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I'm going to remove all social media from my dd phone for the sake of her mental health.

(25 Posts)
ihatethecold Thu 03-Nov-16 19:07:41

My dd13 has anxiety.
We are not 100% sure of the cause, possibly a collection of reasons.
She is really finding school stressful and has been referred to camhs for not eating through stress.
The school and I are working on getting her the most appropriate treatment to help her.
She does have a "boyfriend " and they communicate via SM.
I call it emoji love after seeing the messages they send each other.
she hasn't asked to meet him outside school so I'm hoping it will fizzle out.

Anyway my point is after reading her messages to her friends and boyfriend I think a lot of her anxiety is made worse by SM.
I don't think she can cope with some of the bitchiness from other girls.
I don't mind her being able to FT her friends.
I won't take her phone away but I can change the iTunes password so she can't reinstall the apps.

She isn't going to be happy about my decision but I feel I have a responsibility to do everything I can to help her mh.

ImperialBlether Thu 03-Nov-16 19:11:16

My daughter's in her 20s and stopped using all social media for a couple of years and said she felt much better. At the same time she was doing a lot of yoga and the two things together made her look and feel really great. She'd suffered with depression on and off and that seems to have gone now. Could you encourage your daughter to take up something like yoga? It seems to be very good at encouraging people to accept themselves.

AnthonyPandy Thu 03-Nov-16 19:12:18

But surely she will be able to google facebook/instagram?

But it sounds like a good idea, I'm taking a break from facebook for my mental health too.

ihatethecold Thu 03-Nov-16 19:17:50

She isn't on FB.
She could google them but I'm going to be very honest and open with her about why I think she would feel better away from these sites.
I'm also very good at knowing what she has been on.
She's not that tech savvy ATM to cover her tracks.
I will also explain the consequences if she goes on them.
She won't want to lose her phone.
She is a really well behaved and I do trust her.

NeonPinkNails Thu 03-Nov-16 19:21:47

This is a really difficult one. My DD is in a similar situation and I am convinced SM is not helping but to take it away would stress and alienate her so not ideal either. Really not sure what to do (or recommend you do) for the best.

AnthonyPandy Thu 03-Nov-16 19:23:30

Well you have to be cruel to be kind and to look after someone's mental health is the very kindest thing you can possibly do.

flowers to you and your daughter.

dovesong Thu 03-Nov-16 19:25:45

I have discovered lately that taking a step away from Twitter, Facebook and other social media have helped my mental health more than I can begin to express. She might not thank you for it but it's the best move you could makeflowers

audreyharley Thu 03-Nov-16 19:35:26

You're going to remove all SM from her phone without telling her? It sounds as if you're punishing her for her mental health.

ihatethecold Thu 03-Nov-16 19:36:46

She can still text and face time.
She won't be completely isolated.
I'm sure I will see her more around the house if she's bored.
She used to love doing art and baking.

PotOfYoghurt Thu 03-Nov-16 19:41:59

I agree that social media can be very damaging for teenagers. But I think you would be better to sit down and have a conversation with her instead of removing something without even talking to her about it, like she's a small child.

Explain your concerns to her, your reasons for wanting to do so, and that you think it will help her. Maybe suggest trialling it for a month to see if she feels the benefit. But involve her in the decision.

iamamazing Thu 03-Nov-16 19:48:16

Just following this. My DD is almost 12 and sounds exactly the same as your daughter. GP referred to CAMHS who wrote and said that they wouldn't see her (I guess it's not at a bad enough stage) and I don't quite know what to do!

audreyharley Thu 03-Nov-16 19:56:55

I agree with the other posters, you have your daughter's health in mind and so long as you discuss it with her and give her that respect and acknowledgement of her maturity, this could be a good choice that you would both make. Best of luck OP.

ihatethecold Thu 03-Nov-16 19:58:24

I would never do it behind her back.
We will have a discussion about her coming off it for a period of time.

PotOfYoghurt Thu 03-Nov-16 20:10:29

I really hope it helps your DD, best of luck op.

ihatethecold Thu 03-Nov-16 20:32:34


JustDanceAddict Fri 04-Nov-16 15:02:39

Both my kids have anxiety and have had CBT but I wouldn't remove SM from them without their consent. I would talk to her about what you state here - citing SM as one of the reasons and see what she says. I would also engage her in art and baking - my 14 yr old still does both along with SM and whatever else 14 yr olds do!! I think her anxiety came from pressure at school with work & friends, but it was at a height 18minths-2 years ago and she wasn't on SM as much then (just FB, not insta or snapchat). SM heightens social pressure, but it's still there with or without it.

ihatethecold Fri 04-Nov-16 15:45:48

Thank you Justdance,
I just think its part of the problem for her. Until we get her assessment done with Cahms. I think we need to do all we can to help her.

I don't mind sm so much but i feel its taking over and she has stopped doing her hobbies.
When she has a particularly bad day i can see there has been something on SM about her and i don't think she has the ability to deal with it.

We talk to her alot about her day and how things have been for her, I would never come on strong with her and remove her apps.

t875 Fri 18-Nov-16 06:17:43

there is an app I found out about called Our Pact it's fantastic.
It's shuts down their apps for how ever long you want.
My dad soon learnt when we ask her to do something she did. smile
We don't use it now although I'm thinking about it!
Maybe Just encourage her to have 30 mins on her sm the. Do something else.
I'm the same with my daughter. Snap chat is so annoying!!!

OhTheRoses Fri 18-Nov-16 06:24:47

I really think you'd be better off getting some counselling organised for her whilst waiting for CAMHS to assess after which, unless she's psychotic or her weight is life threatening, they will most probably do nothing or put her on a very long waiting list.

CauliflowerSqueeze Fri 18-Nov-16 06:41:41

Well done OP.
Wish more parents did that.

sijjy Fri 18-Nov-16 06:51:35

My daughter has used the Cahms service and social media was also not helping her mental health issues. Talking to my dd about removing sm caused a complete meltdown her meltdown was due to the fact she thought she would be isolated from her friends even more. I did say she could text or FaceTime instead. Her reply to me was no one does that mum.
We agreed on the advice from cahms that she would give me her phone at 10pm every night so she would get a break from it.
My dd was 15 at the time so maybe you could agree a eArlier time that is more suited to a 13yr old.
It was difficult at first and she would come up with all sorts of excuses to not give me the phone but we stayed firm and it got easier. And it did help her mental health.

Waitingforsherlock Sat 19-Nov-16 23:52:51

This is a tricky one. Dc's really do experience FoMO, ( fear of missing out) and taking away their means of communication can exacerbate that feeling. Using social media tends to be for a number of reasons in addition to keeping in touch. Girls in particular use it for validation and consolidation of friendships.

My dd, also 13 has experienced crippling anxiety. She is also a heavy social media user. I wouldn't take her access away though. You are right to say that she will most probably feel better in the long run but short term I think you will both be in for a hard time. I agree that it is pernicious and damaging and I loathe it but I have also seen how it has helped my dd to forge closer links with friends.

I would limit the time that she spends on it if she is agreeable. I much prefer it when dd FaceTimes, (she probably uses that as much as anything and I think it's much better than SM).

Maybe she isn't enjoying the baking at the moment, my dd went off it about a year ago despite being a great cook. Would she go out for cake and tea maybe instead? Or perhaps for a shopping trip?

You have my absolute sympathy. It's awful having this obtrusive 'thing' in the house but pragmatically I thnk that social media is here to stay. I even see a difference in usage between my 19 year old and my 13 year old. A mere 5 years between them but SM use is far more entrenched in my dd's day.


ihatethecold Sun 20-Nov-16 07:49:33

Thanks everyone.
Her camhs assessment is very soon and she has filled the forms out for them which hasn't shown anything new that I was unaware of.
We take her phone off her at 9pm and put it in our bedroom so she can't get it and sneak back on.
She also changed her passcode but I explained to her that she isn't to keep it private and she has given me the code.
She is deleting her msgs though every day which is annoying but I do understand.
She mostly FaceTimes her friends which I'm fine with.

We have also got her back into her favourite hobby which she is really enjoying again.

I found something quite alarming on her messages last week from her "boyfriend " on her phone and informed the school straight away.
So this boy could get some help.
They immediately involved his parents and got some outside support for him.
This means my dd knew I'd looked at her messages but once I explained why she was ok about it.

I'd do the same again.

Deadsouls Sun 20-Nov-16 07:56:25

I came off FB in August and deleted all my own SM - Instagram. I think it'S been a really positive step. I feel better for not being on SM at all.

AvocadoGirl Sun 20-Nov-16 21:19:23

My kids are too young for social media, and I am NOT looking forward to them getting on it. I think it has a lot to do with the levels of depression and anxiety seen in kids these days. The bitchiness and nastiness is horrific, and the worst part is they can't leave all the drama behind when they come home.

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