Social media and teenagers

White curve
Set comfortable boundaries

The online world offers a never-ending amount of experiences, content and possibilities. It can feel overwhelming at times. Agreeing rules and limits can make digital and social media activity a safer and more fulfilling experience for all.

Be clear on what is age appropriate

The needs of children and young people vary greatly depending on their age. This is especially true when it comes to the use of technology and social media.

Your approach to parenting a 16-year-old will obviously be different to how you treat a 10-year-old. Understanding what content is being accessed online, however, remains hugely important whatever age your child may be.

The internet offers 24/7 access to both valuable and harmful content, all at the swipe of a finger. A big part of your family’s digital strategy should be speaking with your child about what is and isn’t acceptable content and, if necessary, putting safety measures in place.

Limit screens at night

No matter how much a teenager may protest, sleep is absolutely essential to health, wellbeing and development. Countless scientific studies have shown that the use of phones and screens late at night will prevent a good nights’ sleep.

Sleep is the time for memory consolidation, so its quality will directly relate to an individual’s capacity to learn and store information. Teenagers’ body clocks also work slightly differently to adults, so many young people become sleepy later in the evening than their parents.

Yet steps must be taken to always prioritise sleep above all else for teens. It is recommended that all technological devices are left outside of bedrooms, and switched off at least half an hour before bedtime - giving time to wind down and prepare for rest.

Focus on the positives

There are many advantages to social media. For teenagers who are vulnerable, the internet can provide a space for connection, creativity and sharing experiences with others who are facing similar adversity.

Discuss and explore with your child the positive aspects of the digital world. Focus on building healthy and nourishing online relationships and experiences, while also carefully balancing any time spent online with valuable offline experiences.

 

Build your family’s ‘digital strategy’

 

Resources

Resource

An emotionally healthy approach to GCSEs - A guide for parents

Packed with practical tips and ideas to support young people before, during and after exam time.

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Resource

An emotionally healthy approach to GCSEs - A guide for teachers

Packed with practical tips and ideas to support young people before, during and after exam time.

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Resource

Asking for help (adult)

When it’s time to talk about your mental health.

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Resource

Asking for help (young person)

A simple guide for young people to help talk about their feelings.

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Resource

Depression booklet

Featuring useful facts, figures and information, this booklet also contains sources of help and what not to say to people experiencing depression

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Resource

Guide to depression for parents and carers

This booklet aims to help recognise and understand depression and how to get appropriate help for their child

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Resource

Guide to depression for parents and carers (Welsh)

This booklet aims to help parents recognise and understand depression and how to get appropriate help for their child

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Resource

Life after lockdown Wellbeing Action Plan

During the coronavirus pandemic, we have all been through enormous change and some of us may experience further uncertainty and change in the coming weeks and months

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Resource

Looking after yourself during your GCSEs - A guide for pupils

Packed with practical tips and ideas to support young people before, during and after exam time.

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Resource

Low mood poster

Poster created in partnership with Bank Workers Charity highlighting common causes of low mood, how to help yourself feel better and information on where to get more help.

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Resource

Perfectionism

Aiming high can sometimes come at a cost. This eight page guide looks at ‘unhealthy perfectionism’ – how to spot it and advice on how to develop effective interventions.

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Resource

Social media and teenagers

A practical guide for parents and carers of teenagers on using social media

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Resource

Warning signs poster

A bold A3 poster showing the warning signs that tell you when someone may be depressed. This poster could save a life.

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Resource

Wellbeing Action Plan (child)

A simple, resource to help young people keep themselves well and get them through difficult times

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Resource

Wellbeing Activities

Activity sheets on the five ways to wellbeing.

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Resource

Wellbeing Journal

A simple, journal to help young people think about and write down the things which make them feel good.

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