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From the virtual square to real conversation: parents and children on social networks

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From the virtual square to real conversation: parents and children on social networks

Password: normalize. It’s the antidote that Martina Migliore, director of development and training in Serenis, the online medical center for mental well-being, puts at the center of the parental strategy to accompany children in the world of social networks. “Specific parenting from the internet, that is role of parents as important regulators of online media consumption in children and adolescents, and as virtuous examples, occupies a fundamental place in preventing hyperconnection and the problematic and excessive use of the internet among the little ones – he says -. The right words must always be found at the right time because there is direct or indirect access to social media”. Parents find themselves faced with a virtual square in which everyone, regardless of their roles, meets and interacts. This complex scenario requires a clear and conscious approach.

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The first step is to start an open dialogue with your children. “Speak, ask, dialogue, explain”, insists Migliore -. Our children and teenagers are increasingly awake and exposed to content that can be difficult to process. It is essential to educate them from an early age, providing them with adequate tools to understand complex issues such as death, friendship and the responsible use of social media.”

A useful strategy is use social networks like TikTok as resources: look together short videos, even by professionals such as psychologists and speech therapists, can encourage dialogue and understanding, but also take advantage of cartoons or educational apps or social media companions, or follow influencers together who talk about their direct experiences. “Furthermore, avoiding demonization of social media is essential – adds the expert -. Rather, it is important to normalize the telling of things and provide support to children when they deal with sensitive content”. Adolescence is a critical period in which parents must be particularly attentive. “From elementary school, your children’s privacy will always be higher,” warns Migliore. The risks of emulation and exposure to inappropriate content are real, but can be addressed with open communication and ongoing support.

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However, it is not just about educating children, but also about reflect on our behaviors as parents. “If you tell them to put down their phones, you have to do it too,” Migliore says. It is important to be a positive role model and lead by example.

Finally, it is essential to have the courage to turn off social networks when necessary and practice healthy self-compassion. “We’re doing our best and that’s okay,” concludes Migliore. In an increasingly connected world, finding balance and understanding is key to successfully navigating the test of social networks in parenting.

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