THURSDAY, Jan. 13, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Is your teen looking at their smartphone all day? There’s many issues dad and mom can do to guard children from the doubtless unfavorable results of social media, specialists say.
Whereas there are optimistic elements to social media, there’s proof it might probably pose dangers to teenagers’ psychological well being as a consequence of points equivalent to bullying, physique picture issues and different social pressures.
“The fact is that social media is a part of the world we reside in, and it isn’t going away,” stated Mari Radzik, a scientific psychologist within the division of adolescent and younger grownup drugs at Youngsters’s Hospital Los Angeles.
“We won’t simply take away our youngsters’ telephones or computer systems. It is about determining how we are able to information them on utilizing and navigating these instruments,” Radzik stated in a hospital information launch.
Some indicators of social media-related issues in teenagers embrace modifications in temper, consuming and sleep habits, in addition to isolating of their room. In such circumstances, dad and mom may need to start a dialogue about their teen’s social media use by utilizing “I” as a substitute of “you” statements, Radzik prompt.
As an alternative of claiming, “You are on Instagram manner an excessive amount of and that is dangerous for you,” strive, “I seen this and I am actually anxious. Can we speak about it?” In case your teen would not need to speak at that second, allow them to know you will be there once they really feel prepared.
“Berating will make a youngster shut down,” Radzik stated. “Or typically dad and mom will dig via their kid’s social media accounts and that may really feel invasive. The strategy has to return from a spot of caring and concern, quite than one thing punitive or accusatory.”
Mother and father ought to verify in regularly and take note of their teenagers’ media use, stated Sarah Voyer, lead social employee within the division of psychiatry at Youngsters’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Mother and father could need to ask their teenagers how they use social media — do they share updates with their buddies, comply with sure celebrities or influencers, or are they looking for some type of recommendation or assist — and the way they really feel once they use it, Voyer stated.
Should 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 children who can break the cycle, and typically it takes the dad or mum to assist with that,” Radzik stated.
Earlier than a baby begins to make use of social media, dad and mom ought to set parameters, in keeping with Radzik.
“It may be problematic when kids are given common entry to cellphones at an early age,” she stated. “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 quite than depend on social media on a regular basis.”
For extra on kids and media, see the American Academy of Pediatrics.
SOURCE: Youngsters’s Hospital Los Angeles, information launch, Jan. 10, 2022