Empowering Preteens & Building Self-Love With Andrea A. Lewis! by Donna John
So much has been written about the dangers of how today’s preteens derive their self-worth from social media. Some studies suggest they check their phones more than 100 times a day! Andrea Lewis, corporate executive, mom and author of "Love Yourself(ie): Life Lessons for Building Kid Charisma," joined us at #30SecondMom Twitter chat and shared strategies for building self-love and resilience in preteens to help them better manage social media pressure and mitigate the damaging effects on their self-worth.
Q: What are preteens facing today on social media and how is it challenging them and their parents?
Preteens on social media are judging self-worth by number of likes, leaving them insecure and obsessed with fitting in. Most advice for parents today is supervision, but advice for building self-love and resilience is needed, too. Here are some examples:
- Child stays up till 12 a.m. to be first to post happy birthday.
- Another takes down a post in tears.
When faced with situations like these, opening the lines of communication is imperative.
— Toni B (@rychepet) July 28, 2016
Q: What is "Love Yourself(ie)" and how does it help?
A short story helping preteens use self-love to filter social media and to be more confident and true to themselves. This is the first resource for preteens as the audience with self-love as focus. "Love Yourself(ie)" teaches preteens that what we think of ourselves matters most through a story kids see themselves in.
— Chrissy Jones (@CYJones30) July 28, 2016
Q: What inspired you to write "Love Yourself(ie)?"
The book is a response to lack of resources I noticed for kids in the digital age, and is the first kid-centric teaching tool. I also wanted to provide kids with a short, relatable story that’s easy to read. I felt parents needed a tangible resource to start a dialogue with kids about the negative aspects of social media.
Q: Why is emotional strength important for preteens growing up in the digital age?
Middle school can leave preteens questioning who they are and how to act at an age when character is being shaped. The ease of use and immediacy of social media adds pressure and tests youths’ character. By building resilience and self-esteem as preteens, kids learn to feel good about themselves and manage conflict – on and offline. It hurts as adults not to get likes when we post. Imagine the impact on a moldable 10-year-old for whom emotion drives everything.
— lorri langmaid (@lorri1956) July 28, 2016
Q: How do parents get started helping kids develop these skills?
Julie Carbray, clinical professor of psychiatry at UIC, wrote tips to help parents talk about building resilience. Practice the 3 Cs:
- CONTROL – what influences your emotions.
- CARE – how words and actions impact you and others.
- Have CONFIDENCE in yourself.
To see all of Dr. Julie’s UIC tips, click here!
— ☀️Stephanie☀️ (@StephanieArduo) July 28, 2016
Q: This is such an important issue. What role can parents play to lay foundation for safe online spaces?
- Allow access to social media only after an honest conversation with your preteen and encourage your friends to do same.
- Share your wisdom. Help more parents learn importance of building self-love and resilience, and about resources like "Love Yourself(ie)."
- Create a village. Talk with other parents regularly, take a team approach and make a positive online community for kids.
— Toni B (@rychepet) July 28, 2016
Q: Where can we find your book?
Buy "Love Yourself(ie): Life Lessons for Building Kid Charisma" by clicking the link below. Be sure to follow @lifelessons4kids, visit LifeLessons4Kids.org and like her on Facebook!
See you all next week - same time, same #30SecondMom hashtag. Goodnight, friends!
— 30Second Mom (@30secondmom) July 28, 2016