The permissive Self-esteem and Montessori approaches to raising children both encourage children to make many of their own decisions while adults/parents stay mostly out of the way. Without more involved parental/adult guidance, the long-term results may be devastating.
Recently what was termed the Facebook depression study was reported in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and there was immediate criticism of this study.
However, before you side with the critics to justify spending more time online, stop and think about the higher risk of cancer that was linked to cell phone use, which was also criticized when it was first reported as a theory.
Then recently alarming new research from Sweden on the effects of radiation from cell phone use indicates that children and teenagers are five times more likely to get brain cancer from the use of mobile phones. Source: The Independent
As for “Facebook depression”, the advice said parents should understand the sites their children visit and encourage healthy use and should monitor for potential problems such as cyberbullying, “Facebook depression,” sexting, and exposure to inappropriate content.
Being popular and fitting in is the thing for every teen across the globe. Peer pressure is intense (and cyberbullying is quite common, can occur to any young person online, and can cause profound psychosocial outcomes including depression, anxiety, severe isolation, and,tragically, suicide.) and has an impact on many undesirable choices that many teenagers are making – whether or not to smoke, drink, have sex, attend school, indulge in criminal/antisocial behaviour.
The study concluded that, “As with offline depression, preadolescents and adolescents who suffer from Facebook depression are at risk for social isolation and sometimes turn to risky Internet sites and blogs for “help” that may promote substance abuse, unsafe sexual practices, or aggressive or self-destructive behaviors.”
The risk of cancer from cell phone use and more on depression will be covered in parts 2 and 3 of this series.
Continued on June 7, 2011 in Risking the Mental and Physical Health of Your Children – Part 2
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