We’ve talked before about the top factors affecting teen and tween sleep, and it’s probably no surprise that screen time falls into that category. Screen time can eat into an appropriate bedtime, reduce the number of hours your tween sleeps at night (especially if all tech devices aren’t housed in a family docking station overnight), in addition to contributing to stress and anxiety which can lead to insomnia.
However, technology and social media is a huge part of the world we live in, and we believe that parents can be intentional and proactive when it comes to giving their tween access and helping them learn how to positively be a part of the digital world.
While it’s completely up to parents when they decide to let their tween or teen enter the world of social media, one of the first platforms they’ll most likely be asking to join is Instagram. Instagram continues to be one of the most popular social media platforms for tweens and teens, and chances are you may already be using the platform yourself.
Understanding The Impact Social Media Can Have On Tweens
Before you consent to allowing your tween on Instagram, parents should know that high usage of social media platforms have been shown to compromise tween’s mental health, especially for young girls. In addition to being exposed to cyber bullying, they will spend less time doing things that positively affect their health like exercising, sleeping and spending time with friends and family.
So, what can parents do to help mitigate the negative impact social media can have on their tween’s life? If you feel like your son or daughter is ready to join Instagram, we recommend checking out resources like Better Screen Time to help both you and your child navigate this new reality. When you take an active approach to limit the overall effect that social media can have on your child’s life, you’ll be in the best position to protect their sleep, their real life relationships, their level of physical activity and their mental health.
Finding The Positive On Instagram
As with anything, you can always find the good with the bad. Instagram is ripe with models and influencers and inappropriate hashtags that your new Instagram using tween may know about from their friends or find on their own. Unfortunately, a lot of these accounts trigger anxiety and contribute to low self-esteem as they constantly show unattainable or unhealthy lifestyles.
Thankfully, it is possible to help your tween build a positive Instagram account right from the start by having them follow people or groups that help them learn, make them think, are inspiring, and contribute to positive growth. Explain to them that just as they like to surround themselves with friends that make them feel good, they should do the same when creating an online space that they’ll be using frequently.
In addition to the accounts we’ve listed below, spend some time on your own searching Instagram for accounts that may be appropriate for your tween to follow based on their interests. If they like to cook, check out celebrity chef accounts. If they like sports, find professional athletes that are on Instagram and see if their content is tween appropriate. No matter what your tween is into, you will certainly be able to find accounts that speak to their interests. That is one of the benefits of a platform that’s used around the globe by millions of people!
Tween Friendly Instagram Accounts
If your tween is new to Instagram (or even if they’ve been a user for a while), encourage them to check out these accounts and give them a follow.
- @iamkidpresident – an inspiring account showing tweens it’s possible to make a difference.
- @gopro – for tweens that love adventure.
- @animalplanet – for animal lovers and those curious about learning more about animals from around the world.
- @natgeotravel – exploring the world through incredible pictures.
- @maya_on_the_move – adventures of an adorable bulldog in New York and LA.
- @amypoehlersmartgirls – celebrating girls staying true to themselves.
- @dictonarycom – learn a new word every day.
- @ireadya – online community of young adult book lovers.
- @nbcnewslearn – the education division of NBC news.
- @cbckidsnews – real news delivered by real kids.
- @teamcanada – get inspired by amazing Canadian Olympians.
- @walkingwithaidan – follow Aidan as he walks, kayaks and canoes across Canada.
- @emmawatson – a young celebrity with a positive and powerful voice.
- @girlsontheruninternational – inspiring girls to be healthy, happy and confident.
- @metowe – empowering people to change the world.
- @dudeperfect – sports and Nerf gun trick shots that are tween friendly.
- @psimadethis – for tweens who love to DIY.
Good Night Sleep Site – Supporting Your Tween’s Sleep
Whether you’ve noticed a difference in your tween’s sleep habits or in their daytime alertness, parents often come to us worried about sleep concerns such as insomnia, anxiety around bedtime, frequent night wakings, snoring, and a variety of other issues. Adding social media or new technology can certainly influence your child’s overall health, including sleep, and reaching out for support is sometimes the best way to get things back on track. To learn more about Good Night Sleep Sight’s Kid To Teen Sleep Program, please contact us.