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Frightened About Your Teen’s Social Media Use? Consultants Supply Assist – Client Well being Information

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THURSDAY, Jan. 13, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Is your teen watching their smartphone all day? There’s many issues dad and mom can do to guard youngsters from the doubtless unfavourable results of social media, specialists say.

Whereas there are constructive facets to social media, there’s proof it could pose dangers to teenagers’ psychological well being attributable to points akin to bullying, physique picture issues and different social pressures.

“The truth is that social media is a part of the world we stay in, and it isn’t going away,” mentioned Mari Radzik, a medical psychologist within the division of adolescent and younger grownup medication at Youngsters’s Hospital Los Angeles.

“We will not simply take away our children’ telephones or computer systems. It is about determining how we will information them on utilizing and navigating these instruments,” Radzik mentioned in a hospital information launch.

Some indicators of social media-related issues in teenagers embody adjustments in temper, consuming and sleep habits, in addition to isolating of their room. In such instances, dad and mom would possibly wish to start a dialogue about their teen’s social media use by utilizing “I” as a substitute of “you” statements, Radzik recommended.

As an alternative of claiming, “You are on Instagram means an excessive amount of and that is unhealthy for you,” strive, “I seen this and I am actually nervous. Can we speak about it?” In case your teen does not wish to discuss at that second, allow them to know you will be there after they really feel prepared.

“Berating will make an adolescent shut down,” Radzik mentioned. “Or typically dad and mom will dig by their kid’s social media accounts and that may really feel invasive. The method has to return from a spot of caring and concern, moderately than one thing punitive or accusatory.”

Dad and mom ought to test in continuously and take note of their teenagers’ media use, mentioned Sarah Voyer, lead social employee within the division of psychiatry at Youngsters’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Dad and mom could wish to ask their teenagers how they use social media — do they share updates with their associates, observe sure celebrities or influencers, or are they in search of some sort of recommendation or assist — and the way they really feel after they use it, Voyer mentioned.

When you’re sure that social media is affecting your teen’s psychological well being, counsel they take a break and even delete their account.

“There are some youngsters who can break the cycle, and typically it takes the mum or dad to assist with that,” Radzik mentioned.

Earlier than a baby begins to make use of social media, dad and mom ought to set parameters, in line with Radzik.

“It may be problematic when kids are given common entry to cellphones at an early age,” she mentioned. “I perceive the necessity to use it at instances, particularly age-appropriate materials. However as dad and mom we have to encourage a curiosity of the world round them and use creativity instruments moderately than depend on social media on a regular basis.”

Extra info

For extra on kids and media, see the American Academy of Pediatrics.

SOURCE: Youngsters’s Hospital Los Angeles, information launch, Jan. 10, 2022

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