Mental Health Series

Social Media - Protecting Your Child

This session speaks to the importance of safeguarding our children from the potential harms of social media. This discussion delves into strategies to protect children from the pitfalls of excessive device usage and online exposure.

Safeguarding our children in the digital age requires proactive measures, open communication, and a commitment to staying informed. By implementing these strategies, we can navigate the complexities of social media and ensure our children’s safety and well-being online.

Key Takeaways for Parents


Understand the Landscape

Teens today are heavily immersed in the online world, with almost half admitting to feeling addicted to their smartphones. As parents, it's crucial to grasp these trends to effectively guide our children through the digital realm.


Set Boundaries

Navigating device usage guidelines can be challenging. Dr. Skinner emphasizes the importance of actively engaging with our children and ensuring their basic needs are met while gradually introducing responsibilities and boundaries.

Build Connections

Fostering a secure parent-child connection is foundational. Quality one-on-one time, disconnecting from screens, and regular family dinners are instrumental in nurturing healthy relationships and supporting social development.

Monitor Actively

Active monitoring of children's online activities is essential. Dr. Skinner underscores the significance of understanding what children are exposed to, setting clear boundaries, and utilizing parental control apps to ensure their safety.


Teach Internet Safety

Waiting until children are at least 13 to join social media, knowing online friends personally, and limiting online connections are crucial safety measures endorsed by experts to protect children from online risks.

Educate Children

Empowering children with media literacy skills, teaching responsible posting, and fostering critical thinking are essential strategies for guiding them through the digital world safely.

Use Practical Tools

Exploring built-in features like Apple's Screen Time and parental control apps such as Google Family Link can aid in monitoring and managing children's online activities effectively.

5 Proactive Approaches to Device Addiction

  1. Make a Plan: Identify specific guidelines and rules that align with your family values.

  2. Monitor Usage as a Family: Regularly discuss device usage to ensure everyone is on the same page.

  3. Implement a Check-In Policy: Enforce a structured check-in system for devices, particularly during nighttime hours.

  4. Designate Screen-Free Zones: Identify specific areas in your home where device usage is not permitted.

  5. Model Healthy Boundaries: Lead by example to demonstrate balanced device usage and set a positive model for your children.