In teen counseling, we are seeing the impact social media is having on teen girls. Struggles with body image, self-esteem, self-worth, perfectionism can all lead to greater struggles.
Social media has a significant impact on today's teenagers, including teenage boys. In a 2021 survey, 47% of parents feel that social media and technology have a negative effect.
Teen boys may be on social media for different reasons, but they should be monitored just as much as teen girls.
Social Media: 3 Tips for Parents of Teen Boys
While teen boys may use social media differently than teen girls, social media can negatively impact teen boys just as much. So, what is a parent to do? It seems like EVERYONE is using social media and it's not going away.
Below are some tips for parents of teen boys when it comes to social media.
Be Aware of Gender Norms
Gender norms influence parents to monitor teenage girls more to protect them from bullying, cyberstalking, or over-sexualizing themselves in photos and videos.
However, teen males can be victimized in the same way and experience a negative impact on their mental health, according to research from Statista. Tik Tok, Snapchat, and Instagram, and online gaming platforms create another space for teens to socialize with their peers and access non-approved contacts.
Up to 95% of teens have daily access to a smart device. The combination of daily access and increased usage supports the idea that teenage boys enjoy spending time surfing on social media just as much as girls.
However, be cautious not to minimize the impact on their social perspectives and opinions. Consider how teens experience break-ups today.
Through social media, they can watch memories be erased and the evolution of their ex's new relationships. If your son does not express his thoughts and emotions as often, be sure to check in on occasion and monitor his online behavior.
Social Media and Sexual Development
Of course, social media would not be complete without the added attraction of an easy way for boys to explore their sexual curiosity. Social media can even be a platform to contact people they are attracted to online. Teens receive their first smartphone between 10-12 years of age when sexual knowledge is heightened, and peer engagement is significant.
Online interactions minimize the invisible veil of in-person awkwardness. You may notice your teen become bolder in their approaches towards people they are interested in.
Teens are sending messages or making comments they may view as harmless or a joke but can border unwanted sexualization. Parents need to review standards established for in-person interactions and discuss how they can be implemented for online interactions too.
In addition, tweens and teens are more likely to seek out video content or images that are sexualized. Parental access varies on different platforms; thus, your teen may not see certain content on their news feed but may still be able to search for it or receive images from friends.
In addition, some of the content may not be age-appropriate and can influence your teens' perception of healthy sexual expression and body image.
Openly Discuss How to Use Social Media Responsibly
In this age of easy internet access, you must teach your teenage son to act responsibly when online and when using any social media outlet. Without social media etiquette and a sense of personal responsibility, the online world can become a dangerous place.
Conduct careful parental monitoring about whom he is contacting online. Educate him on his responsibility not to join in online bullying or sexual harassment. Make it clear to him that he can come to you if he is feeling threatened by anyone in any way.
Social media is a significant part of life for teenage boys and will likely continue to be for quite some time. By learning more about your son's social media use, you will become a more effective parent. Steer your son in the right direction as he participates in what is now a cultural norm and will continue to be for years to come.
Katy Teen & Family Counseling: 70+ Years of Combined Experience in Teen Therapy in Katy, Tx
At our Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we have 70+ years of combined experience in providing teen therapy, family counseling, and group therapy. We specialize in working with teens and families in the Katy, Tx and Houston area.
While we have seen an increase in teen depression and teen anxiety challenges, there is hope. We see teens all the time start therapy wondering if it will ever get better to have them leave full of hope and happiness.
Katy Teen & Family Counseling is easy to get to and is conveniently located just off of 99 and I-10. If you are ready to start teen counseling, family therapy, or group therapy, all you need to do is follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling
Speak with our therapists who specialize in teen counseling
Get the support that you and your teen may need during a difficult time
Other Therapy and Counseling Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling
At our Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we use therapy and counseling approaches that are supported by research. These approaches have been shown to work in the shortest amount of time.
We also offer the following therapy and counseling services:
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Group Therapy for Teens
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Support Group for Parents
Parents of teenagers and young adults face unique challenges. The "Parents Supporting Parent's" group at Katy Teen & Family Counseling provides a place where parents can meet with other parents of teenagers and young adults who may be struggling.
Parents will walk away from this group with a greater feeling of support, actionable skills, and even friendships.
About the Author
Jheri has been providing therapy to teens, young adults, and families since 2009. She enjoys using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) & Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) due to its effectiveness with teens and young adults.
Jheri also has a unique understanding of some of the challenges teens and young adults face who are bi-racial. Identity, acceptance, and embracing a mixed heritage are some of the challenges she helps teens and young adults manage.
Also being raised in a blended family, Jheri can help parents and teens of blended families make this journey a little less complex.