¿Le preocupa el uso que su hijo adolescente da a las redes sociales? Unos expertos ofrecen ayuda

Thursday, January 13, 2022 – Is your teen watching his smartphone all day? Experts say there are many things parents can do to protect their children from the potential negative effects of social media.

Although social media has its positive aspects, there is evidence that it can pose a mental health risk to teens, due to issues such as bullying, body image issues, and other social pressures.

“The reality is that social media is a part of the world we live in, and it is not going away,” said Marie Radzik, MD, a clinical psychologist in the Department of Adolescent and Adult Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

“We can’t just take phones or computers away from children. It’s about figuring out how we can direct them to use and manage these tools,” Radzik said in a hospital news release.

Some signs of problems with teens’ social networking include changes in moods, eating and sleeping habits, as well as isolating themselves in their rooms. In these cases, parents may need to start a conversation about teens’ use of social media, using “I” statements rather than “you,” Radzik suggested.

Instead of saying, “You use Instagram a lot, and it’s bad for you,” try, “I noticed this and I’m really worried. Can we talk about it?” If your teen doesn’t want to talk right now, tell him you’ll be there when he feels ready.

“A young man’s reprimand makes him closed,” Radzik warned. “Or sometimes, parents are browsing their children’s social media, and this can seem aggressive. It should be approached from a place of interest and concern, rather than as something punitive or accusatory.”

Sarah Foer, MD, a social worker in the division of psychiatry at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, said parents should frequently review and take care of teens’ use of social media.

Parents may want to ask their teens how they use social media — whether they share updates with their friends, follow certain celebrities or influencers, or seek advice — and how they feel when using it, she said.

If you are sure that social media is negatively affecting your teen’s mental health, suggest that he take a break or even delete his account.

“There are some young people who can break the cycle, and that sometimes requires parental help,” Radzik said.

Before a child begins using social media, parents need to set standards, according to Radzik.

“When children are allowed access to a smartphone at an early age, it can be a problem,” he warned. “I understand the need to use them sometimes, especially age-appropriate materials. But as parents, we need to foster curiosity about the world around us and use creativity tools rather than relying on social media all the time.”

more information

Learn more about children and the media at the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Article by HealthDay, translated by HolaDoctor.com

Source: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, press release, January 10, 2022

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