Title: How Do I Teach My Teenager To Use Social Media Responsibly?
00:00:01 Speaker 1
Is too much social media for your teenager getting in the way of her homework and her sleep? Well,
we're talking about that today on Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed marriage
and family therapist, and I specialize in helping kids, teens, and families live happier lives.
I lead two organizations teen Therapy Center and the nonprofit 501 c three organization, child
and Teen Counseling, both here in Woodland Hills, California. Every Wednesday at noon, I jump
onto Facebook Live to answer your parenting questions. Let's jump into today's any tips on
how I can control my teen from getting into instant messaging and social media sites? I could
block all those sites, but I don't want to do that. I really want my daughter to use them responsibly
only when she needs it. But she keeps misusing that access. She spends too much time on discord
and then keeps working on homework until early morning every single day. It is spoiling her
health and mine too. I don't know how to make
her understand how her habits are hurting her. I don't think you do make her understand that.
I don't think she's going to any more than your five year old is going to understand that chocolate
ice cream is not a viable meal, breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Your teenager has a developing
brain. It is not fully developed. It is an adolescent brain, which means she's going to be more
impulsive than the average adult. She's not going to be able to see cause and effect like the
average adult. This is not because she's a bad kid or anything. It's just it's biology. It is
just like a 14 year old boy can't grow a beard that well, your teenage daughter is going to have
a hard time recognizing that what she wants in the immediate is not good for her long term. She's
not going to see how it's affecting her sleep and her homework and all this stuff. So you're going
to have to step in and help set these boundaries with her. Now, mind you, now notice I didn't say
for her, although you may have
to, but you want to do it with her. So this is what I'm talking about. Not when you guys are stressed,
not when you're trying to get her do homework. Do this on a Sunday afternoon. It's kind of lazy,
easy going. And you sit her down and say, hey, we need to work this out because there's too much
screen time. It's interfering with your homework, interfering with your sleep. She'll probably
get upset. Stay calm. Don't jump into the argument. Stay calm. One of you has to be the mature,
responsible adult in that conversation, and your teenage daughter is not qualified. But if
you're calm and you talk to her about setting boundaries, perhaps instead of doing her homework
in her room where she has no supervision, maybe doing it at the dining room table or the kitchen
table where you're around, whether you're getting dinner ready or you're doing your own emails
or something like that. You don't need to hover over her. But just being near her may minimize
not eliminate, but minimize some of the
distractions. You're not looking for perfection, just looking for good enough. Now, some
kids, most kids I know, I was one of these kids. If I have music, I focus better, but just quiet
ambient noise is way too distracting. So you tell her to pick a playlist, put the earbuds in and
go. She can't keep picking new songs every five minutes, and maybe that helps her focus. And
she's going to say, but wait, I've got to talk to my friends, talk about the homework assignment.
We're supposed to talk to each other. Okay, if you're doing it in the kitchen and I'm there, she's
not going to go too far afield. She's going to stay kind of within bounds. If she's going too far
and talking about social media too much or this and that, you can say, hey, I need to get back to
homework. Just a reminder. Hopefully she gets back to it. Hopefully that's good enough. If
not, you may have to set stricter boundaries. You may have to get some software on your phone
or your tablet that can shut things down on her
tablet and phone. There's plenty of these software apps out there. Go into your app store. There's
many of them. Don't think any of them are perfect. They all had their flaws. But you kind of shop
around, figure out which one's best for you. That way, instead of getting the tug of war with
the phone or the tablet, you just go on your phone and boop, turn off the tablet or boop, turn off
that application, turn off Instagram or whatever it is you need to do from your phone. And again,
there are plenty of apps that do that. So I also would recommend, if sleep is an issue, figure
out what time is her sleep, what time you want her to go to sleep. Let's say it's 1030, for example.
She should be off screens an hour to two before she goes to sleep. Otherwise her brain is still
going to be really stimulated. Now, let's say it's 1030 is her bedtime. And you say, all right,
I need you off screens by 09:00. That means you too. Walk the walk you're asking your daughter
to make. If you want her off screens
at nine, then you be off screens too. Now, I know you're thinking, hey, I'm an adult. I've worked
hard all day. I want to watch my show. Set the example for your daughter. It's going to go a lot
better. As if you're on your screens and you're doing your Facebook likes and she can't be on
her screens. It's going to scream of hypocrisy, and she will go down with the ship fighting you
on this. It'll cause a lot more resentment. Instead, take that time to have family time. I know,
crazy, right? Have some family time where you guys can connect without screens. It's a big topic.
I do a whole presentation on this topic, so I'm trying to shrink it all into one cute little video.
But if you have more questions on this, please email us at email@example.com.
That's the same email if you want me to answer your question next week, your parenting question,
email us there. I'd love your questions. You can direct message us right here on Facebook. Thank
you very much. My name is Kent Toussaint
with teen therapy center and child and teen counseling. And I'll see you guys next week, Wednesday
at noon on Facebook live. Bye.
Your Teen Can’t See How Screens & Social Media Are Affecting Them
Many parents would like to reign in their teen’s social media use. Appealing to your kid’s ability to see the bigger picture about how social media affects their physical or mental health is unlikely to work. The odds are you’re not going to make them understand “responsible” social media use by reason alone.
The human brain doesn’t fully develop until age 25. It’s not realistic to expect teens to understand cause and effect the way you do as an adult. Your teen is going to have a hard time recognizing how what they want in the immediate is affecting them in the long term.
Make Boundaries With Your Kids
Parents who want to limit their teen’s social media use need to step in and set boundaries not for their kids, but with their kids. This means that at a calm time (not in the heat of the moment) you need to sit down with your kid and work it out. Talk to them about setting boundaries, and get them involved in the solution. Perhaps the best thing parents can do is set the right example. If you want your kid to be off social media at a certain time, you have to do the same! Screens and social media are a huge issue for families, and we talk about in this Tips on Teens:
“Any tips on how I can control my teen from getting into instant messaging and social media sites? I could block all those sites, but I don’t want to do that. I really want my daughter to use them responsibly only when she needs it but she keeps misusing that access. She spends too much time on Discord and then keeps working on homework until early morning every single day. It is spoiling her health and mine too. I don’t know how to make her understand how her habits are hurting her.”
Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. We love to hear from you!
Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE! Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/
If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.