Teenagers On Social Media Too A lot? What Specialists Need You to Know

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

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

Whereas there are optimistic elements to social media, there’s proof it will probably pose dangers to teenagers’ psychological well being as a consequence of points corresponding to bullying, physique picture considerations and different social pressures.

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

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

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 instances, dad and mom would possibly need to start a dialogue about their teen’s social media use through the use of “I” as a substitute of “you” statements, Radzik recommended.

As an alternative of claiming, “You are on Instagram approach an excessive amount of and that is dangerous for you,” attempt, “I seen this and I am actually nervous. Can we speak about it?” In case your teen does 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 mentioned. “Or typically dad and mom will dig by way of their kid’s social media accounts and that may really feel invasive. The strategy has to come back from a spot of caring and concern, fairly than one thing punitive or accusatory.”

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

Dad and mom could need to ask their teenagers how they use social media — do they share updates with their mates, comply with sure celebrities or influencers, or are they searching for some sort of recommendation or assist — and the way they really feel once they use it, Voyer mentioned.

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

“There are some youngsters who can break the cycle, and typically it takes the dad or mum 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 response to Radzik.

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

Extra info

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

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

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