If you sometimes feel like your daughter pays more attention to Snapchat than she does you and that social media is progressively taking over your home, you’re not alone. Preteen and teenage girls today are living with expectations beyond what any previous generation has experienced—and in key ways, social media is at the heart of it. The result is that certain core personality and behavioral skills that are linked to future success may be getting compromised. So, how can parents get their daughters to put down their mobile devices long enough to genuinely communicate interpersonally, without texts, likes, snaps, and pics? Laurie Wolk, modern mentor and author of the new book Girls Just Want to Have Likes: How to Raise Confident Girls in the Face of Social Media Madness, has some ideas.
“Parents cannot fall asleep at the wheel,” explains Wolk, a Larchmont mom of three. “They need to take action, rather than just hoping the problem will go away on its own”—a strategy she refers to as “the antidote.” She believes parents need to build their daughters’ confidence, making sure they have or develop skills in areas essential for success, specifically citing communication, leadership, and organizational skills.
Through conversation, social-media contracts, skill-building activities, and negotiation, the six-week program detailed in Wolk’s book—which was released by Difference Press in June—helps parents lay the groundwork to limit their daughter’s social media habits while creating a fun, “nag-free” environment at home. “It’s natural to break rules,” says Wolk, “but the key is your daughter’s awareness of her own actions.”
Girls Just Want to Have Likes is available at Amazon.com.