Talking with Kids about Social Media and Mental Health
Critical Topics in Parenting
Parents were already concerned about rising rates of child anxiety and depression before the U.S. declared a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health in October 2021.
PEP’s 2022 – 2023 Critical Topics in Parenting free webinar series will address the mental health challenges facing families and children from a variety of perspectives to explore key questions, offer strategies, and share resources for parents to build their children’s resilience during tough times.
While we know that tech use and social media help children connect with their peers, it is also clear that social media can create a cycle of seeking approval and a downward spiral of loneliness, anxiety and depression for tweens and teens whose positive sense of self comes through validation from others.
Devorah Heitner, PhD, an expert on young people’s relationships with digital media and technology and author of Screenwise, explains the importance of “mentoring over monitoring” when it comes to kids’ tech use and gives advice on how to encourage a healthy relationship with media and technology. Her forthcoming book, Growing Up in Public, is a guide to navigating reputation, privacy, and boundaries with our kids who are growing up in a world where it feels like everyone is watching.
Join us to learn:
- How parents can mentor children as they grow up on Instagram, TikTok, Discord, and other social media apps
- Strategies for teaching tweens and teens to recognize how social media affects their mental health and when to take a break
- How to work on sleep habits to balance screen time and getting enough rest
- Supporting kids in staying true to themselves as they grow up “in public” on social media apps
For parents of children age 8 and up.
Moderated by Blanca Flor Guillen-Woods, PEP Parent Educator leading classes with Latino parents through PEP's Partnership Program.
Dr. Devorah Heitner is the author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World and her book on navigating privacy and reputation with kids and teens, Growing Up in Public will be out in 2023 with Penguin Random House.
Dr. Heitner’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and CNN Opinion. She has a Ph.D. in Media/Technology & Society from Northwestern University and has taught at DePaul and Northwestern. She is delighted to be raising her own teenager and she lives with her family in Chicagoland.
Thank you to our Critical Topics in Parenting Sponsors
"My husband and I really enjoyed the webinar. we have some practical strategies that we can start to implement right away."
--Participant, PEP Online
"It was a hard topic and I felt like she explained the issues well in a non-judgmental way. Thank you!"
--Participant, PEP Online