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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 youngsters from the doubtless damaging results of social media, specialists say.
Whereas there are optimistic features to social media, there’s proof it might probably pose dangers to teenagers’ psychological well being as a result of points akin to bullying, physique picture 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 drugs at Youngsters’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 mentioned 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, mother and father would possibly wish to start a dialogue about their teen’s social media use through the use of “I” as a substitute of “you” statements, Radzik steered.
As an alternative of claiming, “You are on Instagram method an excessive amount of and that is dangerous for you,” strive, “I seen this and I am actually nervous. Can we speak about it?” In case your teen does not wish to discuss at that second, allow them to know you may be there after they really feel prepared.
“Berating will make a teenager shut down,” Radzik mentioned. “Or generally mother and father will dig by 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, relatively than one thing punitive or accusatory.”
Dad and mom ought to test in ceaselessly 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.
Dad and mom could wish to ask their teenagers how they use social media — do they share updates with their associates, comply with sure celebrities or influencers, or are they looking for some sort of recommendation or assist — and the way they really feel after they use it, Voyer mentioned.
If you happen to’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 generally it takes the mother or father to assist with that,” Radzik mentioned.
Earlier than a baby begins to make use of social media, mother and father ought to set parameters, in keeping with 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 mother and father we have to encourage a curiosity of the world round them and use creativity instruments relatively than depend on social media on a regular basis.”
For extra on youngsters and media, see the American Academy of Pediatrics.
SOURCE: Youngsters’s Hospital Los Angeles, information launch, Jan. 10, 2022