“Teens are doing what on Tik Tok?!” “How do I keep up?” “Ugh I should’ve never let my kid go on that app.” Parents likely know these feelings and sentiments well. Additionally, to confirm the fears that many parents have, the Wall Street Journal project The Facebook Files rung the alarm on the magnitude of the impact of social media. The report reads, “The tendency to share only the best moments, a pressure to look perfect and an addictive product can send teens spiraling toward eating disorders, an unhealthy sense of their own bodies and depression.” (WSJ 2021)
The hybrid Coffee Talk by Safe Harbor Coronado featuring Jon Moffat on “Navigating Parenting in the Digital-Age” was timely and informative. Moffat explained current popular social media platforms and trends and outlined practical tips. If you weren’t able to attend the event, you can receive the recording to watch on your own time by going to safeharborcoronado.org/upcoming-workshops and “registering” for the event for the next 30 days.
Here are four takeaways from the workshop:
- Learn how your child uses social media. How does the app work? Who are they following? Who is following them? What are they sharing? What are they liking? Are they public or private? Are they a moderator of any pages? Does the app have a geolocation setting? What does the app have access to?
- Praise your child for when they bring difficult information to you. Do not demonize technology or your child for the things they bring you. Instead, practice curiosity and view the situation as a learning opportunity for you and your child.
- Create agreements and open conversation by creating a contract. For example, “I will include my parents when digital drama happens, we will make a plan to deal with it together” and “I will go over any new apps, games, or accounts with parents prior to use.”
- Utilize practical “brain-hacking” solutions. Jon Moffat included in his presentation: turn on “grey scale mode,” turn off notifications unless there’s a real-world connection, do not use your phone as an alarm clock, limit number of followers/ and friends to make the stage smaller, etc.
Moffat concluded his presentation with, “We need to be on the same page. We need to start looking at our kids’ social media and have conversations with them. Start now. Talk to your child about how they use social media, who they interact with, and keep the conversation going.”
Parents left feeling refreshed and empowered with information and tools. One parent said, “I have used info from his prior talks and my daughter now agrees that advice I used from him to protect her online was a good thing. She will do the same in the future with kids down the road.”
Another parent responded, “My kiddos are still in elementary school and I haven’t felt the need. After this Coffee Talk I see there is a HUGE need to start and install safe practices NOW! like ‘no electronics in the bedroom.'”
Keep the conversation going with Safe Harbor Coronado. Safe Harbor has access to the tools, resources, and industry professionals you need to navigate the ever-changing landscape of parenting and adolescence.
You are invited to be a Wellness Champion today. Safe Harbor invites you to:
- PARTICIPATE in an upcoming dynamic workshop or receive counseling. Safe Harbor’s next community events will take place in November on suicide education and prevention. Go to SafeHarborCoronado.org/upcoming-workshops
- VOLUNTEER and work with their staff to support youth and families
- DONATE to remove barriers, cultivate hope, and empower Coronado youth & families to be resilient and thrive.
To receive a recording of the presentation or for more information go to SafeHarborCoronado.org, sign up for our e-newsletter, and follow us on social media @SafeHarborCoronado to make sure you never miss a Safe Harbor event.