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Youth worker tells parents to lead by example on social media

Thu 04 Jan 2018
By Tola Mbakwe

A youth ministry consultant from Lancashire has encouraged adults to lead the way in showing appropriate social media behaviour.

Ali Campbell has been speaking to Premier about a new study from England's Children's Commissioner which warned secondary school pupils are 'ill-equipped' to cope with the stress of social media.

Anne Longfield's report also said comments and likes are seen by some kids as a way of validating their identity.

She advised teachers to play a bigger role in preparing kids for the "avalanche of pressure" from things like Facebook and Instagram.

Ali Campbell told Premier he agrees, he said: "That transition time between primary and secondary, when young people are exploring their autonomy thinking about who they want to be, there's a lot of challenges we need to help them navigate as they develop and grow."

He said parents should have constant conservation with children about social media because "they're immersed in this world and are growing up as digital natives".

However, he urged adults to lead by example.

"If we find ourselves regularly checking emails on our phone…doing that at the dinner table when we should be having conversation with our kids, what does our own usage look like in the home when our children are around?," he asked.

"Are we saying this is indispensable and I can't manage without it?"

Listen to Ali Campbell speaking with Premier's Eno Adeogun here:

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