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How to Prevent Social Media from Harming Your Children’s Mental Health

How to Prevent Social Media from Harming Your Children's Mental Health

In today’s age of technology, children are increasingly spending more time on social media. Social media use can have both positive and negative implications for the mental wellbeing and development of children. Among the positive uses of social media for children are expanding social networks, learning more about important issues, and staying in touch with friends and family. 

However, if social media use is unrestricted, then too much time and thought, bordering on obsession, could be put into developing an online persona. Children who spend too much time on social media may also experience a decline in mental health. Teaching children how to break away from the overuse of social media can be difficult, but the rewards of engaging in more healthy online behaviors may be well worth it. 

The following article will explore some of the top ways to limit the use of social media in order to promote strong mental health. If you find that your child requires more assistance with their mental health issues, it may be smart to speak with a therapist. To find qualified online counselors who will work with your child, try exploring MyTherapist for more information.

How to Limit Use of Social Media

Parents or other adults are often advised to start by identifying the cause of a child’s mental health struggles. Understanding the causes behind a child’s underlying struggles with social media use can greatly aid in the development of effective plans to change behavior. 

Often, the child’s usage of social media must be limited in order to improve their mental wellbeing. Especially when children are stressed, social media has been shown to act as a catalyst in the development of mental health disorders. 

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Physical Distance

One method that has proven simple yet effective is preventing a child from accessing their phone when it is near their bedtime. People often peruse social media apps without direction while laying in bed before they fall asleep, and good quality sleep is important for young people.

Instead of allowing a child to keep their phone nearby while they sleep, it may be beneficial to keep the phone in another room so that they cannot hop on social media sites at night or in the morning, especially without supervision. This measure may help limit the total time your child spends on social media and aid in the development of stronger mental health. It is typically considered to be unhealthy for children’s minds to constantly think about social media, as it can cause unsubstantiated feelings of inadequacy. 

Screen Time Limiting Apps and Tracking

One more way to help your child reduce the time they spend on social media is to use apps that monitor their time online. Apps can be used to help ensure that your child engages in screen-free time and/or social media-free time. Additionally, iPhones include features that track the amount of time spent on the phone and on each app; these features also allow for the establishment of screen time limits. 

Finding Alternatives

If you would like your child to avoid using their phones in general, it may be helpful to spend time with them. Engaging in at least one hour of screen-free activities per day can help your child realize that there are plenty of great activities to enjoy outside of social media. Getting involved in hobbies such as exercising, fishing, or hiking can help children forget about phones for some time. 

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When children spend time with friends without the interruptions of phones, they can focus on the cultivation of meaningful relationships. It is a great idea for children to meet up with friends and have some wholesome fun. Friendship provides a necessary outlet for expression during childhood. 

Dedicating more time to schoolwork has proven to be a constructive method for children to detach from their phones. Focusing on school work will help children become better learners, perform better on exams, and prepare for the next step of their academic careers. 

If you would like to reduce your child’s time spent on social media, there is no time to waste. Reduce their screen time, help them avoid excessive social media use, and get them back to feeling normal. If you have trouble helping your child break free of social media usage, consider meeting with a counselor. Talk to a child about why they use social media excessively, if you feel that they do; you may be misunderstanding their situation or overlooking a greater issue that contributes to the phone attachment.

About the Author

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with MyTherapist.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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