In the car. During dinner. At the store. Does it seem like your daughter is constantly on her cell phone? In a world in which selfies and pictures of hair, clothes, and Starbucks drinks run the lives of teenage girls, it’s never been more important to get a handle on your daughter’s social media usage. In fact, a recent study by CNN revealed a disconnect between what parents think about their kids' posts and how their children are actually feeling, finding that 60% of parents underestimated how lonely, worried and depressed their kids were. Even though it’s nearly impossible to control every aspect of your daughter’s activity on social media, you can be involved and set some foundational ground rules.
Here are some important ways you can help your daughter break free of social media addiction:
Discuss social media’s potentially harmful effects.
Most teenagers don’t understand the ramifications social media can have on their lives both now and in the future. It’s your job to start a dialogue about the potentially negative consequences social media can have on your daughter’s reputation, such as affecting her admission to college or landing an internship or summer job. Explaining how certain posts and pictures can be poorly perceived by colleges and employers will help your daughter think more clearly about how she uses social media and how she presents herself online.
Take action, but have empathy.
One of the most helpful things you can do is show your daughter that you understand the role social media plays in her friendships and social life. Rather than completely prohibit the use of sites like Facebook and Instagram, help your daughter set boundaries and recognize what is appropriate to post. Consider establishing rules with your daughter about the type of content she is allowed to share on her profiles. For example, maybe you decide that bikini pictures are off limits. If your daughter is resistant to your guidelines, you may have to start actively monitoring her social media activity more closely.
Get your daughter involved in activities.
Getting your daughter off her phone and involved in fun activities will naturally reduce her social media usage and give her more confidence. Promoting a balanced lifestyle is critical for helping your daughter become well-rounded and engaged in real life. The more your daughter is exposed to the world around her, the more she will feel comfortable in her own skin rather than influenced by the superficiality of the Internet. Whether it’s sports, music, community service or any other hobby or interest, these types of activities will empower your daughter and allow her to feel fulfilled by her accomplishments.
Have you noticed signs of social media addiction in your daughter? Learn how Amy can help and get in touch for a free phone consultation today!