Teachable Moments can come from a wide variety of sources, including other parents. From time to time parents write blogs for us that we think you will find interesting, useful, or entertaining. Please enjoy this post from a fellow parent.
The influence of mainstream media on today’s teens is perhaps stronger than it has ever been. With multiple social media avenues, blogs and magazines toting this week’s latest look flooding the brains of today’s youth, sometimes it’s hard for young girls and boys to be comfortable with how they look. And more often than not, the types of role models our teens are looking up to may not be the role models we would pick for them.
The latest craze? Having lips like Kylie Jenner. Who is Kylie Jenner, you ask? Kylie is the youngest sibling of the infamous Kardashian sisters. Thrown into the spotlight of reality television at a young age, Kylie has “matured” at a rapid pace and is hardly recognizable as a 17-year-old girl. A hashtag has been sweeping the internet and social media sites, featuring photos and videos of young girls suctioning glasses to their lips to enlarge their size in hopes of attaining a Kylie Jenner pout.
The results are nothing short of horrifying, as shown by the teen pictured here. Participants are losing feeling in their lips, ending up with bruises and broken blood vessels. Doctors are warning girls (and boys) trying this stunt that they may be doing permanent damage and could potentially lose all feeling in their lips.
It’s important, as a parent, to be able to talk to your teens about healthy influences and role models. Remember how stressful your teenage years were. The desire to fit in, to get good grades, and to have a lot of friends is nothing new for teens and tweens. But with the growth of social media and electronic communication, many more teens are struggling to not get lost in the crowd and to fit into the mold of what society is telling them they should look like.
Here are some helpful hints you can use as a parent to help “pressure-proof” your teen:
- Identify what problems and social pressures your child is experiencing and the reasons behind them.
- Protect your child by reducing the amount of time he or she spends in unsupervised activities where sources of social pressure are present.
- Encourage your child to spend time with friends who have similar interests and who can be positive role models. This can help your child with issues like wanting to fit in and being accepted.
- Maintain a strong, supportive relationship with your child. Talk often and keep the lines of honest communication open.
You can’t always be there to protect your teen from the social pressures that today’s digital world throws at them. But you can teach your son or daughter some valuable ways to find relief in an often pressure-packed world. Above all, be sure you are modeling appropriate behaviors for your child.
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Image from here.