5 Ways Social Media Affects Kids’ Mental Health

5 Ways Social Media Affects Kids' Mental Health

3. Social Media Dependence Leads to Less Independence

Social media usage and screen time are passive activities that do not promote your child’s brain growth or development. Additionally, using social media applications and watching TV do not encourage kids to participate in critical thinking or hands-on learning.

Children under two should not have any screen time, and children over two should limit their daily screen time to an hour or two, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The typical American kid between the ages of 8 and 12 uses devices for four to six hours per day, while adolescents use them for seven to nine hours per day, according to APA study.

The development of the brain as a whole is hampered by excessive screen time, which also causes behavioral issues, learning difficulties, attention deficit disorder, and other disorders. Children learn best via hands-on activities, and they need mental stimulation and engagement.

The following recommendations from the APA for kids and screen usage are:

  • Avoid screen-based media for children under 18 months, with the exception of video chatting.
  • Parents should choose high-quality programs for children ages 18 to 24 months and watch it with them.
  • Limit screen usage for kids aged 2 to 5 to one hour per day of high-quality content.
  • Set regular restrictions on the amount of time and the sorts of media used by kids 6 and older.

How to Help Kids Be More Independent

There are various ways parents may utilize screen time as a beneficial and fruitful learning experience. Not all screen time is bad. For instance, making screen time active rather than passive may engage a child’s brain and help them develop the critical thinking abilities that passive media hinders.

  • As a group, watch television. Asking questions when the TV is off will encourage thinking.
  • Discuss the story, characters, conflict, and resolution after the film.
  • Perform puppet performances or tales based on their favorite television programs and movies.
  • Use their preferred television to pique their curiosity.
    • Take them to a museum to view dinosaur skeletons if they like watching dinosaur shows.
    • Enroll them in a dancing or music lesson if they like music.
  • Try to find software and games that promote critical thinking and problem-solving.
  • Recognize that social media usage by adolescents is acceptable and that technology will not go away. Teenagers may interact with peers and learn more about themselves via their social media profiles.
    • Discuss with your kid acceptable and inappropriate internet activity, including what they should and should not watch, do, publish, and say.
    • Educate your youngster or adolescent about the permanence of the internet. Their online footprint will include anything they publish.
    • Join your child’s social media so you can see their postings when necessary, but refrain from using it as a spying tool.
    • Install a monitoring program that won’t violate your teen’s privacy but will let you know if anything suspicious happens.
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