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Our guest on this episode of Emotions in Harmony is Dr. Anna Seewald of Authentic Parenting.  We are discussing the topic of ways that parents can engage with their children about social media, which is an unavoidable reality in today’s world.

As with every other situation between parents and children, open communication is the key to modeling responsible social media engagement in children.  Social media is designed to be addictive, and children are not wired to have self-discipline when it comes to putting down their devices since the culture they are growing up in is so focused on instant gratification.  Though most social media platforms require that users be at least 13 years old, it is not uncommon for children to lie about their age to create a social media profile at a younger age.  One of the main problems with this is that advertisements are targeted demographically, so children may be exposed to advertisements that are not age-appropriate and could be damaging to them.  Ultimately, it is up to the parents to determine when they feel that their child is mature enough to create and manage their own social media profiles.

Parenting in this time of rampant social media is stressful for the parents, who can view their child’s profile and scrutinize their child’s decisions to post certain photos or information.  Parents also need to pay attention to their child’s behavior after they begin engaging with social media to be sure that they are not exhibiting any signs of depression that could be a result of decreased self-esteem or cyberbullying. Even if children do not exhibit any of these symptoms, it is crucial for parents have open lines of communication through being available, building trust, providing structure, and creating a judgment-free relationship.

Anna recommends that parents have a conversation with their children in which they collectively decide on 5 or 6 technology rules that the household will abide by (no phones at dinner, determining a common charging location rather than having phones charged in each bedroom, etc.).  She also recommends that families look into purchasing a Torch or Circle technology monitoring device for the home.  If parents are looking to educate themselves more on the facts and figures of the impact of technology on their children, Anna suggests Dr. Richard Freed’s book “Wired Child”.

You can join Anna’s Facebook parenting community here and learn more about her podcast here.

To connect with Anna Seewald:

http://authenticparenting.com

Anna’s FB community:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1657717101107047/

Authentic Parenting Podcast:

http://authenticparenting.com/podcast

Recommended devices:

Torch:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mytorch/torch-a-simple-router-for-digital-parenting/comments?cursor=11781877

Circle: http://amzn.to/2onI4SR

Recommended book:

Wired Child: Claiming childhood in a digital age by Dr. Richard Freed

http://amzn.to/2ChZqt1

https://www.amazon.com/shop/dracarmenroman

Connect with Dr. Carmen Román:

Website – http://armoniaemocional.com/

Email – carmen@armoniaemocional.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DraCarmenRoman/

Twitter https://twitter.com/DraCarmenRoman

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/cafecitovirtual

Instagram @dracarmenroman

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6HKW92hIlagDDwxBjEQ6tI?si=F4ye50mrRN-8zd3A4fe6Gw

Amazon store: https://www.amazon.com/shop/dracarmenroman

Podcast recommended by Dr. Roman

Mindful Expat organized by Dr. Dana Nelson

http://www.dananelsoncounseling.com/mindful-expat-podcast/