THURSDAY, Jan. 13, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Is your teen watching their smartphone all day? There’s many issues mother and father can do to guard youngsters from the doubtless damaging results of social media, consultants say.
Whereas there are constructive elements to social media, there’s proof it could possibly pose dangers to teenagers’ mental health attributable to points reminiscent of bullying, body image considerations and different social pressures.
“The truth is that social media is a part of the world we dwell in, and it is not going away,” stated Mari Radzik, a medical psychologist within the division of adolescent and younger grownup drugs at Kids’s Hospital Los Angeles.
“We won’t 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 stated in a hospital news release.
Some indicators of social media-related issues in teenagers embrace adjustments in temper, consuming and sleep habits, in addition to isolating of their room. In such circumstances, mother and father would possibly wish to start a dialogue about their teen’s social media use by utilizing “I” as an alternative of “you” statements, Radzik urged.
As a substitute 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 frightened. Can we speak about it?” In case your teen would not wish to speak at that second, allow them to know you may be there once they really feel prepared.
“Berating will make a teen shut down,” Radzik stated. “Or generally mother and father will dig by way of their kid’s social media accounts and that may really feel invasive. The method has to come back from a spot of caring and concern, slightly than one thing punitive or accusatory.”
Dad and mom ought to test in ceaselessly and take note of their teenagers’ media use, stated Sarah Voyer, lead social employee within the division of psychiatry at Kids’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Dad and mom might wish to ask their teenagers how they use social media — do they share updates with their pals, 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.
In the event you’re sure that social media is affecting your teen’s mental health, recommend they take a break and even delete their account.
“There are some youngsters who can break the cycle, and generally it takes the dad or mum to assist with that,” Radzik stated.
Earlier than a baby begins to make use of social media, mother and father ought to set parameters, in response to Radzik.
“It may be problematic when youngsters are given common entry to cellphones at an early age,” she stated. “I perceive the necessity to use it at occasions, particularly age-appropriate materials. However as mother and father we have to encourage a curiosity of the world round them and use creativity instruments slightly than depend on social media on a regular basis.”
For extra on youngsters and media, see the American Academy of Pediatrics.
SOURCE: Kids’s Hospital Los Angeles, information launch, Jan. 10, 2022