Your Teen & Social Media: Specialists Provide Tricks to Mother and father


By Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter>

MONDAY, July 31, 2023 — When mother and father meet U.S. Surgeon Basic Dr. Vivek Murthy, one concern comes up time after time.

“The commonest query mother and father ask me is: ‘Is social media secure for my youngsters,’ ” Murthy mentioned. “The reply is that we do not have sufficient proof to say it is secure, and actually, there’s rising proof that social media use is related to hurt to younger folks’s psychological well being.”

Cyberbullying, cyberstalking, anxiousness, inappropriate content material, different social pressures, a distraction from faculty, and physique picture points are however just a few of the potential pitfalls.

“We will’t simply take away our youngsters’ telephones or computer systems,” mentioned Mari Radzik, a scientific psychologist within the Division of Adolescent and Younger Grownup Drugs at Kids’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). “It’s about determining how we will information them in utilizing and navigating these instruments.”

Listed here are ideas mother and father can use to assist teenagers ease the adverse results of social media:

1) Set guidelines: A federal regulation makes it unlawful for kids below 13 to have social media accounts, and laws is being thought of to guard youngsters’ info till they’re 16. It’s finest to place off social media for so long as potential, specialists say.

Mother and father ought to discuss with their youngsters, reviewing guidelines and privateness settings, mentioned pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Hartstein, who’s a part of the CHLA Care Community. In case you’re unfamiliar with the websites or apps they’re utilizing, take the time to test them out.

2) Comply with, or “buddy,” your youngsters on social media. Monitoring your baby’s on-line exercise doesn’t imply spying on them, however they need to know that folks are conscious of what they’re as much as.

3) Mannequin the appropriate habits. “As mother and father, finally, you solely have management over your self,” mentioned Sarah Voyer, lead social employee within the Division of Psychiatry at Kids’s Hospital Los Angeles. “So, being conscientious of your individual behaviors, whether or not that’s with cellphone utilization or eating regimen and well being, is an enormous a part of parenting. In case you do one thing hypocritical, they’re going to see that.”

4) Acknowledge any behavioral adjustments and provide to speak. Has your teen’s temper fluctuated? Are they consuming in another way? Sleeping roughly than ordinary? Are they isolating of their room? These are indicators mother and father ought to concentrate on and be ready to speak about.

If it’s clear that social media is affecting your baby’s bodily and psychological well-being, mother and father ought to advocate taking a break. “There are some youngsters who can break the cycle, and typically it takes the guardian to assist with that,” Radzik mentioned.

5) Verify-in often. Speaking to kids and teenagers about social media isn’t a one-time factor. The secret is checking in regularly and taking note of and conscious of your youngsters’ media use.

“Energetic, attentive parenting is essential,” Radzik mentioned. “I do know it may be exhausting, but it surely’s our job as mother and father to be aware of what our youngsters are doing and the way we can assist them really feel assured, self-aware and resilient.”


  • Kids’s Hospital Los Angeles, information launch, July 26, 2023

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