How to talk to teens about social media and body image

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In an era of Instagram and TikTok, social media is encroaching on teenagers’ time more than ever. Experts say it’s important for caregivers to help adolescents understand the risks.


(Nora Mishanec/ Houston Chronicle) — Six years ago, Sunnie Gruwell’s 12-year-old daughter began obsessively reading recipes and food blogs, a fixation that led to a deeper struggle with body image and anorexia nervosa. During months of intensive therapy at a residential treatment center, Gruwell said her daughter was cut off from some of the key triggers of her distress: “They take away phones and social media.”

Gruwell’s daughter, who started college earlier this year, is now in recovery. But the experience left the Houston mother of four deeply wary of the corrosive effects of social media on her kids’ well being. She and her husband have established tactics for navigating the tricky topic with their teenagers. (…)

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