24 January 2024

Teen mental health and social media

If you have a teen who seems attached to a screen all day, you’re not alone. Social media is a big part of daily life for many teens. While there are so many benefits to being online and connected, a lot of parents struggle with how to navigate some of the risks and worry about how their children’s well-being can be affected. We spoke with three…, 1. What have been your main worries about your teenager using social media?, PAM: I think my biggest concern is my children’s belief that they are immune to digital distraction – that somehow they can study, reply to a girlfriend’s text and watch a movie, all while handing in a good essay on Napoleon. The endless pings and dings that follow them drive me to distraction, so I know it is affecting them too!  I also worry…, 2. What benefits of social media have you seen?, ANDREW: Probably the main benefit I see is connection. We are connected a lot more to people – connected to family, to friends, to people in other states and overseas. That's massive because these are people that we wouldn't connect with at all otherwise.  Exposure to lots of other information is another positive, although it can be a negative as…, 3. How have you talked about social media use and mental health concerns with your teen?, LISA: I’ve talked with my teens about making sure that, on balance, social media makes their lives better, not worse. I encourage them to reflect on why they turn to social media when they do and how they feel while using it. I’ve also talked with my teens about the strong connection between sleep and mental health and, accordingly, the critical…, 4. How do you approach social media use in your family?  , ANDREW: I try to limit wherever I can. I actually try with the older ones to get them to limit the amount of time they spend on devices themselves, rather than it just coming from me, because my 16-year-old is not necessarily going to listen to a great degree. As a parent, you can put a whole lot of different barriers and things in place, but I…, 5. What has worked well for your family?, LISA: As parents, it has worked for us to hold ourselves to the same rules we make for our teens. When our teens have asked to have their phones in their rooms, we’ve been able to say, “Having tech in the bedroom – even during the day – undermines the quality of sleep you get in that room. We keep our tech out of the bedroom to protect our sleep…, 6. What would you do differently?, LISA: I wish I had talked earlier with our older teen about the algorithms that drive what shows up in social media feeds. Teens need to understand that everything they do when online – what they look at, what they like, what they comment on, what they scroll past – loads into a powerful database that determines what they’ll see next. The…, 7. What advice do you give parents of teens who aren’t on social media yet?, ANDREW: It does depend on the actual platform, but by far the biggest thing that I tell parents of kids who aren't on social media yet is to be aware that whatever you post or put online is there for everyone to see. Yes, you can have different security settings, but people can access these things. Just be really aware of that and obviously that's…, 8. What do you tell parents who struggle to get their teens to disconnect from social media?, ANDREW: A lot of kids these days put their hands up and say: “Well, if I'm not on a screen, then what do I do?” They are so used to going to a device as a default. So rather than just saying “get off” or “stop”, I think it’s important parents engage with them and teach them what they can do when they're not on a device. Give them some ideas, play…
20 September 2023

How to keep your child safe online

As your child grows, it is likely they are spending more and more time online. There are so many positive things about being online like staying connected with friends and family, pursuing interests, and being part of communities. But it is not always a safe and positive experience for children. Here's how you can help your child maximize all the…, 1. Set clear ground rules, Have honest conversations with your children about who they communicate with and how, and who can see what they post online.  Explain that anything that goes online – pictures, videos, comments, things they share with others and what others post and share with them and about them – leaves behind a trail of information about them. To make sure they…, 2. Use technology to protect them, Check that your child’s device is always updated and running the latest software, and that privacy settings are on and configured to minimize data collection so that people don’t see any information that you don’t want them to see. Help your child learn to keep personal information private. If your privacy settings are not secure, anyone can see…, 3. Spend time with them online, Create opportunities for your child to have safe and positive online interactions with friends, family and you. Connecting with others can be an excellent opportunity for you to model kindness and empathy in virtual interactions. Help your child recognize and avoid misinformation and disinformation, age-inappropriate content and content that can…, 4. Model healthy online habits, Promote positive online behaviour by practicing it yourself. Be mindful of the example you set and what you share online about your child, including their photos and videos. Encourage your child to be kind online and to support friends and family by sending positive messages or emojis. If they have classes online, encourage them to be respectful…, 5. Let them have fun and express themselves, Spending time online can be a great opportunity for your children to be creative, learn, use their voices to share their views and support causes that are important to them. Encourage your child to use resources on the internet to help them get up and get moving, like online exercise videos for children and video games that require physical…
02 March 2023

The new Bebbo parenting app

Our new free Bebbo application for parents is the only tool parents need to give their children ‘A good start for a lifetime’. Supporting them and guiding them all the way through their child’s development years, from 0 to 6 years old. The Bebbo app helps you with answers to all your questions about parenting, all from the palm of your hand.  , Download the free Bebbo app now!, Google play App store, Parenting is hard, all parents can use some support,   Each and every child needs nurturing, nutrition, loving care, good health, and a stimulating & safe environment that offers plenty of support for early learning. All parents need support and have millions of questions on how to assist their children to grow healthy and smart. This is where Bebbo comes into play! The free app developed by…, How does Bebbo help you with your child’s development?,   The Bebbo App has a huge range of helpful features empowering parents to make the right decisions when it comes to the care and development of their child. Encouraging parents to engage daily with suggested articles and games that will help their little ones hit those key development milestones while growing healthy and happy., Features include:  , Bebbo Bebbo read Bebbo Bebbo read Suggested Daily Reads Every day the app will suggest a daily game and an article from a rich library of parenting advice written by experts, covering a large range of topics available in the app, such as baby weaning and early learning. All advice can be quickly saved as favorites and shared with other parents or…, Discover parenting app created by experts for parents of young children.,  , Download FREE App now!, Google play Google play Bebbo was developed with support from: The Austrian Development Agency and the European Union. Austrian Development Cooperation EU
12 December 2022

How to talk to your children about bullying

Watching your child experience the physical and emotional pain of bullying or cyberbullying is heartbreaking.  Some parents are unsure where to begin to help protect their children from bullying and violence. Others may not know if their children are victims, bystanders or even perpetrators of harmful behaviours.  Here are some tips on how to…, Understanding the basics,   What is bullying?   You can usually identify bullying through the following three characteristics: intent, repetition, and power. A bully intends to cause pain, either through physical harm or hurtful words or behaviour, and does so repeatedly. Boys are more likely to experience physical bullying, while girls are more likely to experience…, Starting with prevention,   How can I help prevent bullying in my child’s school?   The first step to keeping your child safe, whether in-person or online, is making sure they know the issue.  Educate your children about bullying. Once they know what bullying is, your children will be able to identify it more easily, whether it is happening to them or someone else.  Talk…, Responding to bullying,   What should I do if my child is being bullied or threatened?   If you know your child is being bullied, there are several steps you can take to help them: Listen to your child openly and calmly. Focus on making them feel heard and supported, instead of trying to find the cause of the bullying or trying to solve the problem. Make sure they know…
12 December 2022

Four things you can do to support your teen’s mental health

Whether you and your teen are getting along well or having challenges, it is important to show that you love and support them, that you can help them navigate tough times and that you are always there for them. Here are four things to keep in mind when having that ‘how-are-you-doing?’ conversation with your teen and to show that you are always…, 1. Encourage them to share their feelings, Look for ways to check in with your teen. Ask them how their day has been and what they have been doing. It could be by inviting them to join you in a task, such as preparing dinner, so you can use the time to chat about their day. Remind them that you are there for them, no matter what, and that you want to hear how they are feeling and what they…, 2. Take the time to support them, Work together on setting up new routines and achievable daily goals. You could fit in home chores around school work or set a target like getting homework done before dinner. Adolescence means independence! Try to give your teen the appropriate time and space to be on their own. Needing space is a normal part of growing up. Find a few ways you can…, 3. Work through conflict together, Listen to your teen’s views and try to sort out conflict calmly. Remember: everyone gets stressed! Never discuss an issue while you are angry. Walk away, take a breath and calm down — you can talk with your teen about it later. Avoid power struggles. With the world feeling unpredictable and options looking limited right now, teens might be…, 4. Care for yourself, Caregivers have a lot to deal with. You also need care and support for yourself. Showing self-care is also a good way of modelling the practice to your teen. Don’t wait to ask others for help if you are feeling overwhelmed. It is normal and okay to feel this way. Find a family member or someone you can talk to. Make time for your own relationships…
12 December 2022

How to discipline your child the smart and healthy way

There comes a time when every parent struggles with how best to discipline their child. Whether dealing with a screaming toddler or an angry teen, it can be hard to control your temper. No parent wants to find themselves in such a situation and the bottom line is that shouting and physical violence never help. Thankfully, there are other, more…, Why positive discipline?, “Parents don't want to shout or hit their kids. We do it because we're stressed and don't see another way,” says Professor Cluver. The evidence is clear: shouting and hitting simply do not work and can do more harm than good in the long run. Repeated shouting and hitting can even adversely impact a child’s entire life. The continued “toxic stress…, Engaging with younger children, One-on-one time can be fun – and it’s completely free! “You can copy their expressions, bang spoons against pots, or sing together,” adds Professor Cluver. “There’s amazing research showing that playing with your children boosts their brain development.”, Engaging with older children, Like younger children, teenagers seek praise and want to be thought of as good. One-on-one time is still important to them. “They love it if you dance around the room with them or engage in a conversation about their favourite singer,” says Professor Cluver. “They may not always show it, but they do. And, it's an effective way of building a…, Advice for parents during the COVID-19 pandemic , The pandemic has brought about sudden and drastic changes in the lives of families with parents directly in the middle of it. Here are some tips that can help parents get through these and any other stressful times: 1. Pause We all know the stress when we feel our child is being difficult. At moments like these, being present and stepping back is…