Being Present: Helping Your Teen Tune In

If you’re the parent of a teenager, chances are, you’ve probably seen it. Social media hypnosis.

Hunched over phones, laptops, and other screens, teenagers may seem increasingly detached from reality—choosing to dive into social media rather than “real” conversations happening all around them.

But what is really behind this frustrating behavior? How much social media are today’s teens really using? Most importantly, what steps should parents take?

Get the answers with this quick guide from the skills and preparedness experts at Presenting Perfection.


A Serious Time Commitment

In short, the statistics are staggering. According to the most recent research, 92% of American teens report being online and connected daily, with nearly 30% reporting being online much of the day. Perhaps the most surprising number? Almost 75% of teens report using more than one social media platform daily.

For parents, these numbers likely serve as confirmation of what can seem like a growing problem.


Real Consequences

Of course, the incredible time commitment of social media use does indeed have negative consequences. According to the experts at Child Mind, a youth health research group, typical levels of social media use are enough to severely hinder the development of social skills, communication prowess, and conversational confidence – not to mention the rampant potential for cyber-bullying.

For teens, a lack of appropriate social skills can cause real problems, and not just within their peer group. Job interviews, academic presentations, and career events all demand an understanding of body language and other non-verbal cues, just two aspects of communication skills hindered by social media use.


Connect Yourself

So, what can be done?

For parents, the answer might be surprising: connect with your teen. While this approach doesn’t mean stalking your teen on various social media platforms, it does mean trying to remain engaged with your child on the topic of connectivity.

According to health researchers, one healthy strategy involves simply asking your teen about their social media use. Non-confrontational questions like “How is your friend?” or “Can I see some of her vacation photos?” can help bring you smoothly into your teen’s digital life.


Set Real Limits

Not surprisingly, many parents struggle with setting limits for their child’s social media use. The secret to setting limits that work? Build them around conversations, not arbitrary time periods.

Car rides, family meals, and other group situations are great moments to remind your teen to stay engaged in the moment, not their cell phone. By furthering conversation and trying to get your child involved in a discussion, you can both occupy their time and foster the conversation skills at risk in the world of social media.


Prepare With The Experts

Providing your teen with everything they need to succeed can be tough. Luckily, preparing for exams, college applications, and other milestones can be simple with the help of a friendly professional.

At Presenting Perfection, Kathryn Lancioni brings a wealth of professional preparedness experience. With a welcoming attitude and engaging workshops, Presenting Perfection can help prepare your child for whatever lies ahead.

Talk to Presenting Perfection today!