Health in a Minute: Kids On the Guest List & Online Friendships

Kids on the Guest List

kids in the guest list | Two kids in wedding

For parents of young children, navigating events like weddings, family reunions, or even a simple day out of the house can be nerve-wracking. Here are some tips to help you and your young one enjoy autumn outings.

  1. Talk about it. New experiences can be overwhelming for young kids, but talking about the event and describing what they are going to experience beforehand can help them be more comfortable.
  2. Know where to go when they have to go. Make note of bathrooms and exits, especially if your child is in the midst of potty training. For seated events, seats toward the back and close to the aisle make for a quicker exit. 
  3. Make time for nap time. Plan a safe place for a nap ahead of time whether it’s in the car, in a portable crib, or back at the hotel.
  4. Go easy on yourself! Remember that people wanted both you and your child at the event. Try to relax, have fun, and make good memories.  

Are Online Friends "Real" Friends?

online friendships | Online Friends Illustration

Today, teenagers can connect with peers all over the world through online games or chatting about shared interests on social media. Many parents worry about their teenagers spending too much time online, but research shows that these interactions are more comparable to in-person socialization than you might think. Here are some things to consider. 

Some teens, particularly those with developmental or behavioral disorders, find face-to-face interaction difficult and can struggle to make friends. Online interactions offer decreased social pressure, allowing teens to bond over shared interests and experiences with less fear of rejection. Friendships these days might look different than they did before social media, but they are still just as important.  

According to research, most teens use online platforms to stay connected to people they consider friends offline, not strangers on the internet. However, it is important to make sure your teen understands how to stay safe. You can encourage your child to come to you about any negative experiences by listening to them talk about online friends without judgment.

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