28 September 2023

How can parents explain to children how to use a smartphone if they do not know enough about it themselves? Closing this gap between the generations is desperately needed because in 90% of cases, children depend on their parents for explanations about their first phone. However, parents are having a hard time; 75% indicate that they experience difficulties in the first months after their kids get a smartphone and 89% would like more information about the apps that children use. It’s time to start at the beginning and teach children and their parents to use smartphones responsibly and resiliently. That’s why ChatLicense is available from today; a family app that guides generations through the online world.

Clueless in the digital deep

The idea for the app came when founder Marjolein van Tilburg – lawyer and privacy specialist – purchased the first smartphone for her eldest daughter. “You both actually have no idea what you are getting into,” Marjolein indicates. “It’s like throwing your child into the deep without a swimming diploma. The information for parents and kids is fragmented and is often sent as a one-way street. The way in which the smartphone comes into a child’s life must and can be improved. With ChatLicense we want to ensure that everyone has a smart, safe and fun online life.”

From limits to skills

When using the smartphone, people often focus on limitations, but ChatLicense is all about what improving skills to make sure the time online spend is safer and smarter. “By banning (apps) and applying screen times you set limits, which is a good start. But children have to develop the righ skills to go online, like the right online social behavior, knowledge about how to deal with influencers and the safe use of apps” says Marjolein. “In our smartphone experience game all kinds of real-life events and dilemmas are incorporated into different types of content. This comes to life in the app via a scientifically based learning method (in collaboration with MovezLab from the EUR). We think it is important that we touch the minds and hearts of children.” Parents get access to a continuously up-to-date information portal where they can find everything in one place to get to know their children’s online world (better) and use this information to start a conversation with their child.

Making an impact together

The app was created with experts, scientists and story makers and extensively tested by parents and children. The ChatLicense team consists of several founders, one of them is Nizar El Manouzi, presenter and actor in the Netherlands. ChatLicense’s mission is to make the app accessible to every child, which is why collaborations are important. The ChatLicense mission is supported by KPN, which as a partner immediately embraced the app upon launch. As of now ChatLicense is therefore also available for mobile customers who expand their KPN subscription with the KPN Kids Sim.

ChatLicense can be downloaded in Dutch (English version will follow soon) for free from the Apple Appstore and Google Playstore. An in-app subscription for one child and two parents/guardians costs €39.99 per year.

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