What Parents Need to Know About the New Teen Trend Sadfishing

Source: https://www.wral.com/

Sadfishing, is defined as the act of posting emotional or sensitive content on social media to seek sympathy or attention. Coined by Journalist Rebecca Reid in 2019, it encompasses posts that can be a genuine cry for help or an attempt to highlight issues in a teen’s life. However, such posts can backfire, often causing more harm than good. Teens who sadfish may become targets for online harassment and manipulation, as groomers and harassers may exploit their vulnerability by feigning support to gain their trust for potential exploitation later on.

How can parents intervene in sadfishing?

-Model how to navigate emotions: Teens do sadfishing as a way to navigate overwhelming feelings of regret, shame, or grief. Teach your teens how to navigate the wave of emotions through reflection. Reflecting can enable teens to grow and become their best selves.

-Encourage your teen to find community support: Remind your teen that they have people around them who love and care for them. Your teen simply needs to let their friends and family know if they feel overwhelmed and that community can show up for them. Friends can help teens to talk out their feelings.

-Consider getting professional help: Parents can encourage their teens to receive counseling or other mental health support in a non-judgmental manner. A mental health professional can help your teen to navigate their emotions and minimize feelings of being overwhelmed.

-Use national resources: If your teen is having suicidal thoughts, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. Share this number with your teen, as well.

How should parents navigate social media usage?

-Parents need to change from monitoring to mentoring their kids’ social media usage, especially children in middle and high school. Parents can do this by setting up household digital rules with their teens’ active participation and input.

-Parents also teach their teens to utilize key online safety tools. For instance, parents can urge their teens to block or report harassing users, silence hateful accounts, or make their own social media accounts and posts private.

-By teaching these tools, parents can help prevent the dangers that sadfishing brings. Teens can be enabled to wisely post content, access social media, and scroll online.

-Parents, you can be there for your teen. Remember to be open, supportive, and love your teen deeply. Ask if there are ways that you, as their parent, can better support them.

Read More: https://childreninfobank.com/safebank/what-parents-need-to-know-about-the-new-teen-trend-sadfishing/

Image Source: https://www.wral.com/

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