Sometimes, despite our best efforts to manage and support our kids when they use social media or apps, they see things we wish they hadn’t. When this happens, we parents can feel like we’ve failed our kids – after all, it is our job to protect them. We can also feel really anxious and scared for our kids as we worry about the long-lasting effect of that content on their well-being, especially their mental health. Most of all, while we might realise the importance of talking to them about it, we might feel really unprepared and nervous about having such a necessary but difficult conversation.
You might be surprised to know that our children are probably experiencing many of those same uncomfortable feelings that we are right now. They may feel like they’ve ‘failed us’ and could feel guilty and ashamed for watching the content. They are likely to also feel anxious and scared about what they’ve seen and could worry about how that will affect them in the future. And they could also feel really nervous and uncertain about talking to us about it, worrying about how we will react to them sharing their experiences.
As challenging as these conversations may be, they are essential right now. So here are three tips to navigate this very difficult situation and support your kids with constructive conversation.