THURSDAY, Jan. 13, 2022 (HealthDay Information)
Is your teen gazing their smartphone all day? There’s many issues mother and father can do to guard youngsters from the doubtless unfavourable results of social media, consultants say.
Whereas there are constructive elements to social media, there’s proof it might probably pose dangers to teens‘ mental health as a result of points akin to bullying, body image issues 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 medical psychologist within the division of adolescent and younger grownup medication at Kids’s Hospital Los Angeles.
“We will not simply take away our youngsters’ telephones or computer systems. It is about determining how we will information them on utilizing and navigating these instruments,” Radzik mentioned in a hospital news release.
Some indicators of social media-related issues in teens embrace modifications 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 a substitute of “you” statements, Radzik advised.
As a substitute of claiming, “You are on Instagram manner an excessive amount of and that is unhealthy for you,” strive, “I observed this and I am actually fearful. Can we discuss it?” In case your teen does not wish to speak at that second, allow them to know you may be there once they really feel prepared.
“Berating will make an adolescent shut down,” Radzik mentioned. “Or typically 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, reasonably than one thing punitive or accusatory.”
Dad and mom ought to examine 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 wish to ask their teenagers how they use social media — do they share updates with their pals, observe sure celebrities or influencers, or are they searching for some type of recommendation or assist — and the way they really feel once they use it, Voyer mentioned.
In case 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 typically it takes the dad or mum to assist with that,” Radzik mentioned.
Earlier than a toddler begins to make use of social media, mother and father ought to set parameters, in response to 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 mother and father we have to encourage a curiosity of the world round them and use creativity instruments reasonably than depend on social media on a regular basis.”
For extra on kids and media, see the American Academy of Pediatrics.
SOURCE: Kids’s Hospital Los Angeles, information launch, Jan. 10, 2022
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