Christmas is over and a new year, new term has begun. All that chatter and gossip about what happened, what presents you had....who got the most....who was pleased...who may have been disappointed perhaps? You wouldn't think that children would feel that way but maybe social media can make them feel as if they have to. After all the chatter is not just in the playground it's on social media too. Senior school pupils are very social media savvy and to some extent, primary school kids are too.
Comparisons of this kind with others can make some children feel inadequate, possibly damaging their self esteem. This is how social media can be potentially harmful and children need guidance and reassurance from us as parents and from professionals.
It’s very important for parents to keep an eye on how their children use social media. Are they under pressure to pester parents for the latest gadgets/gizmos and phones? Are they under pressure to send compromising pictures of themselves on Facebook or other sites? Do some children feel that they have to lie about their lifestyle, family, home environment, for example. These issues can be worrying and need to be acknowledged.
Communication with your children is important. Ask questions and be observant, without being overbearing but respecting their privacy.
A recent BBC report gives more details and you can read this in full on the Happier Parenting Facebook page.
Tina Williams 5/12/18
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