By Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Jan. 13, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Is your teen looking at their smartphone all day? There's many issues mother and father can do to guard children from the possibly detrimental results of social media, consultants say.
Whereas there are constructive features to social media, there's proof it might pose dangers to teenagers' mental health as a result of points akin to bullying, body image considerations and different social pressures.
"The truth is that social media is a part of the world we stay in, and it's not going away," mentioned Mari Radzik, a scientific psychologist within the division of adolescent and younger grownup drugs at Youngsters's Hospital Los Angeles.
"We are able to't simply take away our children' telephones or computer systems. It's about determining how we are able to information them on utilizing and navigating these instruments," Radzik mentioned in a hospital news release.
Some indicators of social media-related issues in teenagers embody modifications in temper, consuming and sleep habits, in addition to isolating of their room. In such instances, 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 instructed.
As an alternative of claiming, "You're on Instagram approach an excessive amount of and that's dangerous for you," attempt, "I seen this and I'm actually fearful. Can we discuss it?" In case your teen doesn't wish to discuss at that second, allow them to know you'll be there once they really feel prepared.
"Berating will make a teenager shut down," Radzik mentioned. "Or generally mother and father will dig by their baby's social media accounts and that may really feel invasive. The strategy has to return from a spot of caring and concern, reasonably than one thing punitive or accusatory."
Mother and father ought to verify 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.
Mother and father might wish 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 mentioned.
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 children who can break the cycle, and generally it takes the father or mother 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 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 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 reasonably 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