Set healthy boundaries for teens on social media

by Nurse Rose Melendez | WGTS 91.9 FM

Social media can have a positive or negative effect on your teen. Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, a longtime Emergency Department nurse and mom of three, shares her tips for setting social media boundaries with teens to help them develop healthier technology habits.

What impact can social media have on teens?

Nurse Rose: Social media is a great way to connect with friends and learn about new experiences. However, research suggests that spending more than one to two hours on social media can lead to isolation, loneliness, depression and anxiety.

How much time should teens spend on social media? 

Nurse Rose: Teens should not be on social media and technology for more than two hours a day – excluding the time spent on schoolwork. Here are a few tips to try.

  • Establish “no phone times.” That may include during dinner or right after school.
  • Try a tech-free day where the whole family hangs up the phone and tablets for an entire day of screen-free activities.
  • Take technology out of the bedroom. Research shows that technology disrupts sleep, which takes a toll on children’s mental health.

What can parents do to encourage teens to establish healthy technology habits?

Nurse Rose: Parents play an important role in setting boundaries for children and teens so they can develop healthy habits that last a lifetime.

  • Model good behavior. Your child is always watching – even when you wouldn’t expect it. Show you can put your phone away and focus on the people in front of you.
  • Check in with your child. Honest and open communication goes a long way in helping children and teens thrive as they grow. It provides a solid foundation to wade through the noise of social media.
Rose Melendez, RN

Rose Melendez, RN

Head of Emergency Department

Rose Melendez, RN is the head of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center. Tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to listen to Nurse Rose live on the radio.

If you’re concerned about your teen’s social media use or believe they are exhibiting signs of anxiety, depression or loneliness, reach out to the mental health experts at Adventist HealthCare