole. Spiegategli che ciò che acquistate rispecchia i vostri valori.

3) Incoraggiate vostro figlio a chiedersi cosa non viene detto nel messaggio pubblicitario

Quando una pubblicità non è realistica o crea pregiudizi, fategli notare: cosa non ci dice questa azienda? Conosci qualcuno che ha questo aspetto? Conosci qualcuno che vive in questo modo?

4) Sensibilizzate vostro figlio ai nuovi metodi pubblicitari in Internet

Molti elementi pubblicitari sono evidenti, ad esempio i banner o i siti Web che rappresentano soprattutto dei prodotti. Altri elementi pubblicitari sono però meno chiari. Di questi fanno parte i bot interattivi, che sono programmi di computer che ad es. compaiono sullo schermo sotto forma di webcrawler per pubblicizzare un prodotto oppure pagine intere che effettuano ricerche di mercato sulle opinioni dei bambini per conto dei loro clienti. Insistete con vostro figlio e fategli capire che in Internet non deve mai comunicare dati personali. Infine, rendete vostro figlio consapevole del fatto che le cose sullo schermo sembrano vere ma che nella vita reale potrebbero essere l'esatto contrario.

5) Fate sapere a vostro figlio che siete contro la pubblicità aggressiva

Fate notare le pubblicità che si trovano in luoghi per voi inadatti, soprattutto quei messaggi pubblicitari che vostro figlio incontra nelle scuole o in altri istituti pubblici.

Scolari fino a 13 anni

Negli ultimi anni, il segmento dei bambini di età compresa tra i nove e i 13 anni è diventato un mercato lucrativo. Difendetevi contro le pubblicità sempre più aggressive che mirano a questo gruppo di età incoraggiando vostro figlio a pensare in maniera autonoma. Per catturare l'attenzione di vostro figlio, i pubblicitari creano pubblicità che mirano alle emozioni piuttosto che al pensiero critico. La pubblicità non è studiata solo per vendere prodotti, ma anche emozioni. I pubblicitari vogliono creare il desiderio in vostro figlio di essere intelligente e amato. La strategia sta nel fatto di mettere paura a vostro figlio di restare escluso e creare l'illusione che il prodotto lo possa aiutare a sentirsi meglio.

 

Sta a voi influenzare in che modo vostro figlio decodifica i messaggi che riceve dal mercato. Aiutatelo a imparare ad analizzare la pubblicità in modo sagace e a sviluppare una buona autostima. Negli ultimi anni i bambini di età tra i nove e i 13 anni sono diventati un mercato lucrativo. Difendetevi contro le pubblicità sempre più aggressive che mirano a questo gruppo di età incoraggiando vostro figlio a pensare in maniera autonoma.

6 modi per affrontare la pubblicità in modo intelligente

1) Abituate vostro figlio a mettere in dubbio la pubblicità

Durante la pubblicità alla TV disattivate l'audio e fate indovinare a vostro figlio cosa potrebbe venire detto nella pubblicità. Oppure lasciate che vostro figlio ascolti a occhi chiuso e chiedetegli di indovinare cosa viene mostrato in quel momento.

2) Stimolate vostro figlio a chiedere cosa manca in una pubblicità

Fategli notare quando una pubblicità è irreale oppure rappresenta dei pregiudizi: cosa non ci dice questa azienda? Conosci qualcuno che ha questo aspetto o che vive così?

3) Stimolate vostro figlio a riflettere sugli interessi economici celati dietro la pubblicità

Molti spot pubblicitari sono accattivanti e intelligenti ed è facile dimenticare che servono a vendere più prodotti. Parlate con vostro figlio del perché una pubblicità cerca di intrattenere e convincere i bambini.

4) Mostrate a vostro figlio che con la pubblicità si può sperimentare

La pubblicità mira alle emozioni. Vostro figlio può sperimentare questo fatto nella propria vita partecipando ai concorsi, come al New Mexico Media Literacy's Bad Ad, oppure contribuendo al sito Web Don't Buy It. Mostrategli quale influsso la pubblicità ha su come una persona si sente facendo nascere il desiderio di essere attraente o insinuando la paura di non essere interessante.

5) Parlate con vostro figlio su quali acquisti vengono fatti in famiglia e perché

Aiutate vostro figlio a comprendere perché acquistate determinati articoli e altri no; spiegategli che prendete decisioni consapevoli. Spiegategli che i vostri acquisti sono spesso determinati dai vostri valori.

6) Sensibilizzate il vostro bambino sui metodi della pubblicità, specialmente sulle nuove tecniche in Internet

Alcuni elementi pubblicitari, come i banner o i siti Web che rappresentano soprattutto dei prodotti, sono piuttosto evidenti. Risulta invece più difficile comprendere altri elementi. Di questi fanno parte i bot interattivi, che sono programmi di computer che ad es. compaiono sullo schermo sotto forma di webcrawler per pubblicizzare un prodotto oppure pagine intere che effettuano ricerche di mercato sulle opinioni dei bambini e dei teenager per conto dei loro clienti. Insegnate a vostro figlio a non condividere mai dati personali online.

Giovani

Molti annunci pubblicitari, ad esempio in TV e alla radio, sono facili da riconoscere per giovani e adulti. Altri sono più difficili da scoprire. I giovani spesso credono di non lasciarsi influenzare dalla pubblicità; in realtà non sanno perché pensano che qualcosa sia "figo" o meriti attenzione. La maggior parte della pubblicità che un ragazzo vede, lo vuole convincere a desiderare qualcosa. Gli spot pubblicitari vogliono attirare l'attenzione di vostro figlio e fargli provare una determinata emozione, addirittura paura o intimidazione, per portarlo ad agire. Nel ruolo di genitori siete posti di fronte ad una sfida simile: anche voi volete che vostro figlio provi qualcosa, nel vostro caso però vorreste che si senta consapevole e informato e che agisca sulla base del pensiero indipendente. Malgrado l'invadenza della pubblicità, con i seguenti passi potete minimizzarne l'influsso nella vita di vostro figlio.

5 modi per affrontare la pubblicità in modo intelligente

1) Ricordate a vostro figlio che la pubblicità ha proprio successo perché annulla la consapevolezza

Se vedete che una pubblicità infonde la paura di non essere attraente o abbastanza «figo», discutetene insieme. Discutete del modo in cui i pubblicitari sfruttano l'insicurezza degli spettatori. Parlate con vostro figlio del modo in cui la pubblicità cerchi di vendere un'emozione o uno stile di vita. Chiedete: «da dove arriva il desiderio di possedere un determinato prodotto (abbigliamento, gioiello o simili)?» «Cosa significa per te averlo?» «Il prodotto in sé è bello?» «Oppure ti attraggono le modelle e l'ambiente attraverso il quale è stato presentato?»

2) Incoraggiate vostro figlio a scoprire il piazzamento di prodotti

Sposando media e pubblicità, i pubblicitari sfruttano sempre più spesso videogiochi, trasmissioni televisive e film per creare consapevolezza del mercato. Cercano di collegare i loro prodotti all'ultimissimo film, videogioco, ecc. Se scoprite che un personaggio di un videogioco utilizza o indossa merce di marca, oppure se durante un film o una trasmissione un prodotto finisce per puro caso nelle mani di un personaggio, dite a vostro figlio che non si è per niente trattato di un caso.

3) Voi e vostro figlio familiarizzate con il concetto del «Coolhunting»

Per scoprire cosa sia cool e alla moda, le aziende scalzano anche siti Web di altri, come ad esempio Reine Mädchensache!. Visitate "Merchants of Cool" von Frontline, per scoprire i subdoli trucchi che i pubblicitari utilizzano per raggiungere i giovani.

4) Mostrate a vostro figlio che si può anche essere contro la pubblicità

Malgrado la sempre maggior presenza della pubblicità molte persone lavorano per combattere la commercializzazione, soprattutto nello spazio pubblico.

5) Incoraggiate vostro figlio a impegnarsi attivamente contro la commercializzazione

Molti di noi pensano di essere immuni dalla pubblicità ma solo pochi di noi ne sono davvero liberi. Incoraggiate vostro figlio a scoprire il lavoro di gruppi come il New Mexico Media Literacy Project, che ogni anno sponsorizza il BadAd Contest e Werbeblogkade.

 

 

«Who are your children talking to?»

In this video animation, parents are given eight tips on the topics of privacy in social networks, online games, dangers on the web, online friends, giving out personal data and online contact with strangers.

Further links on the subject of protecting young people in the context of media:

MELANI
The Swiss Confederation’s Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance, MELANI, provides information about risks on the Internet and reports on the current situation:
> melani.admin.ch

 

CYCO

For reporting cybercrime and suspicious websites

> cybercrime.admin.ch

 

Overview page on the use of new technologies by children:

> klicksafe.de

 

Helpful site which provides support for parents on the subject of media literacy:

> elternet.ch

 

Information about media literacy provided by the Zurich University of Teacher Education::

> medienbildung.ch


Stiftung Kinderschutz Schweiz:
> kinderschutz.ch