Talking to Your Kids’ About the Importance of Social Internations
By Space Coast Daily // December 24, 2020
If you have kids and are concerned about the negative effects of social media on teenagers, you’re not alone. While the intended goal of social media platforms is to foster togetherness and inclusivity, the exact opposite may occur in some cases.
This is especially true for teenagers, who can face extremely toxic environments and peer interactions when spending time on platforms.
The teenage years are complex for many kids, and it’s up to parents to provide a solid foundation for their children when facing challenges. The first step is to understand how social media affects kids, which ensures you’re prepared to combat these effects at home.
Social Media Can Lead to Lack of Sleep
Social media can be addictive. Numerous studies have shown that using social media to garner likes and attention, even when it’s negative, sets off a pleasurable response in the brain.
Teens may become so enamored with these responses that they forgo sleep in order to spend more time on social media. Sleep is crucial for all kids, but it’s especially important to teens. A lack of sleep contributes to ill-health, decreased academic achievement, and poor mood. Setting time limits on screen time can help parents combat excessive social media usage.
Social Media Can Increase Anxiety
There is an urgency with social media that makes many teens feel compelled to respond to messages and comments immediately. Teens may also be glued to their mobile devices out of fear of missing out on a friend’s post or other developments.
This creates an unbelievable amount of pressure, one that young people may be ill-equipped to handle. Make sure your teen understands that it’s OK to put down their phone for a while and just live in the moment. You may also consider researching child anxiety treatment at home, particularly when it comes to homeopathic remedies developed for children.
Social Media Can Inspire Feelings of Envy and Jealousy
Very few people post the worst moments of their lives on social media. As a result, it can seem like a peer has a perfect, idyllic life free of hardships and setbacks.
While many adults are able to discern that most things posted on social media should be taken with a grain of salt, teenagers often lack this level of social literacy. As a result, they may feel inadequate when compared to friends and peers, whether that has to do with grade point averages, romance, or popularity.
What Parents Can Do
Having an ongoing conversation with your teens is the best course of action to combat the negative aspects of social media. Ask your kids about what their friends are doing on these platforms, and whether these interactions make your teen feel happy or sad. Encourage open communication at all times so your child feels comfortable talking with you.
However, be careful about pushing the subject too far. If you’ve ever wondered can parents cause anxiety in their kids, the answer is a definitive yes. Even if your intentions are good, you may still contribute to stress and anxiety if you punish kids harshly for their transgressions. Try to keep an open mind and lead with kindness and care instead of punishments and criticism.
Social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The best thing you can do as a parent is to instill in your child the importance of social media literacy and listening to their gut when subject to peer pressure. With your help, your child will become a confident and self-assured adult.