Streaming issues? Report here
capetalk-classicspng
CapeTalk Classics
14:00 - 17:00
volume_up
volume_mute

Up Next: Jazz Sessions on CapeTalk Classics
See full line-up
CapeTalk Classics
14:00 - 17:00
Home
arrow_forward
Lifestyle

Helping to guard your child against the shadow side of social media

12 October 2019 3:59 PM
Tags:
Social media
Mental Health Awareness month
Nikki Bush
International Mental Awareness Day
Teenage Suicide
childhood anxiety and depression
fear of rejection
perfectionism
Parenting expert Nikki Bush has advice on dealing with anxiety and depression in teenagers and younger children.

The rate of teenage suicide is rising, putting the spotlight on the factors contributing to childhood depression and anxiety.

During Mental Health Awareness Month, Refiloe Mpakanyane chats to parenting expert Nikki Bush about the pressures kids face today, which range from dealing with family conflicts to living in a country broadly perceived as hostile.

Bush highlights three factors which are intertwined - parental contribution, social media and technology.

And if loneliness also comes into play, kids tend to rely on technology to "feel better", but of course this doesn't last.

It doesn't tick the box that a human being with a pulse would tick. It provides a lot of distraction, but it doesn't actually make them feel better.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

Especially if children don't have much parental supervision says Bush, the time spent using technology and social media to try and fill a void also results in a vicious cycle, too little sleep feeding back into feelings of depression and anxiety.

Then there is the pressure of living up to the perfect world usually depicted in friends' social media posts.

We only post pictures of our perfect moments. Even if we're dying inside we put on the right smile on social media.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

She says the effects are two-fold: we compare ourselves socially to others and as a result we strive for perfection.

Social media can also fuel hysteria about events happening around us, leading to a loss of perspective.

Recently there was AmINext and MeToo - there was certainly good stuff that came out of that but there's also the fear mongering and hysteria that came out of it too.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

Bush says the one repercussion of social media that is particularly pertinent to teenagers, is the fear of rejection.

If we are rejected by the group, that can be the thing that sends a child over the edge.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

If they (teenagers) don't get a response from their friends within two seconds, they feel incredible rejection. They would rather that someone said something horrible back, than nothing at all.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

How can parents help guard against the shadow side of social media interaction?

Bush says children need to be taught not to give their hearts to something which is not human.

A screen doesn't have a pulse.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

She says the negative effects of constantly being tethered to technology also applies to younger children, where the rewards they get from for instance playing games on a tablet, is replacing the comfort of the traditional security blanket or "blankie".

Because this stimulus is all external, it doesn't foster self-belief.

Bush emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries with your children.

Those cellphones need to be kept in a neutral place where kids can't get hold of them at night.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

One of the worst things that can happen to a teenager is that they open that cellphone and get a bad message just before they go to sleep.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

Find out about Nikki Bush's "Children Living in the Red Zone" initiative here.

She will be hosting a talk in Boksburg on 19 November at the Woodlands International College starting at 10 for 10:30 am. Find more details here.

Click on the link below for advice on the conversations you should be having with your children:


This article first appeared on 702 : Helping to guard your child against the shadow side of social media


12 October 2019 3:59 PM
Tags:
Social media
Mental Health Awareness month
Nikki Bush
International Mental Awareness Day
Teenage Suicide
childhood anxiety and depression
fear of rejection
perfectionism

More from Lifestyle

191206wcgif

Holiday road trip ahead? City offering free vehicle safety checks until Friday

13 December 2019 1:26 PM

CAR magazine technical consultant Nicol Louw runs through the vital checks you can get the experts to do and those to do yourself.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

fruit-sexy-foodjpg

Is juicing really better for you than eating foods whole?

12 December 2019 7:00 PM

Food writer Andrea Burgener argues that while juicing can make a difference to your health, it's not necessarily in a positive way

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

animals-pets-dogs-puppies-puppy-dog

Does your dog have behavioural problems? This could be why

12 December 2019 4:23 PM

While obedience training can be taught to dogs of all ages, there's a small window period for when puppies must be socialised.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

family-eating-lunchjpg

Drop the good/bad labels - How to help develop healthy eating habits in kids

12 December 2019 1:30 PM

Clinical psychologist Ruth Ancer says it's parents who need to rethink their tendency to label food as good or bad.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

jonathan-jansen.png

'My kids are better than me' - Prof. Jonathan Jansen on effective parenting

12 December 2019 12:06 PM

The influential professor of education discusses the importance of reinforcing the values you are trying to teach your children.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

mpho-popps-on-son-of-a-sonjpg

Fatherhood and daughters: Here's why Mpho Popps takes his daughter on dates

12 December 2019 7:39 AM

Mpho Popps shares his views about modelling to his daughter what a good relationship with a man should look like.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Young women men using cell phones cellphone data 123rflifestyle 123rf

Why you should take your boredom more seriously

11 December 2019 5:22 PM

Your boredom is very insightful. Writer Anna Hartford shares her thoughts on why we should be more invested in understanding it.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

tanya-bothma-cape-talkjpg

'I feel as though I can conquer the world' - double lung-transplant recipient

11 December 2019 2:18 PM

Tanya Bothma and Dr Dr Greg Calligaro chat to Pippa Hudson on the second anniversary of the life-changing procedure.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Senior couple reading books literature 123rflifestyle 123rf

25 of the best books to read or gift this holiday season

11 December 2019 12:41 PM

CapeTalk host Pippa Hudson reflects on some of the best books released this year and discusses a few gems with local publishers.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Shocked little girl cellphone internet safety children 123rflifestyle 123rtf

Block all pornography in SA, for the children! - Law Reform Commission of SA

11 December 2019 10:40 AM

If your child has a phone, she’s seen pornography. Refilwe Moloto interviews Dean McCoubrey of online safety firm MySocialLife.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward