5 Tips for Navigating Social Media with Your Teens

5 Tips for Navigating Social Media with Your Teens

An internal study done by Facebook was recently released in The Wall Street Journal as part of the series known as, “The Facebook Files.” This is a collection of studies performed by internal researchers of the Facebook company. The findings have been quite alarming, especially if you’re a parent of a teen. Here are 5 tips for navigating social media with your teens. 

I chatted with Andrea Davis, founder of Better Screen Time, about the recent release of one of the studies within “The Facebook Files.” This particular study showed that 1 in 3 teenage girls who use Instagram (a franchise of Facebook) are likely to develop an eating disorder and/or depression. 

While this is a pretty heavy topic, and quite a bit to unpack, I thought Andrea Davis would be the perfect expert to share her insight about it. Andrea and her husband, parents to five children, have done countless hours of research. Along with a number of strategies in order to find the best way to navigate screen time for their kids. She shares with us 5 tips that will help all of us in creating a tech-healthy relationship for the entire family. 

5 Tips for Navigating Social Media with Your Teens

how to create a healthy experience for your kids on social media. www.cakebycourtney.com

Tip #1: Explore the app with your kids before you allow them to have it. 

When your kids start to come to you and ask for certain apps or social media accounts, sit down and explore the app together. As parents, we are all really busy and don’t have a lot of extra time, so we don’t have tons of time to spend on social media. This means we aren’t as aware of the effects of it compared to our teens who spend tons of time on it. 

To overcome that obstacle, sit down with your children and explore the app together long before you say yes or no for them to have it. That way you build a relationship with your child and you are both aware of the effects before something harmful or negative happens. 

Tip #2: Create a family tech plan. 

Creating a family tech plan will create a culture in your home where family members are clear about what is and is not OK involving technology. This is also a time to set up boundaries such as time limits, certain sites to avoid, etc. Andrea has a course where it teaches all about creating a tech-healthy family. You can learn more about it here

Tip #3: Help your kids identify their values long before they get involved in social media. 

Identifying values with your kids long before they get involved in social media will help them develop strong relationships with family members and with themselves. One of the best things you can do for your child is help them instill a strong sense of self. 

Helping your teens identify their values will also help slow down their exposure to social media. It slows down the transition into social media since it takes people, especially at the adolescent stage, to learn what they value and what standards they have for themselves. 

how to protect your teens from the dangers of technology. www.cakebycourtney.com

Tip #4: Make a slow transition into social media use. 

Even when you say yes to your teen having a social media account, it’s best to start out with training wheels. This helps you and your teen have a smoother transition. This could look like your child only having access to their Instagram account on your phone, rather than on yours, setting time limits, or other boundaries. 

Over time, you will know when to let your child transition to having social media more readily available to them, or in other words, to take the training wheels off. 

Tip #5: Be the example by setting your own social media boundaries. 

One of the best ways to help your child understand the dangers of social media is by showing them the boundaries you set for yourself. Even as adults, there are times when we may need to mute or unfollow an account. Being open about this with your teens will help them feel ready to do the same. 

how to use social media as a tool rather than a distraction. www.cakebycourtney.com

We hope you found some value in these 5 tips for navigating social media with your teens. If you want to dive deeper into this topic, you can check out Andrea’s courses on her website. You can also follow her on Instagram @betterscreentime. And as always, you can follow me on Instagram @cakebycourtney for all things cake. (Have you tried my funfetti cake recipe?!)


Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

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