Are kids growing up without social skills?
Almost every parent is worried about the exposure to technology their kids are having nowadays. When they are toddlers, parents don’t pay much attention. As toddlers, they get used to play on papa’s i pad or phone for hours. Watching cartoons or similar things on phone, for many hours, might affect their development.
But adolescence is an important phase of life when social and other skills can be improved. Teenagers go through many physical and mental changes during this period of their life. Very few parents pay attention to how their teenage child is getting overexposed to unnecessary knowledge, which is affecting their immature mind. Parents can’t even imagine how this will impact the tender minds of kids in future.
Teenager kids don’t fully understand what they read and as a result they start suffering from anxiety and low self-esteem. Young people report that there might be good reason to worry. A survey conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health asked 14-24 year olds in the UK how social media platforms impacted their health and wellbeing. The survey results found that Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all led to increased feelings of depression, anxiety, poor body image and loneliness.
When kids were growing up without so many social media platforms, of course they were chatting on their phones, texting, scrolling, sharing photos etc. They were hanging out at public places, experimenting, trying out their skills with other kids. Sometimes they failed or gained from other children’s experience, which gave them real time interactions. Now they just interact while watching at the screen, not the other person.
“Humans” being social animals, are accustomed to reading social cues. It’s obvious in this pandemic era that children are stuck at home since so many months now and lost all the interaction they used to have with teachers and friends at schools.
clinical psychologist and Harvard Medical School instructor Catherine Steiner-Adair’s The Big Disconnect, a book the Wall Street Journal called a “riveting piece of journalism disguised as a self-help tome” when recently naming it a top non-fiction pick. The book exhaustively examines how tech disrupts the parent/child relationship and offers ideas on effective parenting in the digital age.
Every child can do mistakes often, but it’s upto parents not to shame them, no matter what they have done. Communicating calmly will give better results. For next time hold them accountable for all their actions-even virtual ones.
Teen-kids are not into the habit of communicating with other people except their parents, so many of them will grow up to be adults who are anxious about being close to others or communicating with people.
Moreover, they always communicate indirectly and use all sorts of text, which they will not use, saying to another person’s face. Hence, they can be rude while talking in person to anyone.
Dr. Steiner-Adair agrees that girls are particularly at risk. “Girls are socialized more to compare themselves to other people, girls in particular, to develop their identities, so it makes them more vulnerable to the downside of all this.” She warns that a lack of solid self-esteem is often to blame. “We forget that relational aggression comes from insecurity and feeling awful about yourself, and wanting to put other people down so you feel better.”
Thus, what should be done to control it if not totally stop? In my opinion, parents should take responsibility to how their kids interact with technology. They should set an example of what healthy computer usage looks like. When your kid always finds you on your phone or laptop head bent over a screen, it’s like a short disconnect with them.
Try to give them your full attention. Communicate with them as much as you can because you can give them values that technology can’t.
Get them involved with you in things which they have an interest in. It can be a game or activity of their interest. Try to get them involved in interacting with people face to face.
Acting in anticipation of future outcomes, of uncontrolled access to any site, parents should install software, blockers and apps that allow them to control what their kids see and how to understand their behaviour.
Talk to them and resist the urge to lecture. Try to understand their point of view and remember that teenagers can be emotional.
Build and keep trust with your kids It’s very important in a parent child relationship and it will open all channels of communication between you and your teenage kids.
I know that it’s not that easy to handle a teen, as teenagers are a unique and often self-contradictory breed. But a few steps taken carefully might prove to be beneficial for both parents and kids.
None of the blogs or opinions expressed within is meant as advice to you or anybody else on any matter, including but not limited to, personal finance, health, or other matters of life. If you need advice, speak to a professional!