Saturday, April 2, 2011

Get in touch with your child's social media habits now!

Social media is one of those areas where your child is unlikely to appreciate the risks until they already are deep into the habit of devoting a great deal of time to it. It is new area parents must be vigilant about. Not only should a parent know how much their child is using Facebook, for instance, but they should also have a regular dialogue about what is going on and how the child is reacting.

Furthermore, use should be restricted so that non-cyber activities predominate. And for younger children, the use of social media needs to be prevented, since the child needs to have a grounding in reality before he or she begins to participate in the what some are now calling the "Fakebook" scene. One 16-year-old in a newspaper interview said it was like a giant popluarity contest. It can exaggerate the already stressful effects of artificial competition for popularity in the school or neighborhood environment.

Here is the latest news.

CHICAGO (AP) — Add “Facebook depression” to potential harms linked with social media, an influential doctors’ group warns, referring to a condition it says may affect troubled teens who obsess over the online site. A NEW CONDITION?

Researchers disagree on whether it’s simply an extension of depression some kids feel in other circumstances, or a distinct condition linked with using the online site. But there are unique aspects of Facebook that can make it a particularly tough social landscape to navigate for kids already dealing with poor self-esteem, said Dr. Gwenn O’Keeffe, a Boston-area pediatrician and lead author of new American Academy of Pediatrics social media guidelines.

Parenting Tip for Today: Randy Rolfe, author of The Seven Secrets of Successful Parents, recommends that parents be in touch with their children about their use of Facebook. For kids under 18 living at home they need to limit the child's time spent on social media or any type of cyber screen. And they should get their child to agree to let them have access to their Facebook and other pages. Things that go on on these pages are in fact public and a parent has the right and duty to guide their child's public activities for the sake of their child's reputation and future.

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