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Serving troubled & at-risk girls.
In 2021, tween girls spent an average of almost five hours using screens for entertainment per day while teen girls spent about eight hours per day.
The majority of parents (68%) believe that the use of social media has a negative impact on their teen’s ability to socialize normally
Social media can have an impact on girls, educating them in direct and indirect ways about cultural norms and values. Due to the limited ways girls and women are often depicted in media, including TV, movies, and social media, girls’ understanding of who and what they can be is constrained and their mental health can be negatively impacted
Instead, of going back and forth with your daughter over social media and other online activity, treat the situation like you do other sensitive topics: communication.
Talks with your teen should include:
- Teaching them how to manage their privacy settings.
- Cautioning them about what information they include in social media posts, including what’s in their photos.
- Insisting that they don’t connect with anyone online unless they know them “in real life” already.
Many things can be done to ensure your teen’s safety online. A few tips:
- If you pay for their phone or their monthly plan, consider making them sign a contract that stipulates that you are allowed access to their device (better for younger teens).
- Conduct regular searches online for your child’s name — you may find information about your child published online that you were previously unaware of.
- Keep your child’s phone someplace where they can’t access it at night, such as in your bedroom.
- Consider installing a parent-control app on your child’s phone; Digital Trends and Tom’s Guide publish lists of apps and how they can help you monitor your child’s activity.
Educate yourself about apps used by some teens that hide or disguise what they have on their phones.
Potential risks of social media include:
- Exposure to harmful or inappropriate content (e.g., sex, drugs, violence, etc.)
- Exposure to dangerous people
- Cyber bullying, a risk factor for depression and suicide
- Oversharing personal information
- Exposure to excessive advertisements
- Privacy concerns including the collection of data about teen users
- Identity theft or being hacked
- Interference with sleep, exercise, homework, or family activities
Credit: American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Teen girls open up about the ‘constant pressure’ of social media
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…because every girl should believe she matters.
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