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National Social Media Day: Turn Social Media Struggles into Smart Surfing with Your Teen 

This National Social Media Day, ditch the struggle and learn to navigate social media with your teen – with tips straight from a TEEN!

National Social Media Day is approaching on June 30th, but instead of dreading screen time battles, let's use it as an opportunity to connect with your teen! Let's be honest, for most parents, that translates to "National Screen Time Showdown." But this year, ditch the death stare and the WiFi password hostage situation!

Instead, let's channel our inner surfer dude and ride the social media wave with the 5 Cs of Social Media Use. Forget those arbitrary screen time limits – this is about understanding your teen's digital world and building some serious trust.

Summer Screen Time Surge

With summer comes a spike in teen social media use. Studies show a 26% increase in mobile posting and a 43% rise in video content consumption. Setting limits is key, but a one-size-fits-all approach might not work. The digital world is complex. Teens use social media to connect, express themselves, and stay informed, but it can also lead to anxiety, depression, and cyberbullying. Our role as caregivers is to guide them towards a positive online experience.

Social Media Teen View: Spill the Tea

Look, we get it. Social media can be awesome for keeping up with friends, finding new trends, and expressing yourself. But be honest, is there anything that bugs you about social media? Maybe it's the pressure to get likes or the feeling of missing out (FOMO) when you see everyone else's perfect vacations. Let's talk about both the good and the bad sides of social media.

Positives and Negatives: The Good, the Bad, and the Hilarious Cat Videos

Social media can be a great tool to connect with friends and family, especially those who live far away. It's also a way to discover new interests, learn new things, and even find communities of people who share your hobbies. But let's be real, there can also be a lot of negativity online, from unrealistic beauty standards to cyberbullies. The key is to find a balance and focus on the positive aspects of social media.

Caregiver's Role: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work (and Keeps You Safe Online)

We know you might worry about what we do online, and that's totally okay! But instead of feeling like the social media police, let's work together to create some ground rules that keep us safe and happy online. We can talk about responsible online behavior, like being kind to others and not sharing personal information. We can also explore how much screen time is healthy and make sure we're not neglecting other important activities like hanging out with friends (offline!) or getting enough sleep.

Now, let's get into the tips!

The 5 C's of Social Media Use:

  • Child: Consider their age and maturity level. What's appropriate for a pre-teen is different for a teenager.

  • Content: Talk about what they're consuming online. Are they seeing positive and healthy content?

  • Calm: Stay calm, even if you disagree with something they're doing online. Open communication is key.

  • Crowding Out: Discuss how much screen time is displacing other important activities.

  • Communication: This is the most important C! Talk openly and honestly about online safety, cyberbullying, and responsible social media use.

The 5 C's are a framework to help families navigate the digital world together. They can foster communication, build trust, and empower teens to make healthy choices.

National Social Media Day doesn't have to be a fight. Use the 5 C's to connect with your teen, build trust, and maybe even learn a cool dance move or two! Remember, you're not just their parent/caregiver, you're their social media sensei!

The 5 C's were inspired by Lisa Guernsey's "3 C's of media use" and funded by SAMHSA (Grant No. SM087180). Content reflects author views, not SAMHSA/HHS endorsement. Source American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Center of Excellence on Social Media and Youth Mental Health (Copyright © 2024)

To learn more about the 5 C's for Social Media Use, and the tips for specific youth age groups, visit:

National Social Media Day doesn't have to be a battle. Use the 5 Cs to connect with your teen, build trust, and maybe even learn a cool dance move or two. Remember, you're not just their parent/caregiver, you're their social media sensei!

Looking for the perfect present to share with friends and family, or even yourself? Consider my Emotion Cards and Uplift Teens Today book! These gifts can help in the journey towards better mental health. Great thoughtful and kind gifts.

  • Uplift Teens Today: Coping Strategies for Mental Health (avail. on Amazon & Website).

  • Emotion Cards: Unveiling the Power of Emotions, One Card at a Time Card Deck (avail. on Website).


Taanvi A.

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