There’s no denying that social media plays a large role in the lives of today’s teenagers. While social media platforms can help kids stay connected with family and friends, they can also be harmful.

A 2019 study found adolescents who spent more than three hours a day using social media had a higher risk for mental health problems.

“Too much of anything is not a good thing,” said Lauren Sherman, PhD, Cognitive Neuroscientist

Now, the American Psychological Association (AMA) has issued new guidelines for parents. Experts suggest monitoring all social media use for kids ages 10-14. Also, they urge parents to consider enforcing time limits.

One study found limiting screen time to about an hour a day helped anxious teens and young adults feel better about their appearance.

“I think it is really important for parents to become comfortable with these tools, to talk to teens about them. It’s really a question of teaching digital literacy,” Dr. Sherman added.

You also might want to disable your teen’s location sharing and restrict private messaging, commenting, live-streaming and in-app purchases.

The APA also says to watch for signs of problematic use, such as poor sleeping habits, deceptive behaviors or an inability to carry out daily routines.

“It really matters who your teens are friends with online, it matters who they interact with,” Dr. Sherman continued.

If you suspect your child’s mental health is suffering, you may want to seek professional help.