New research from the University of Michigan has found that parents using social media are less likely to be concerned about their children’s wellbeing than those using other means of communication.
In particular, they are less concerned about the quality of their childrens lives and more concerned about social isolation, stress and anxiety, the study found.
“The takeaway is that social media is the best way for parents to keep a close eye on their children,” says Erin Boesch, lead author of the study, which was published in the Journal of Family Psychology.
Boesen says that while some social media users may be using the platform for the purpose of meeting with their children, others may be meeting with the purpose to connect with friends or family and get advice on childcare.
In other words, many parents may be just “doing their own thing”, she says.
“We found that social networks are very important for children to be able to communicate with their parents and they are more likely to do that when they have a close connection to their parent.”
The researchers found that while it may be tempting to use social media to meet with your children, Boess says that is not necessarily the best use of the platform.
“You don’t want to do something like that if you’re concerned about whether it’s going to work,” she says, pointing to the research that found using a phone as a means of communicating with your child is associated with better social functioning and lower stress levels.
“That’s really important.”
Boes says that there are also potential benefits of social media for parents with childcare issues.
“One of the things that we found is that parents who use social networks more frequently are more aware of what their childs needs, and that makes it easier to share those needs with them,” she said.
Bayss says it’s important to remember that social interaction can be difficult for children, particularly when it comes to communication.
“They can have difficulties with self-care and social skills, so the things we’re doing with social media can be really helpful,” she explains.
“But parents need to be very careful about how they use it, because that can have unintended consequences.”
Bays is also concerned about parents using these social media platforms for self-preservation.
“What we found in the research was that parents are not going to use the platforms for themselves, and parents who are doing that may be more concerned with what other people are doing on their social media profiles than what they themselves are doing,” she adds.
What’s the catch? “
There are a lot of social networks that are for self preservation.”
What’s the catch?
Boes suggests that parents may find it difficult to find out if they’re meeting their child’s needs.
“In fact, the more you use these platforms, the less likely you are to be sure if your child’s social skills are on track,” she points out.
Betsch says that it’s also important to understand how parents are using the platforms.
“For example, parents who used social media frequently may be concerned that other people may be talking about their child in a way that may not be OK.
But this is really not true.
In fact, there’s a lot that parents can do to make sure that their child is doing as well as they can, and they can talk about that with their child.”
Biesch also suggests that it may not always be possible to get all the answers to parenting issues.
If your childs health is affected by a mental health issue, for instance, it may make sense to talk to your child about how to manage the situation.
“If your child has a mental illness, talk to them about what’s going on with that and talk about what you can do for them,” Boes said.
“It can be important to talk about how that can be managed, so your child can manage the mental health issues that are affecting them.”
Betss says parents need not be concerned if their children are spending too much time on social media.
“Some people may use social networking to find new friends, and other people might use it to find information that they can share with their friends,” she warns.
“Sometimes it’s hard to know if it’s OK for that, but if your children are having a lot more social interaction, it’s very important to make a plan.”
What you need to know about the internet, privacy and online safety: Find out more The study involved 1,818 people, ages from 13 to 70, from two US cities: Los Angeles and New York.
It is part of a project called the Internet and Child Safety Project (ICPS).
“This is the first study to look at how social networks can be used to address the needs