Is your child struggling with their self-image, and how to portray themselves on social media? How do you talk to them about it without making them feel like your judging them. That’s the topic we take on in this Tips on Teens video.
“My teenage daughter is committed to posting on social media at a certain time. It doesn’t happen daily, but when she commits to it, the sense of urgency of getting the right picture taken and edited in time for the post is high. Also, it’s never just one picture. There has to be at least two. Given the limited number of posts on the account, an extra effort is made to make sure that the picture she posts includes as much of ‘everything’ as possible. Meaning, if the teen has seen other teens’ posts where nice shoes, or a nice purse, or a nice background and lighting are included (not all in one picture), my teen makes sure that in her post, she is including ALL of those things. It makes the picture not seem natural. In my eyes, the picture looks like a desperate effort to gain validation about so many things (fancy shoes; designer purse; vacation background; skin smoothing editing; sex appeal). When I ask my teen what message she is trying to convey, or mention that the photo doesn’t seem natural and instead looks like a lot of effort, I am met with accusations that I am body shaming; that I don’t EVER approve of any picture; that other kids are posting the same; and I am sent pics of a her sobbing after an obvious tantrum. It’s easy for me to say ‘I don’t approve. You may not post it. We will discuss tonight.’ To which she replies, ‘fine, but it has to be before 6:30pm’ (her post time). How do I get my message across and help my kid not look so desperate?”