Videos for young children are among the most successful on YouTube – and are criticized. Should parents allow their offspring access to screens? Yes, but in moderation, says an expert from the Pro Juventute Foundation. Anja Meier (25), responsible for politics and media: “Youtube is a reality, a ban would be unrealistic. But the videos must not become a babysitter.” Easier said than done, because the effect of the videos is enormous: they are developed in such a way that they completely absorb small children – and calm them down.
Parents shouldn’t feel guilty under any circumstances, says expert Susan Linn (75), who has written a book on the influence of tech companies on parenting. The Harvard psychologist thinks it’s important not to blame parents alone for not using YouTube. International rules are needed to ensure that children do not become the target audience prematurely.
But it is also important for parents to think about their role model function. Therefore: “Put away your mobile phone yourself as often as possible.” And buy a watch so you don’t keep looking at it. Linn advises parents to wait as long as possible before allowing their children to have their own pad or smartphone. And once the device is there, she advises defining “screen-free times or evenings” within the family. “It’s best to start before you have children.” Because everyone must realize how strong the attraction of digital entertainment and smartphones is.