Brazilian mother Rocha Kanner reportedly told local publication Fantastico she thought her daughter’s obsession with social media was “unhealthy”.
“I don’t think it’s healthy even for an adult and much less for a teenager to base her self-discovery on online feedback,” she said.
She said her daughter Valentina would probably take a while to realise it was a healthy decision.
“It’s hard enough for you to find out who you are at 14 years old,” she said.
“When there are two million you’ve never seen in your life thinking they know you, it’s even more dangerous. It’s easier to lose yourself.”
Valentina said she “obviously wasn’t very happy” with the decision and she “got quite angry”. But she added she wasn’t sure if she’d return to social media in the near future.
So should other parents follow Kanner’s suit? According to a survey conducted by Happiful, nine in 10 parents (89 percent) fear for their child’s safety online, specifically on social media apps.
The survey of 1862 parents of teens found that the video sharing app TikTok worried parents the most, with 84 percent concerned about their child’s habits on the platform and 92 percent of parents believing that TikTok needs to do more to make the app safer for children.
Parenting expert Dr Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph told KidsHealth it’s more important for parents to communicate with their teens about social media.
“It’s important to be aware of what your kids do online. But snooping can alienate them and damage the trust you’ve built together,” she said.
“The key is to stay involved in a way that makes your kids understand that you respect their privacy but want to make sure they’re safe.”
She said it’s more important to teach your teens about treating others with respect, think twice before pushing enter, and “follow the ‘WWGS?’ (What Would Grandma Say?) rule”.
“Teach kids not to share anything on social media that they wouldn’t want their teachers, college admissions officers, future bosses – and yes, grandma – to see.”