SENSE & SENSITIVITY
Parent concerned about daughter’s posts
DEAR HARRIETTE: My 14-year-old daughter is very active on social media. Snapchat is her medium of choice. I’m on Facebook and Instagram but not Snapchat. I recently learned that she and her girlfriends have been posting photos of themselves asking if they are cute. My “source” told me some of the posts are mean about other people, and some are kind.
I am concerned my daughter is getting caught up in appearances as well as in how other people perceive her. How can I help her continue to cultivate positive self-esteem when she is already questioning her attractiveness in a social media space? -- Cultivating Self-Esteem, Los Angeles
DEAR CULTIVATING SELF-ESTEEM: The good news is that you have a source you can trust to help you figure out what your daughter is doing. As hard as you may try, you will likely not be able to stay on top of which media outlets attract your daughter’s and her friends’ attention.
I recommend that you not reveal your source. Instead, keep that person in place to monitor your daughter’s communications. With your daughter, work to keep a level of confidence in your relationship. If you can create a safe space where the two of you talk about life, friendships, boys -- everything -- you will have a better chance of influencing her decisions. FYI: Taking away her phone or banning her from social media would only be a temporary fix. Trust is a much stronger force in guiding your daughter’s steps.