Teens posting on emotions
Letter to the Editor
Check your children’s social media pages often. Children are using social media to express hurt, pain, and sometimes negative feelings towards others, all to gain their peers’ approval. Our children are using whatever means they can to gain attention from their peers and to be heard and seen. If you don’t begin checking posts regularly your child can end up posting and displaying an image that could lead them down the wrong path.
They want to be liked by their peers and they want to express what they are feeling. Remember to be tough but tender (restorative parenting); if you come across a post that could be damaging to their character use these practices:
1. Ask them what is the meaning of their post. Usually they have some underlying emotions behind it, like a bad day at school, peer pressure or perhaps some bullying.
2. Remind them that posts are forever and can be harmful for them in the future when seeking careers. Have a deeper conversation about this because most teens only think about the present.
3. Have them delete posts immediately!
4. Encourage them to post positive moments, provide examples, e.g., birthdays, celebrations, an act of kindness, etc.
5. Ask them to talk to you whenever they feel that they want to post something that they have strong feelings about.
6. Talking to someone who cares can be just what they need to make them feel better and help them process their feelings.
7. Negative posts can get a lot of attention and start a chain reaction of negative responses.
Frequent social media checks can save you and your child from a lot of heartaches or a fatal tragedy. Positive posting is best practice.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is launching “Take It Down,” a free service that helps minors remove nude, partially nude and sexually explicit images, or videos of themselves from unencrypted online platforms. It can be found at takeitdown.ncmec.org.
— Cecilia Ware
Northside Public Safety Council