Psychology today mentions in a post that Kids Teens’ brains are simply too immature to use social media appropriately. I really love middle school kids. I have two lovely boys of my own. If you have been through middle-school parenting, you may have noticed what I see: Strange things seem to happen to a tween’s brain the first day they walk into middle school.
One might sum up their main goals in life this way:
- To be funny at all costs. (Hence, the silly bathroom jokes, talking at inappropriate times in class, and the”whatever needed to be hot” attitude.)
- To focus on SELF — their clothes, their nose, their body, and their hair.
- To try new things. They are playing “dress up” with their identity, trying on things to see what fits. They are impulsive and scattered, they are up and they are down, and it even seems that they have regressed in their development on their quest for independence.
As the parent, you are changing, too, as you enter the stage of Parenting when you quickly depart from the naïve platform of”My child would not…” to the realization that,”I’m convinced my kid did this. I am sorry, and excuse his behaviour, he’s going through a stage.”
Your list of daily parenting instruction may include statements like:
- “If you can not say anything nice, do not say anything in any way!”
- “How many times do I need to tell you not the use that phrase?”
- “Stop turning that jar!”
- “Stop burping the ABC’s!”
- “You’re behaving like a 2-year-old.”
- “What exactly were you thinking?”
Then it happens: Maybe because we are exhausted from their constant begging for a phone, or because we think that all their friends have one, or because we want to upgrade ours to the latest model…we cave. We act on impulse. Our brain seems to regress like theirs, and we give them our old smartphone.
And with that one little decision comes the world of social media access–something we haven’t thought about and something none of us is prepared for. Because the midbrain is reorganizing itself and risk-taking is high and impulse control is low, I can’t imagine a worse time in a child’s life to have access to social media than middle school. Here are just a few reasons why:
- Social media was not designed for them. A tween’s underdeveloped frontal cortex can’t manage the distraction nor the temptations that come with social media use. While you start teaching responsible use of tech now, know that you will not be able to teach the maturity that social media requires. Like trying to make clothes fit that are way too big, they will use social media inappropriately until they are older and it fits them better.
- Social media is an entertainment technology. It does not make your child smarter or more prepared for real life or a future job; nor is it necessary for healthy social development. It is pure entertainment attached to a marketing platform extracting bits and pieces of personal information and preferences from your child every time they use it, not to mention hours of their time and attention.
- A tween’s”longer is better” mentality is a dangerous match for social media. Do they really have 1,456 friends? Do they really need to be on it nine hours a day? Social media allows (and encourages) them to overdo their friend connections like they tend to overdo other things in their lives.
- Social media is an addictive form of screen entertainment. And, like video game addiction, early use can set up future addiction patterns and habits.
- Social media replaces learning the hard social”job” of dealing face-to-face with peers, a skill that they will need to practice to be successful in real life.
- Social media can cause teens to lose connection with family and instead view”buddies” as their base . Considering that the cognitive mind is still being shaped, the demand for the adolescent to be connected to your own family is just as important today as when they were younger. Ensure attachment is powerful. While they want attachments for their buddies, they want healthy family attachment more.
- Social networking usage represents missing potential for adolescents . While you can argue that there are particular advantages of social websites for adolescents, the prices are extremely high throughout the adolescent years when their brain growth is functioning at peak performance for studying new things. It’s not hard for teenagers to waste a lot of the time and also much of the mind in an electronic world. We all know from many studies it is extremely hard for them to balance all of it.
How Can Kids Slow Down?
We Will Need to slow down and rethink what we are letting Our children to perform. We will need to comprehend that the world of social networking and how adolescents use it differently in adults. Here are a couple suggestions that work well for most parents.
- Delay access. The more parents delay accessibility, the longer a child might need to grow so he or she is able to utilize technology more sensibly as a young adult. Delaying access also puts a higher importance on creating private real connections first.
- Follow their account . Social networking solitude is a lie: Nothing is personal in the electronic world, and therefore it shouldn’t be personal to parents. Ensure privacy settings are set up but knownohat those configurations may provide you a false sense of safety. Encourage your teenager to have personal conversations in person or through a verbal telephone call rather in case they don’t need you to examine it on social networking.
- Create family accounts. Produce family accounts rather than individual adolescent accounts. This permits children to keep up with friends in a more secure social networking surroundings .
- Allow societal websites only on big displays . Permit your teenagers to simply use their social networking accounts on home computers or notebooks from plain view, this way they’ll use it . When it’s used on a tiny personal phone display they could place inside their pockpocket,re are far more possible issues with reckless usage. The more key the accessibility, the more possible for poor decisions.
- Keep a sharp watch on the clock; they won’t . Do you understand how much time your child spends on social websites per day? Be conscious of that, and cut back the total amount of time that your kid is on societal websites across all platforms. The average adolescent spends nine hours a day attached to social websites. Rather, place one time every day for 3 days each week for your child to verify their social websites. Can they take advantage of greater time than that?
- Plan face-to-face time with their buddies. Remember they don’t want 842 buddies; four-to-six close buddies are sufficient for healthy social development. Help them understand how to plan actual, in-person, societal get-togethers like a leave-phones-at-the-door celebration, a house movie night, bowling, board games, cooking pizza, or even hosting a bonfire. They crave those social parties so invite them to invite friends over and assist them (as desired ) to arrange the event.
- Spend more actual non-tech time collectively . Teens that are strongly connected to their family and parents reveal more complete pleasure and achievement in life. They need us more than ever before. It’s not hard to detach from themTeens could be bothersome! But attaching to household permits them to detach from the societal networking play. Your child should feel as though they could come home and leave the play of the social world behind for a couple hours. They would like you to help them say no to social websites and yes to additional time with the household. They’re craving those minutes to detach, so make strategies and promote this in your home.
Do not give that smartphone all of the energy in your house; help Tweeteensose fitter forms of amusement. They have the remainder of Their own life to be amused with social networking, but just a restricted time with you.
Credits to Psychology Today, you can read the whole article here