My Child Has Been On Social Media For A While Now Is It Too Late To Get Started
It is never too late for your child to learn the Thumbs Down skills, and it is never too late for you to Speak Up about them! Even though your child has some experience with social media, the TDSU approach can give you the confidence that your child has the skills that they need to be responsible and independent online.
Theres not just one way to get started. At TDSU we provide a range of engaging activities and tips that are regularly updated. You know your child best. Maybe they are the kind of kid who would love to be involved in this process. If so, try out our Build a Trusted Team activity. Or maybe your child doesnt want to hear about TDSU thats ok! You can try out our Permission Before Posting activity to model one of the skills you hope your child will learn.
Harnessing The Benefits Of Social Media And Technology
Can we use social media and other digital platforms for good? Mental health and technology experts believe that we can. Here are some of the ways that online networks and tools can support well-being.
Mental health resources: Many organizations and websites now offer support via social media for those suffering from mental health challenges. Thus, they bring people together to share experiences. One study found that patients with severe mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, used social networks as a way to feel less lonely. In addition, many sites allow people to sign up to receive texts providing inspiration, positive messages, and recovery resources.
Positive inspiration: Social networks can create peer motivation, inspiring young people to develop healthy habits, try something new, follow their dreams, and speak up about things that matter to them. Teens can also find positive role models online. In addition, a wide variety of apps offer instruction and support for developing a more positive outlook and building healthy habits, such as meditation and exercise.
Connection: Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat give teens and young adults a sense of belonging and acceptance. This is particularly true for those who feel isolated or marginalized, such as LGBTQ youth and those struggling with mental health issues.
Benefits Of Social Media: Learn New Things
How many times have we turned to Youtube to learn something new? The same goes for our kids. This is one of the biggest benefits of social media
When they are watching a Youtube video, it could be that they are trying to learn something new.
Theres plenty of kids teaching school subjects on Youtube. You can encourage your children to learn new things on social media.
It does not have to be educational, it could be something fun like learning how to create the new viral TikTok videos.
Whatever reason they choose to be on Youtube or any other social media platform, there are plenty of learning opportunities for them.
Social media can also positively impact your kids interest in a certain subject. For example, looking at cooking videos your child might be interested to learn how to cook.
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The Negative Impact Of Social Media And Screen Time
While casting the results of previous research in doubt, the current studies dont suggest that there are only positives of social media. Overall, both researchers and mental health experts agree that social media and tech use constitute potential detriments to teen and young adult mental health. Most important, increased smartphone use can result in any or all of the following:
- Decreased time outdoors as a result of increased screen time, depriving youth of the mental health benefits of nature
- Fewer hours of sleep due to social media and other tech useimportant because sleep deprivation may cause or contribute to depressive symptoms.
If You Suspect A Young Person May Be Struggling With A Mental Illness What Should You Do
I think the biggest thing is to let someone know: a doctor, a guidance counselor, or someone who can do a more formal assessment. Parents need to be involved, but you need to have an assessment from someone outside of the family dynamic with a more unbiased perspective. An outside professional can look at the young person through the lens of what one would expect for kids of that age.
Parents, and even we as the larger grown-up community, tend to write off warning signs as the bad teen years. That is dangerous. We need to be more aware of these warning signs and help connect young people and their families to the help they need to prevent the development of severe mental illness.
And the data about treatment is compelling when you can identify individuals early. Were not necessarily talking about treatment with medications. But extra support, training in coping skills and stress management, and help interacting with peers in more appropriate ways can be extremely beneficial.
There are many things we can do to help young people at risk of developing a mental illness avoid becoming fully symptomatic, prevent harm to themselves and others, and live full and productive lives.
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What Can Parents Do
As parents, there are things we can do to improve our childrens lives online and in real life.
- Attempt to model the behavior we want to see.
- Set boundaries right way when you give your child their first phone. Set parental controls on his or her phone, with access to their passwords. Phones should be charged somewhere other than their room at night, and should be shut off an hour or two before bed.
- Have conversations with your children on why some things should be kept private.
- Take time to actively engage with your kids face-to-face. This interaction teaches them how to follow social cues, verbal and non-verbal.
- Talk to your kids without glancing at your phone.
- Find opportunities to have genuine conversations that are not lectures.
- Be aware of privacy concerns and cybersecurity issues.
Technology has changed the way we live, work, and socialize. But it cant replace parenting.
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Social Media Develops Social And Communication Skills
The social aspect of social media is one of the biggest positives it offers. It gives teenagers the chance to interact with their peers and perhaps to make new friends in a safe way too. Social media can help teenagers who might struggle to communicate offline to develop their social skills in a space where they can have more time to think about their actions and find people who share their interests. Social media often presents opportunities for debate and conversation, allowing teenagers to learn how to discuss a variety of topics.
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Is The Program A Good Fit For Your Loved One
No psychiatric treatment program is exactly the right fit for everyone. A working farm community may be just the ticket for one person, but may not offer enough structure for someone else. Or maybe you just have terrible seasonal allergies. Some clients may be more comfortable in a female-only or male-only program. Be sure the program is welcoming to . Some clients have specific needs based on their diagnosis. Check out the programs available for a history of trauma, eating disorders or substance abuse. If spirituality is important to you, understand how the program includes or excludes a clients faith or spirituality in treatment.
Monitor Childrens Social Messages To Ensure They Arent Harmful
One aspect of social media that poses a specific risk to children is messaging. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents point out to their children that any images, texts or other material they share with one person is potentially shared with the world and once they hit the send button, there is no way to bring it back or erase it.
Parents should instruct their children on how to apply the privacy protections in each social platform. But even the strictest privacy settings cant protect against the negative impact of improper sharing on social media. Children must also be warned that adult predators of all types use these services in their attempts to attract and exploit children.
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Young Adults Are At A Particularly Vulnerable Time In Their Development Which Might Explain Why One 1 Of Every 5 Is Affected By Mental Illness
Young adults are at a particularly vulnerable time in their development, which might explain why one out of every five is affected by mental illness. Mental illnesses that commonly present in young adults include, among others:
Young adults are completing a transition in their mental state that is marked by heightened emotions and turmoil. When you add the sort of changes they are likely going through in their lives at the same time, its easy to see why mental illness may present at this time.
In their early twenties, most people leave their parents house for the first time to go to college or get their first apartment. They are under increased pressure to succeed academically, financially, and socially. Some move back home after college, while others move away from families and support systems to begin new jobs. All of this change, while exciting, is definitely stressful. Given the right conditions, stress can trigger mental illness.
Teens And Their Experiences On Social Media
Social media has given teens the ability to instantly connect with others and share their lives through photos, videos and status updates. Teens themselves describe these platforms as a key tool for connecting and maintaining relationships, being creative, and learning more about the world. But they also must contend with more negative aspects of social media use, such as drama and bullying or feeling pressure to present themselves in a certain way.
Teens post about a range of topics on social media, with posts about their accomplishments or family playing an especially prominent role
When asked what topics they post about on social media, roughly half of teens say they post about their accomplishments on social media, while 44% say they post about their family. Around one-third say they share things related to their emotions and feelings on these sites, while 22% report posting about their dating life. Relatively few teens around one-in-ten say they share things related to their personal problems or their religious or political beliefs on social media.
There are some age and gender differences in the topics teens share on social media. Older teens are more likely than their younger counterparts to post about their romantic relationships: 26% of teens ages 15 to 17 say they post about their dating life on social media, compared with 16% of 13- to 14-year-olds.
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Why Teens Use Social Media
Social media is a way for teenagers to stay in touch with their friends. Teens have always talked after school, long before social media hanging out at the bus stop, at the local park, chatting on the phone now they just have a different platform to do so.
It is an important part of socialising and connection in the modern world. Teenagers and social media use is increasing, the main reasons teenagers regularly use social media include:
- talking to friends
- joining in on group conversations
- learning about current events and staying up to date with online content
- having reduced self-esteem .
Just like in the offline world, there are things you can do to protect your child from these risks. It’s important to prepare them for how to respond if these things do occur. Check out our ‘things to try’ for tips and ideas on minimising the risk of using social media.
Sometimes teenagers can feel a ‘compulsion’ to check their social media accounts frequently, but this is generally only in extreme cases. Helping your teenager to develop positive habits like taking regular breaks from checking social media, and making sure notifications are turned off so that their mobile device isn’t distracting can help reduce the compulsion to check in with social media so often.
% Of College Students In 2013 Were Diagnosed Or Treated For Mental Illness
The directors of college campus counseling centers confirm that significant mental health issues are growing among college students. Campus counselors suggest that the number of students they see with severe mental illness increases noticeably each year.
In a recent survey of graduate students at one California university, 45% reported experiencing emotional and stress-related problems significant enough to affect their academic work. An annual survey conducted on a larger sampling across the country revealed that 30% of college freshmen frequently feel overwhelmed. The number of female college freshmen experiencing this feeling has almost doubled since 1985.
Studies show that the rates of reported anxiety and depression among college students are up in recent decades. Almost one-third of students report experiencing an anxiety or depression disorder during their college career. In 2013, 27% of male students and 33% of female students reported feeling so depressed that it was hard to function.
Data collected on mental illnesses in college students since the 1980s shows a trending increase in reported levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
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How Can Families Participate In Treatment
Family involvement can be a crucial part of the recovery process. During the admission and assessment process, input from family members can give the clinical team a more robust picture of a clients history of symptoms and treatment, challenges and strengths. Be sure to ask how much input families have in the assessment process.
During treatment, families can encourage clients to fully engage in treatment. Treatment is hard work. The more people encouraging the client to stick to it, go to group, and practice using their skills, the better. Ask the treatment program what kind of communication families can expect during treatment. Are families assigned a primary point of contact on the clinical team?
As part of treatment the client is making important changes in how he or she views himself or herself, relates to others, and manages independent living skills. He or she is trying to stop unhealthy thought and behavior patterns. If the client returns home to an environment that reinforces the old patterns, it can be hard for the client to solidify new strategies and skills and all too easy to revert to old habits. Family therapy can help the family system make important adjustments to help support the health and growth of all family members. Find out if the mental health treatment program offers family therapy or other family education.
Cons Of Social Media On Teenagers
One of the hardest negatives of social media and the influence of the internet is the level of cyberbullying that occurs across all platforms. It means that playground issues just arent left on the playground anymore, and taunts and harsh words become the norm outside of school where they are supposed to be safe. Its the biggest drawback to any form of social media, as the mental health effects on teenagers are too high.
- Isolation in disabled teens.
Kids with disabilities are often a target for others simply for being different. This isolation makes the teenager with disabilities feel alone, sad and depressed. On social media, people do not change their attitudes which means that this loneliness carries through at home, too.
- Increase in procrastination.
Social media is wonderfully engaging, but when it comes to teenagers, its a way to suck out their ability to be productive. They may neglect their essential school work and activities in favor of chatting with their friends. This can lead to failure in school and can result in addiction to social media.
- Social skills are destroyed.
- Too much information.
The disclosure of too much information can put teenagers in dangerous situations. Online grooming is a big problem, and the anonymity of a screen allows someone to pretend to be someone they are not. This can then lead to harmful situations and can encourage less tasteful individuals to take advantage of a teenager.
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Ds Its Bigger Than Me
Teach your child to Reach Out to a trusted adult about texts or posts that are:
Giving In To Social Pressure:
Let us face it- social media is an increasingly pretentious world. It has created rules to fit in. Teenagers are constantly under stress and pressure to fit in or feel accepted. Many feel that they have to post every day for them to be relevant in the world of social media.
This means that they pressure parents to buy them unnecessary things, which they can post online. When they are not being able to post regularly about their happening lives, they feel disconnected.
This pressure of staying relevant in groups on social media creates depression, loss of touch with parents, and unmitigated trauma.
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Social Media Using Effects On My Teenage Son
As a father of a teenage son, I was always worried about using Social Media by Teens. My son started to use social media and you tube in 8th grade. This is also a little late for the new social media users. I already know the harmful sides of social media, I kept my son away from it ,till his 12 years of age. But it is not possible to keep your child away when each of their classmates uses social media accounts.
Therefore every parent is worried about it. When theyre finding their children to access their social media accounts, they first think about the bad influences. I spoke to my son in a very open way. I told him what to do and what not to do on social media. I know most children do not pay attention to these small details. But the back of the mind generates cautiousness.
I do not tell lies. I always keep tapping on my sons profile. And see his latest activities. That is the step I took. But after three months, I figured out immense changes in his attitude. Obviously! In a good way. My son is becoming more mature, and he is starting to take the lead on the good works.
For example, he takes the lead on a street dog rescue project. This is a precarious step. I was with him. But I know I will find this spark inside him one day as he started to visit the social media animal rescue pages, which helped him have a compassionate heart at a very young age. Hence my experience, social media is a good influence on my teenage son.