In this internet-inspired time of online socialization, many mental health experts caution that too much social media can have a negative impact on the traditional parent-child relationships. Parents are urged to monitor media use in the home and initiate more face-to-face communication in person rather than solely online. Additionally, parents can also plan more fun family-centered entertainment sessions to help keep close family relationships strong and enjoyable.
Monitoring Media Use
Most mental health professionals recommend that parents monitor their children’s media use. This is both for safety reasons and a way to encourage more traditional family communication when everyone is home. Parents should keep an open mind regarding how much online supervision is necessary and how much trust should be given to kids who do obey the rules of safe media use. There are parental blocks that parents can set on their children’s home computers, laptops, and other smart devices popular with kids these days. Many parents keep the family computer in a central location to discourage younger kids and kids with questionable online safety habits from having secretive online communications with unsafe characters.
While social media platforms have become commonplace for most, parents should also monitor their own time on these sites when home with their always watching children and teens. Nearly 8 out of 10 people have at least one profile on some sort of social media platform. Face-to-face communication is necessary to keep and build healthy relationships, and parents should make the effort to encourage more in person communication with family members, friends, and others. Families can also strive to have social media downtime during the family dinner hour, weekend family outing or before bed to wind down the day without the distraction of technological devices known to disrupt sleep.
Implement More Family Entertainment Time
More parents encourage better family communication by implementing more family entertainment time into their everyday routines. The family that plays and has fun together is more likely to develop and keep close bonds with their family members through the years. This could include family-friendly game nights, weekend television binge-watching or after dinner walks to a nearby park with the family dog.
Parents can help strengthen parent-child relationships by using some common sense social media rules while still allowing kids to enjoy their online games or social media friendships. Incorporating more in-person family entertainment times helps build strong family bonds and creates fond family memories that will be remembered forever.
Here’s another article with some helpful tips: 3 Reasons Effective Communication Is The Most Important Skill To Teach Kids