It’s not easy to be a child in the modern world. Kids today have all the same problems that young people have faced for generations, including bullying, academic pressures, and navigating new relationships. But they also have the added stress that comes with growing up in the digital age.
Most teenagers do not even remember a time before the internet, and have been using smartphones and iPads since they were barely able to walk. 87% of kids aged 12 to 15 have social media accounts and spend a great deal of their free time sending Snapchat stories to their friends and posting about their day on Instagram and TikTok.
Although this technology is a great way for children to stay connected to their friends and family, as well as collaborating on school work and other projects, there are several drawbacks. Being constantly plugged into the internet can make young people feel they are constantly under scrutiny. They need to be putting up a front on social media to show to their peers that their life is perfect and they are living up to society’s expectations of them. They are constantly being bombarded with images of people living supposedly perfect lives and displaying selfies that have been filtered beyond recognition to remove any flaws and imperfections.
It’s no wonder then, that 61% of school-aged kids are experiencing issues with low self esteem. If your child is having issues with their confidence or mental health, there are things you can do as a parent to make them feel better about themselves. Here are some tips to get you started.
Highlight their strengths
No matter who your child is, there will be things they excel at. Maybe their academic performance is excellent, or they are incredibly skilled at the piano. It could be that they are good at sports or handy with computers. Or perhaps their skills are more social, and they have a great aptitude for connecting with others and making friends. Whatever their positives, you should be highlighting these, as they may not realize how impressive they are.
Eliminate negative talk
Your child might be feeling low as a result of a perceived flaw. Maybe they are self-conscious about their orthodontics or their weight. They could be embarrassed about their difficulties with schoolwork or lack of ability on the playing field. Whatever it is, try to help them focus on the positives rather than the negatives. Sometimes all you need is a change in perspective to feel better.
Talk to them
A lot of children are reluctant to talk to their parents about what is going on in their lives. You’re an adult who seems far removed from their own life experience so they don’t realize that you have probably experienced the same issues at some point in your own childhood. Make an effort to talk to them about how they are feeling. Once they realize you are concerned they may start to open up and share their thoughts with you. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved.