I feel like the world that our kids are growing up in is almost a different planet from the one that I remember.
Gone are the days of families being bored together!
It takes effort to create what was once “entertainment norms” like family game night, TV night and hanging out together without distractions.
I feel like those can be overcome with a little creative time/device management, but what is even more concerning is some information that I learned through a recent study conducted by our sponsor, the Invisalign Teen® brand.
The study surveyed over 5,000 teens and moms to understand and compare their feelings on teasing, peer pressure and the impact acne, braces and body changes has on teen self-confidence.
Some of these subjects (can you say brace face!) have always had an effect on teen self-confidence, but what really stood out in this study is how social media has magnified those issues to today’s tweens and teens.
How do Teens Feel About Social Media?
54 percent of teens felt their life would be better without social media. I find this shocking and a little sad. Generally, teens would be the first ones to defend their online activities, but there seems to be an underlying factor of regret in over half of those surveyed. As a parent armed with this information, it will make me more resolute to have those times of unplugging! Deep down that is what my teens need (and want…even if they don’t say so!).
40 percent of teens feel their appearance is being judged more closely on social media than in person. Thinking back to my own teen years, I can’t even imagine adding a layer of MORE JUDGEMENT. But that is what our kids are dealing with today. I love the resource created by Invisalign Teen brand, Unbrace Teen Confidence. It is a free online parenting guide that can help walk both teens and their parents through these magnified areas of life. The guide was created in collaboration with parenting expert and author, Erika Katz. Erika has some really great ideas on what parents can do to help teens build a foundation of self-esteem.
94 percent of teens believe looks affect popularity. While this number doesn’t surprise me, it reminds me of what tweens and teens are currently facing…every day. Before social media, it could be turned off. Now this constant judgement that they feel is literally 24/7.
Taking this continual judgement a step further in the study, it was revealed that 57% of teens think that crooked teeth are embarrassing while only 23% of moms do. The disparity in perspective continues with 41% of teens feeling like wearing traditional braces is embarrassing with only 18% of moms agreeing.
One of the ways we have tackled this issue with my 13 year old is that he is starting Invisalign Teen clear aligner treatment. It was found that teens wearing Invisalign Teen are 68% less likely to be teased than those wearing metal braces and that while in treatment, it is two times more likely for teens using Invisalign Teen to experience a boost in self-esteem than teens wearing traditional braces.
I don’t know if I would have been as adamant about making sure he was in Invisalign Teen clear aligners if I hadn’t experienced it for myself. My Invisalign treatment allowed me to continue all my normal activities without the worry of how my smile appeared. I am now much more confident in how I look and that feeling began really early in my treatment as I could see positive changes as my teeth shifted.
There is a lot more information about tackling these sensitive subjects with our tweens and teens in the Unbrace Teen Confidence guide. Check out the complete survey and learn more about what teens and moms have to say about confidence.