What can we do now?
If parental over-protection and, especially, social media have caused high rates of depression and anxiety in pre-teen girls, what can be done to solve this problem? Dr. Jonathan Haidt gives much food for thought and some detailed recommendations:
- Let them grow Give children the opportunity to take risks, make mistakes, and learn to deal with their problems.
- Understand what is happening Online is steeped in propaganda. Judge social media.
- Model seeking truth and passing it on, and help your children to develop habits of thinking that will enable them to find the truth for themselves. Bad ideas, even when well intentioned, set them up for failure. Two of these “bad” ideas: (1) You need to be protected from ideas that might disturb you. (2) If you feel it, it is true, and you should act on your feelings.
- Encourage young people to speak up. They should correct the assumptions made by adults that they are “fragile” and need to be protected against ideas, words, speakers, or books that might be hurtful or harmful.
- Set device rules (1) Set a fixed time for device use (2) No social media until high school (3) Agree on a time budget — how long each day.
Help your children and teens to avoid the dangers of social media. Talk with them about using it thoughtfully, wisely, and respectfully. Teach them toe encourage one another and build one another up (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Trisha Prabhu TED Talk: Rethink
Profit from Your Problems from Minute 23
The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Raising Self-Reliant Children, by Wendy Mogel
How to Raise and Adult, by Julie Lythcott-Haims