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I call them ‘Screenagers’ and I had to have words with my own 22 year old daughter as she was stirring the onion gravy during our Christmas lunch replying to something on her MOBILE PHONE ! Despite the casual joke about ‘I hope it doesn’t fall in the gravy’ I was angry, distressed, disappointed and worried that she’s become addicted to technology like so many of the kids and parents that I work with.

I read this excellent article from Device Kids on the possible reasons why your kids are getting so much more out of social media than with us as parents.

It’s food for thought as I ponder new topics for my new ‘The Sue Atkins Parenting Show’ podcast launching in January.

‘What parent doesn’t crave that special relationship with their children? Those times that you laugh and cuddle, when they come to you for comfort if they’re hurt, where you’re the trusted all-knowing adult who gives them the wise advice they need to take on life’s challenges … but then something happens … they join Social Media!

Yes, Social Media! That thing, those apps, that place, those friends … what on earth is the attraction? It felt like just yesterday you were hero mummy and daddy and today you are just a pain, annoying, you don’t know anything and you just don’t get it! Their device is everywhere … in the car, in the TV room, in their bedroom, at your nieces Christening, over breakfast … that bloom’n smart phone! The challenge is, what are parents to do? How do they compete with a phone?

Part of the problem is this: the more experiences kids have via their phone, are the less experiences they are having with you – in real life. After a while, what’s happening on the other end of that device becomes far more important.

Today we explore how Social Media may know more about your child than you do and you know what? This could be part of the problem!

1. Social Media brings kids together and lets them hang out anytime.

Online is where everyone is! All of their friends, all of their friends’, friends, and even their friends’, friends’, friends! It’s here that they can connect with that cute guy, or that cool girl because everybody ‘friends’ everybody – there are no limits. Their Social Media doesn’t put limits on them or tell them with whom they should or shouldn’t speak. Social Media knows all of their friends and what they get up too – it even introduces them to new people!

2. Social Media gives them constant attention when you don’t.

Yep … if there’s one thing that feeds the emotional growth of kids, it’s attention – that’s why they demand so much of it and Social Media feeds them attention … on tap! It pays them attention when you don’t! When they do something silly and you don’t laugh, you can be certain that if they did the same thing online, heaps of people will LOL and ‘like’and love them! Life online gains them a constant round of applause!

3. Social Media occupies them when they’re bored.

“I’m bored, I’m bored!” , since your child had access to that device, they probably say this less. These days there is no time to be bored, they have games to play, pics to send, comments to make, Vines to upload, YouTube to watch, Pokémon’s to catch … they’re really busy! Meanwhile Social Media is learning more and more about what interests your child has and what they get up to when they’re bored! If mum and dad are too busy doing something else, then Social Media will definitely fill that space!

4. Social Media tells them stuff that you wouldn’t know.

Read more here http://www.devicekids.com/10-reasons-social-media-knows-more/