Instagram makes body issues worse, COVID-19’s longterm impact, and the benefit of regular bedtimes

This week, the WSJ released internal Facebook data that showed the shocking impact that Instagram has on teen girls.

Home » Gradeschool » Instagram makes body issues worse, COVID-19’s longterm impact, and the benefit of regular bedtimes

Facebook knew that Instagram was dangerous for teens

Parents Club has been focused on bringing members—like you—the latest research on raising healthy, happy families. Usually, this research comes from academic institutions, but this week, the Wall Street Journal released data from internal researchers at Facebook that found that “Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies.”

The surprising admission? Instagram made them feel worse.

In a 2019 slide, the researchers said, “We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls.”

The studies even concluded that among teens who reported suicidal thoughts, 13% of British users and 6% of American users traced the desire to kill themselves to Instagram.

As the father of a two-year-old girl (and with another baby girl due in December!), this makes me really think about the role of social media in their lives as they become older.

In June, Facebook announced Instagram Youth, a version of the popular photo-sharing app for pre-teens. Lawmakers have pushed Facebook to abandon the plans, but Bloomberg reported that Facebook is still dead set on launching.

I’m curious what your thoughts are and what are your family guidelines on social media usage?

Having a regular, consistent bedtime makes you smarter

It’s no secret that having regular routines can help create a calmer, more relaxed household environment. It leads to less outbursts as kids know what to expect from day-to-day. But did you know that it can also improve your child’s brain development?

Researchers from University College London examined whether bedtimes in early childhood are related to cognitive performance. Researchers followed 11,000 children from when they were 3-years old to the age of 7 to measure the effects of bedtimes on cognitive function as shown through cognitive test scores in reading, math, and spatial abilities.

The findings suggest that having inconsistent or late bedtimes when children are between the ages of 3 and 7 can lead to lower reading, math, and spatial skills for girls, but not for boys.

Karsen and I went deeper on this topic in this week’s Quick Tip episode:

Listen to the Full Episode 🎧or subscribe on your phone

COVID-19 and the impact on child growth and development

Back in 2020 (that seems like forever ago), no one thought that we’d be starting this school year still in a pandemic. It can’t be good to live day-to-day with a constant fear of getting COVID-19 and the risk of potentially passing it along to someone who’s immunocompromised, where the risk is much higher.

Add that to the social isolation, less time spent outdoors, and decrease in physical activity… the outcome is more stress and anxiety.

There was a UCLA study that showed the experience of being in quarantine or isolation and be traumatizing to children and their parents. In a survey of parents, the researchers found that 30% of children in quarantine met the criteria for PTSD.

I had a lot of questions that I wanted to research for this week’s episode:

  • How much more transmissible is the Delta variant?
  • How does COVID/Delta impact children compared to adults?
  • What is the current risk of hospitalization and breakthrough cases?
  • What can parents do to minimize the long-term impact on our children?

In this episode, Karsen and I explored what the science shows that we know about the pandemic, Delta variant, and the impact on children’s growth and development.

Our new YouTube channel is live!

Newborn & Baby Birth Weight Gain Chart – Tips For Avoiding Underweight Babies

It’s natural for parents to be worried about their newborn babies not gaining weight fast enough. In this video, we cover the research on healthy weight gain for newborns, infants, and toddlers. You’ll learn about the weight gain charts, which ones to use by age, and the best tips for avoiding underweight babies.

Watch Video ▶️

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