12 Mar 2018

Helping Children Critically Think About Social Media

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Have you seen our latest article from our Seasonal Newsletter? If not, catch up here!
An excerpt from our March / April Learning Ledger:

As parents and teachers we play a critical role in ensuring that children are given opportunities to critically think about how social medial affects them and to counteract the negative effects that social media may have on their overall health.
Here are some proactive suggestions to counteract the affects of social media.
1. Start with yourself. Children watch and see what adults do. Are you spending a lot of time on technology? We need to be emotionally available all of the time. Children want and need our attention.
2. Know where your children are and what they are doing. Have conversations to understand their social media habits and help them to think critically about social media. Try to understand what media they are using and why they are attracted to it.
3. Clearly define limits and boundaries. Setting limits about cell phone use, computer use and other use of technology is healthy for everyone. There is a healthy balance between technology use and non use. What is active use (school work) and passive use (browsing on social media)? Remember it is okay to say no to passive use of media some of the time.
4. Give your child responsibility Responsibilities increase self worth. For example, you might say, “Please set the table so we can all eat”.
5. Balance nutrition and sleep These healthy lifestyle factors play a huge role in helping children feel mentally well. If a child is up all night on their phone, it will influence their mood and ability to focus the next day. Eating sugary food on a regular basis can also affect a child’s mood and ability to focus. Unlimited screen time and unhealthy foods are not positive for any child’s development.
6. Encourage them to connect with nature. All children need a connection to nature – this is fundamental to their healthy growth and development. As spring approaches, take advantage of the warmer weather!

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