Adolescents and social media
Statistics about social media use and impacts for adolescents can be overwhelming for parents but don’t have to be! We want to help you know the facts, but also be prepared to create a plan that works for your family to keep your children safe and healthy when it comes to using social media.
So, what does the research tell us? Scroll through to find out.
Dependence on your smartphone may produce some of the same addictive brain responses similar to alcohol, drug and gambling addictions.
Eighth-graders who spend 10 or more hours a week on social media are 56% more likely to report being unhappy than those who spend less time. (That’s just over one hour a day)
More than twice as many girls as boys said they had been cyberbullied in the last year
Teens who spent three or more hours a day on electronic devices were 28% more likely to get less than seven hours of sleep
When children overuse technology, the constant stimulation of the brain causes the hormone cortisol to rise. Too much cortisol can inhibit a child from feeling calm which can lead to serious anxiety disorders.
Suicide rates are on the rise especially for girls between the ages of 10 and 14 years old. For this age group, suicide rates have tripled over the past 15 years.
The Pew Research Center’s 2018 survey of U.S. teens determined that one in six teenagers have experienced at least one of six different forms of abusive behavior online:
Lack of sleep can negatively affect teens’ mood, ability to think, to react, to regulate their emotions, to learn and to get along with adults. It’s a vicious cycle—lack of sleep affects mood, and depression can lead to lack of sleep. Multiple studies have found that severe sleep debt is linked to suicidal ideation.
Teens who don’t sleep enough are more than twice as likely to report higher levels of depressive symptoms (31% vs 12%).
Teens who sleep less than seven hours a night are also 68% more likely to have at least one risk factor for suicide.
Tips for children and teens using social media
Tips for parents with children and teens using social media
Listen: Andover Airwaves podcast
Browse other Family Talk topics below:
How to talk to your child
Healthy communication is a must for strong relationships with our children. Check out these tips for how to engage with your child in meaningful ways through all that life brings.
Whether things are going great or there is struggle, identifying how we are feeling is a key to working through issues and communicating effectively. Help your child build their vocabulary of feelings. You can do this by modeling using feeling words: “I was disappointed today when my friend didn’t do what she said she would.” You can also ask them questions to help know more about how they’re feeling: “I see that you were angry when you had to come inside for dinner. Did you feel frustrated or sad that play time was over?”
Here are some words to get you started:
When things are going well
The perfect time to work on building great communication with your child is actually when everything is going well. Everyone is more willing to share when it’s positive, so take the opportunity to connect in new ways. This builds trust and positive relationships that children will rely on!
Try these ideas
When things are tough
There will be seasons of parenting where communicating with our children can be a bit harder. This might be because of busy schedules, differences in opinion, lack of time together or many other reasons. Don’t give up! Press in and keep working to connect. You children need and want it!
Try these ideas
When something is wrong
There will be times in life when events happen that impact your family. It might be a death, divorce, move, etc. These are the times when your children will fall back on the routines and comfort of what’s familiar. Use what you’ve been doing when things were good and lean into conversations about the hard parts of life.
Try these ideas
For more information on effective communication, see these resources:
Article from Center for Effective Parenting
Article from Smarter Parenting
Article from Center for Parenting Education
What is mental health and why does it matter?
First, let’s take a look at what exactly mental health is and why it matters. Mental health is a person’s condition with regard to their psychological, emotional, and social well-being.
It impacts many areas of life:
Ways to support your child:
Spend time together as a family
Spending time together as a family is a great way to support your children! Here are some fun activities to consider doing together:
Have meals together - make it a priority.
Take advantage of car time to chat about life.
Have consistent family meetings.
Implement monthly (or weekly) game nights.
Have special “dates” with each child individually for some quality one-on-one time.
Commit to weekly check-ins that allow children to share how things are going.
Open communication with our children is critical to supporting their mental health! Establishing quality time for connecting through conversation is so important so that when something is wrong they already feel comfortable coming to us.
If you sense that your child is struggling, don’t be afraid to get help!
Top 10 tips for supporting your child with homework
Check out the ideas below for ways to support students of all ages in doing homework at home.
What is the purpose of homework?
In general, there are four main reasons students will have homework:
Tips to set up your child for homework success
Most importantly, work with your child to make decisions as much as possible so that they feel a sense of ownership over their time!
How to support your child’s learning
When helping our children find success with homework, parents will likely have a time when behavior issues arise. Typically, what looks like “bad” behavior on the outside is a way that children show us they’re struggling on the inside. Look beyond the behavior and get to the real issue by remembering to…
Have you ever noticed that bad habits seem easy to pick up, while the positive habits can seem difficult to master? Check out the tips below to help you, and everyone in your family, create positive, lasting habits!
Positive habits help to
Listen to the latest Andover Airwaves podcast about healthy habits:
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become,” James Clear, Atomic Habits.
Creating a new routine or habit can be challenging. One way to make it easier is to try habit stacking! Think of a habit that you already have established, then “stack” a new habit onto it. Our brains love to make connections, so attaching something new to something you already do will help you remember to complete the new task.
Example: Your child wants to create a habit of reading for 10 minutes in the morning before school. She is already in the habit of eating breakfast every day. She can stack reading onto eating breakfast to help her brain remember to perform the new task.
Reflect and Celebrate!
Anytime we are working to create a new habit, it is important to build in checkpoints or intentional times to stop and reflect on how things are going. Make necessary changes to your behavior. Then, celebrate what is going well and reward yourself! This process builds stamina and a desire in our brains to continue the behavior.
Take some time to reflect, celebrate and look ahead as you kick off the new year!
Spend some time reflecting with your child about these or other similar questions:
Consider celebrating something from each of these categories. Let your child brainstorm what he/she is proud of and also share what you have noticed.
Use these questions to begin discussing plans and goals.