Social Media and Our Children

For those of you who have followed my blog for a while, you will be familiar with my series on asking those with small children what they think the teen years will really be like. One of the questions asks parents what they are most worried about. This was, without doubt, social media.

Mother Pukka responded to the question with this:

‘The Internet freaks me out when it comes to teens. I literally have learned everything about parenting from my Mum but this is a whole new ball game. She had to
basically stop us playing too much Tetris – now it’s like this world of social media that I have no idea how to control. I fear I’ll be the one deleting Mae’s Facebook profile in a frenzied rage. The other thing is, my life is on social media so I’m bound to get the “well, you can talk Mum, look at yourself prancing about all over the shop.”‘

The Unmumsy Mum was honest in her response with:

“I’d quite honestly hate to be a teenager in the age of Snapchat and Tinder and god knows what else will be around by the time my two are teens. I imagine I will be fretting about their safety online, worrying that they feel under pressure to look or act a certain way”

Others wrote very similar concerns. So, how as parents can we best handle the situation with our own children as they are exposed more and more to social media? One thing is certain, it is here to stay. We have to embrace it and we have to equip ourselves with appropriate tools to best deal with issues as they arise. For many reading this post, I know social media is an important part of your own life. That makes the whole argument with our children so much harder. Mother Pukka made a good point!

There is a lot of negativity around children and social media. Bullying, body confidence issues, relentless comparison. There is nothing new about these issues but they are heightened by social media in so far as that there is a constant reminder if you allow it to be there. The ability to shut the front door and remove yourself from a situation has become so much harder.

However, we mustn’t ignore the benefits of social media, also. For those that may be very shy, they have a medium to communicate through which doesn’t involve face to face contact. Not everyone is as confident as their social media profile may portray.

With all of this in mind, I have decided to hold an event, bringing in the expert help of two counsellors from BE Integrative Therapy. Amongst many areas, Sarah and Jayne also specialise in child and teen behaviour. They work also with parents to help resolve issues that their children may have. Their advice focuses on the positive aspects of parenting.

So, if social media is a concern for you as your children grow, come and join us on the 27th May in London for an informal but informative question and answer session where we can talk these issues through. Sarah and Jayne will aim for you to leave the session armed with some practical advice and tips on dealing with social media going forward. Oh and there’s a glass of prosecco at the end for those who fancy staying a little longer for a chat and catch up!

All details and information on purchasing a ticket is in the link below and if anyone has any questions or would like some further information please leave a comment below or email me at helen@justsayingmum.com

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/just-saying-mum-live-tickets-33488631398

81 thoughts on “Social Media and Our Children

  1. What a great idea for an event – social media is such an important issue that affects all parents. Thankfully I won’t have to deal with it for another few years – but God knows what technology will be around by then! #DreamTeam

    Liked by 1 person

  2. #dreamteam sounds like a fab idea. Im a child protection officer in a secondary school and one of the most fab things we do its support parents and update them on whats hot and what frigging dangerous. After all the internet offer so much – like your posts 🙂 Hope the event goes well and helps others

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  3. This sounds like an incredible event Helen. My two are still too little for it to be a worry for now, but I know that we will have a battle on our hands as they get older. It can be a scary world online and I think the best that we can do is to try to give them the tools to take the positives from it, and to handle the negative side responsibly. x

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I can imagine. The very thought of it terrifies me – sessions like this are worth their weight in gold in my opinion and I’ll need all the help I can get when the time comes! Thanks for linking up to #DreamTeam lovely x

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a great idea – I think it’s a huge worry for all parents! I’m lucky that my husband is very techy, so we’ll be fine on setting up the right access levels for things, but the emotional side of social media for teenagers is still very much a minefield! Best of luck with this event – it’s a bit early in my parenting career to be for me, but I’m sure it’ll be a huge success. #FamilyFun

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    1. Thank you so much, Katy. It definitely is the emotional side that needs addressing. Everyone is hopefully up on the safety side these days thank goodness but the emotional issues are huge. Thank you for your encouragement xx

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  5. What a brilliant idea, Helen. It’s definitely something that concerns me but I agree there are many positives to be had – I was watching a programme the other day and a teenage girl who lives in a rural area and is a lesbian was saying how without social media she would literally have had 2 options of people to date! It has allowed her to find a whole community of people going through the same things she is and also of course to try and find love, ha!
    I would definitely be attending the event if I was a few years further into this parenting lark (and wasn’t heavily pregnant!). I am sort of naively hoping that by the time we get to this stage there will be tons of advice and help with dealing with these tricky situations so we will know how to approach it… fingers crossed! #FamilyFun

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    1. That’s so interesting you mention that programme, Ellen, as one of the biggest stresses that counsellors are seeing at the moment are gender issues and identity. I’ve a blog coming on that soon in conjunction with another teen you counsellor I’m in touch with. It’s wonderful to see the positive aspect of social media as there is plenty but it’s learning how to adapt and live in a world that’s virtual too. Thank you for your lovely comment xx

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  6. Such a good idea Helen. I also worry how it’ll be for my litttle when he gets older and I fear that it’s going to be pre-teen issues before long!! Hope it’s successful, good luck and ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

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  7. The event sounds fantastic. We are away as it’s half term, but I wish you every success with it.
    Again, as your self-appointed PR guru (!) I could totally see you taking this on the road and going into schools or having events for parents etc! The Just Saying Mum Roadshow. I look forward to hearing about it! #DREAMTEAM

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are amazing! Holding an event on the subject- what a great idea!

    I am petrified that social media is a comin’ to get my 2 babies in the not too distant future. All pouty and counting likes as if your life depends on it. Scary… I mean, I don’t behave like that on social media. Not at all….!!!!!??!!

    Big love gorge

    #familyfun

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  9. That chat sounds really fantastic. I’d come if it wasn’t do far (my kids are so young at the moment, if they were older I’d probably make sure I attended). Social media is such a minefield!

    #FamilyFun

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  10. I really worry about it too and it’s links to mental health issues – yes people may be shy but being locked in a room only talking via a screen really scares me. But like you say it’s here to stay so I hope by then i will know more about how to help my daughter if she needs it. Good luck with the event it sounds fab. I can’t attend as I’m at radio 1/ big weekend – holding onto the tiny bit of youth I still have hahah!!!#FamilyFun

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  11. AH Helen this is a wonderful idea and I truly wish you nothing but success with it. Saturday’s are the worst day for me to get child care so I don’t think I will be able to make it, also mine are still very young. That said though I think social media will be a problem for mine and their peers way before their teenage years (ARGH!!). Like so many other mums I am absolutely petrified of parenting teens on social media. Mark and I found it difficult with his teen so to say I am nervous about the future with mine is an understatement. Once again good luck lovey and I look forward to reading all about it. Thanks for sharing at #familyfun

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    1. Thank you so so much for your comment. I think you’re right, this isn’t just a teen issue by any means! I think we need to be addressing it far younger with parents before it becomes a problem. Shame you can’t make it but I do understand xx

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  12. Sounds like a great event! My little girl is only 18 months but I am slightly terrified about handling the social media thing when she’s older – all I had was ocassional access to a PC and a mobile phone as big as a brick! #MarvMondays

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  13. We have an e-safety meeting coming up at my son’s infant school 😦 starting to worry and they’re nowhere near teens yet: need support early! #bigpinklink

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  14. I won’t be able to make the event but I agree with the concerns in this area. We are intending to apply the same rules that we had for computers to our children as they grow (ie used in a family/ shared room and within certain time limits) but how this will work when they are fully fledged teenagers I have no idea! #bigpinklink

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    1. From experience it is very hard to police. With all the good intentions they still have access to phones and that is where the lines get blurred. I will definitely be writing up the event so hopefully there will be some good advice and useful advice that will come out xx

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  15. I worry how much it’s going to change by the time by daughter is a teenager, I still have a while to go but it’s the bullying side that I worry about. I was bullied as a child and I know when 3 o’clock came I was safe at home but now it carrys to the home with social media, that is one of my biggest worries for Heidi #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I so agree with you – that not being able to shut the front door on it is so so tough. Sarah and Jayne who are the counsellors at this event are excellent at providing help and tips for parents. If you’d like to come along to the event so that you’re prepared we’d love to see you. I think it’s important to have parents at the event who don’t have children in the thick of it as their perspective is valuable as to what they are concerned about xx

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  16. It’s so hard to know what to do for the best … We’re trying to teach the Tubblet to be sensible about social media. It’s the potential for bullying that concerns me. Mobiles and social media make it very difficult to find a safe space. Oh, and the chance of seeing stuff you really shouldn’t.

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  17. What an amazing idea! Sadly London is a bit too far for me to travel, but good luck with it!
    My boys are 15 and 13 and so far social media hasn’t been a problem for us (apart from them spending a bit too long on it!). I’m aware it could be a different matter with my daughter, who is now 11. Interestingly, I saw a new angle on Child of Our Time about kids spending hours on their phones – they said that drinking, smoking, drugs and promiscuous sex are all down year-on-year in our kids’ generation, probably because they’re on their phones! They said if they weren’t on their phones, they would most likely be drinking at a bus stop, rather than doing the revision we’d all love them to do. I thought that was a nice positive way to look at it!

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  18. My kids are little but I worry about this already! Totally agree with what the Unmumsy Mum said – I’d hate to be a teen nowadays. Your event sounds fantastic and very helpful. I think kids that have involved parents who take the time to learn about issues that face young people are very lucky! #coolmumclub

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  19. Such a fantastic idea Helen and I know you will make it a huge success. The internet is such a scary place sometimes, even as a blogger I really have to remember to hold back and stick to the limits I set out on day one. I have siblings with a big age gap (youngest is 15 then 18, 20 and 22) so I have witnessed first hand how the advances in technology have impacted their ability to communicate and develop socially. It’s not all been positive in all honesty and it scares the hell out of me…
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I think we, as parents are all worried about this for our kids and so this is such a brilliant idea. Wishing you lots of luck with your event. I’m away on the 27th May otherwise I would have joined you to find out more and for Prosecco! Good luck lovely, look forward to hearing all about it. #CoolMumClub xx

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Social media and my kids using it scares me, a lot. It’s so hard to balance letting them use it with keeping them safe. Sadly I can’t attend the 27th event (unmovable plans!) but will you do a feedback/follow up on the event and what was shared?

    Liked by 1 person

  22. This sounds like a fab event. Social media is a big concern of mine. Even as an adult and a blogger, I worry about sharing too much or being trolled or something nasty like that. I can’t imagine how much harder it would be for a teen to deal with all of that. Unfortunately, London is a loooong way from where I live, but I hope your event goes well – it is definitely needed! #coolmumclub

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  23. I have a few years to go before I need to get worried, but it’s never too early to start planning. Did something big happen recently, because I am seeing a lot of discussion in the news and blogs these days?

    Some recent news articles:
    http://thetimes-tribune.com/opinion/social-media-road-to-perdition-for-many-kids-1.2182628
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/797674/social-media-face-fines-keep-children-safe-online-bullying-NSPCC

    Some other recent bloggers:
    http://www.ladyqs.com/kids-and-social-media/
    https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/5-reasons-you-dont-need-to-worry-about-kids-and-social-media

    Such a hot topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you for this! Looking forward to reading. nothing big that I’m aware of other than its becoming a bigger pressure​ for children. If you’d​ like to pop along to the event it would be lovely to meet you. Parents of all different aged children are going to be there. Just lovely to have a catch up and chat too x

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