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By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 13, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Is your teen observing their smartphone all day? There’s many issues dad and mom can do to guard children from the doubtless adverse results of social media, consultants say.

Whereas there are optimistic features to social media, there’s proof it will possibly pose dangers to teenagers’ psychological well being as a result of points equivalent to bullying, physique picture considerations and different social pressures.

“The fact is that social media is a part of the world we stay in, and it is 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 won’t 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 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 instances, dad and mom may wish to start a dialogue about their teen’s social media use through the use of “I” as an alternative of “you” statements, Radzik prompt.

As a substitute of claiming, “You are on Instagram means an excessive amount of and that is unhealthy for you,” attempt, “I observed this and I am actually frightened. Can we speak about it?” In case your teen does not wish to speak at that second, allow them to know you may be there once they really feel prepared.

“Berating will make a teen shut down,” Radzik mentioned. “Or generally dad and mom will dig by means of 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 examine in regularly 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 might wish to ask their teenagers how they use social media — do they share updates with their pals, comply with sure celebrities or influencers, or are they looking for some form of recommendation or assist — and the way they really feel once they use it, Voyer mentioned.

For those who’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 children who can break the cycle, and generally it takes the mum or dad to assist with that,” Radzik mentioned.

Earlier than a baby begins to make use of social media, dad and mom ought to set parameters, based on 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 dad and mom 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.”

Extra info

For extra on kids and media, see the American Academy of Pediatrics.

SOURCE: Youngsters’s Hospital Los Angeles, information launch, Jan. 10, 2022

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