Rydal Penrhos Community
FEATURE: Comms' man Dean Jones gives Social Media advice on Safer Internet Day

FEATURE: Comms' man Dean Jones gives Social Media advice on Safer Internet Day

There is an enormous amount of pressure on young people today thanks to the growing influence that social media and the internet has on their day-to-day lives.

Numerous studies have proven the impact that sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can have on your mental health, and this needs to monitored consistently to ensure it is being used safely and appropriately by your child or those under your care.

It can be a very difficult situation to deal with as there is also privacy to consider, but there are ways that you can help, even though it does feel like a battle you might not be able to win all of the time.

Educate yourself:

Finding out more about the different social media sites that a child is using can be a great way to involve yourself in the discussions. They are not going to listen to what you have to say regarding social media and internet safety if you know nothing about it.

Time management:

One way of ensuring social media’s influence does not significantly take over a child’s life is to limit its use.

Of course, you need to be wary of the importance that social media has on their lives but in times of stress and worry, it is essential that they take a step back from it all. Setting up a homework and commitment schedule that they can work around and allocate specific (and short) periods for recreation and social media use would be hugely beneficial.

If a child is looking particularly stressed, then perhaps explore other avenues such as physical activity and other ways of socialising and ensuring wellbeing rather than skimming through a timeline.

Ask opinions:

Making your child aware of the dangers and pitfalls of social media use gives them a heightened sense of responsibility and a sense of trust surrounding the topic.

This is something we aim to do on a regular basis here at Rydal Penrhos with Instagram and Snapchat takeovers at prominent dates on the calendar, and it is something that has been very successful.

Understand the pressure on the modern child:

With things such as examinations, family commitments, after school activities and sporting fixtures, it is a lot for a child to cope with, especially at a school with the bumper calendar that Rydal Penrhos provides.

Acknowledging and understanding this, together with examining how social media is adding to their list of things to do in terms of keeping up a presence will make it easier for your child to talk about boundaries when it comes to how much time they spend engaging on various sites.

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