Teenagers and Tiktok| Parenting!
Although we all seem to love scrolling through TikTok, there is more to this application that meets the eye and certain issues related to it that must not be ignored.
Our children are often found scrolling through all different types of videos and although most seem to be age appropriate and light witted, there is a considerable number of videos that are certainly not the safest for the young eye.
As adults, we know what we can take legitimately and what needs to be perceived and taken like a grain of salt. However, our young children will not perceive things in the same way we do.
When scrolling endlessly through TikTok, it is likely you will come across some mental health videos where young children are sharing their mental health situations from a self-diagnosis viewpoint. This viewpoint results of other online sources which are often not founded on medical or other scientific consultations. While a lot of the posts might harmless and factual, the children are exposed to a lot of false information, diagnoses, and claims. This can complicate matters for the teenagers as they will begin to confuse typical teenage challenges with mental health illnesses.
We care deeply about our students and we are great supporters of social media. Children of today grow up enjoying different platforms, and, of course, there are numerous benefits to keeping up with the digital trends. However, it does not negate the fact that the young are impressionable. It is also important to remember, that even we, as adults, can be impressionable. Think about yourself. As an adult, how many times have you felt unwell and immediately consulted ‘Dr. Google’ for advice and self-diagnosis? You have most certainly found yourself worrying that your condition is far more serious than it really is. This is most definitely true for young people and their mental health.
So, what can we do to help them?
It is important that we keep our ears open. Often, we can get so distracted with daily life that we disregard our teens’ concerns and complaints and just believe they are being sensitive or overly dramatic. But in fact, conversations they try to initiate are very important to be listened to.
If they feel comfortable enough to talk to you, it is a great place to start. An issue is, we often find that teens are becoming distressed when they feel that their families or medical professionals dismiss their concerns and doubt to them. This is the worst response to situations like this and can actually provoke a more serious outcome.
Delete Social Media For a While
Us adults are known to feel more comfortable to take more social media breaks. However, it is not just us who need them. We all need to recharge and refocus our thoughts sometimes and the best way to do so is having a break from social networking platforms for some time. A lot of children will try to reject this idea. To find a solution for this, the parents must understand it wouldn’t hurt to take away their devices for a while and help them to focus their energy on more positive things like a hobby, schoolwork, or even more family time.
Why not have some family time and take the board games out of the long-closed cupboard? Or let your children turn-off their phone and go for a stroll with the whole family. We are not saying they need to be away from their phone for a full day but having some hours away from devices each day will really do a world of good!
Delete and Re-download
TikTok uses a powerful algorithm to curate users’ For You page and often similar topic videos are seen across the page to reflect what videos you have interacted with in the past. It may be a good idea to delete the account and start over completely. With a new account, you can avoid the type of content that isn’t good for your mental health and move on to new things. There is also an option where you can click “not interested” on mental health-related videos until they no longer show up on your page. It would be a good idea that parents sit with their children and go over this with them so that they understand what actions they can take if they come across too impressionable videos in the future and talk to them about that not everything you see online is trustworthy, credible, or healthy for you to watch.
We hope that you enjoyed this blog post and learnt something new! We would like to take this opportunity to also recommend to you a fantastic mummy-blog that we really recommend for all things children, lifestyle, health, family, birth, and relationships!
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