The Denair Unified School District has unveiled a guide intended to help parents better understand the potential risks for children and teens posed by what is shared, said and viewed on social media.
The guide was developed by the Legacy Health Endowment, a Turlock organization focused on improving health care and wellness in Stanislaus and Merced counties.
The guide is a 16-page PDF that parents can download on their computers, tablets or cellphones. It is available in English and Spanish on the Denair Unified website.
“It is for anyone who wants to help children and youth navigate social media in a healthy way,” said Denair Superintendent Terry Metzger.
Jeffrey Lewis, president and CEO of the Legacy Health Endowment, said that “children and teens who use social media are more vulnerable to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and even a heightened sense of suicide.”
He said the guide is a tool for parents to use to initiate and direct conversations with their children about what they’re doing and seeing on social media.
“More information is coming out arguing that there is a correlation between the increased use of social media and poor behavioral health,” Lewis said. “It has become clear that educating parents and guardians would be helpful and impactful.”
The guide includes the basic history of social media usage and descriptions of the most popular sites, including tips for parents to know about each of them. The guide also alerts parents to various apps that can help them to manage and track their child’s social media use. And it has a glossary of digital words and phrases as well as links to sites so parents can seek more information, if needed.