By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 13, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Is your teen watching their smartphone all day? There’s many issues mother and father can do to guard children from the doubtless destructive results of social media, specialists say.

Whereas there are constructive facets to social media, there’s proof it may pose dangers to teenagers’ mental health attributable to points akin to bullying, body image issues and different social pressures.

“The truth is that social media is a part of the world we reside in, and it isn’t going away,” stated 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 are able to information them on utilizing and navigating these instruments,” Radzik stated in a hospital news release.

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, 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 urged.

As an alternative of claiming, “You are on Instagram approach an excessive amount of and that is dangerous for you,” attempt, “I observed this and I am actually frightened. 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 once they really feel prepared.

“Berating will make an adolescent shut down,” Radzik stated. “Or generally mother and father will dig via 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, reasonably than one thing punitive or accusatory.”

Mother and father ought to verify in continuously and take note of their teenagers’ media use, stated Sarah Voyer, lead social employee within the division of psychiatry at Kids’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Mother and father could wish to ask their teenagers how they use social media — do they share updates with their mates, observe sure celebrities or influencers, or are they searching for some form of recommendation or assist — and the way they really feel once they use it, Voyer stated.

If you happen to’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 mother or father to assist with that,” Radzik stated.

Earlier than a baby begins to make use of social media, mother and father ought to set parameters, in accordance with Radzik.

“It may be problematic when youngsters are given common entry to cellphones at an early age,” she stated. “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.”

Extra data

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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