Best of the Web: Delaying social media for teens, and more

The case for waiting for social media for teens, how co-regulation is helping our kids, and why laughter is the antidote to parenting.

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful resources from around the web on educating and raising children, and supporting families.

How to talk to your kids about social media

(Annalisa Barbieri, The Guardian)

When your teen comes to you wanting social media, it can be fraught with worry and cause many a heated discussion. In this article, the author explains how she approached the conversation with her then-14-year-old daughter and also shares her now 20-year-old daughter’s take.

The author emphasises the importance of understanding your child’s perspective and concerns regarding social media. Quoting child and adolescent psychotherapist Ryan Lowe: ‘The times they fight hardest for social media are when they are very young and least able to manage it. I definitely wouldn’t allow it in early puberty’.

The author suggests discussing topics like privacy, online safety, and the impact of social media on mental health. She goes on to encourage parents to set clear boundaries while also allowing room for exploration and learning.

‘We never banned devices, because we understood their appeal. They were never used as reward or punishment either. Tech was not fetishised. It was treated like any other thing you had to learn to use responsibly and appropriately, like knives. Or chainsaws.’

The author’s daughter sums it up succinctly saying, ‘I am so glad I entered social media as a fully formed person rather than being formed by it’. This shows that by fostering honest and ongoing dialogue, parents can help their children navigate the complexities of the digital world with confidence and resilience.

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‘Co-regulation’ is the new parenting buzzword

(Aditi Shrikant, CNBC)

When you hear ‘co-regulation’, you might not immediately consider it a parenting term. Yet it’s a fresh approach to parenting, emphasising the collaboration between parents and children in managing their emotions and behaviour.

The author discusses how co-regulation differs from traditional authoritarian or permissive parenting styles, focusing on mutual respect and understanding. She writes, ‘Co-regulation refers to an adult helping a child soothe their own emotions during a stressful incident’.

The article provides practical tips for implementing co-regulation, such as active listening and modelling self-regulation techniques. Child psychologist and author Mona Delahooke says, ‘You can have sturdiness, set boundaries and limits, and provide emotional safety at the same time’.

The article stresses the significance of parental consistency and patience in this process. Overall, co-regulation aims to empower children to become emotionally resilient and independent individuals. Rather than imposing rules, try fostering a collaborative relationship with your kids — it may just lead to a healthier and happier family dynamic.

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How seeking out laughter has made me a better mum

(Taku Mbudzi, ABC Everyday)

There’s a saying often thrown around by parents: ‘If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry’. In this article, the author explains how laughter became a game-changer, helping her navigate the twists and turns of motherhood.

She shares her journey, saying, ‘For me, self-care is about nurturing myself at a deeper level. And to do that, I need to laugh — especially when things feel decidedly un-funny.’ Amidst the chaos of parenting, humour became her secret weapon, easing stress and strengthening bonds with her daughter.

She reveals that seeing the funny side of time spent with her daughter helps with patience too. ‘Oh how easily I can defuse her stormy tantrums by making funny faces, saying silly words or giving tickles.’

It’s not just about giggles; it’s about resilience and creativity. The author suggests parents incorporate laughter into their daily routines, whether through silly jokes, funny stories, or even letting loose with a game of charades. Ultimately, it’s about fostering a positive atmosphere and forging lasting memories with our little ones. So, next time you’re knee-deep in the messiness of parenthood, don’t forget to add a sprinkle of laughter.

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