Four out of 10 parents worry that their teenagers are ‘oversharing’ on Social Media.

1000 parents with children aged 13-18 years old found that while 66% believe self-expression is important and 40% fear that their offspring might be saying too much online.

But 67 per cent of the 1,000 teens polled believe self-expression and the need to talk things out is important – and they’re comfortable doing so virtually.

According to research, the most discussed topics online for 13-18-year olds are friendships (46%) and school (43%) as well as social issues (30%), mental health (28%), and social issues (30%).

But despite parents’ concerns of their teen’s openness, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) confess they still shy away from discussing online safety – largely due to a lack of knowledge and understanding of social media.

And it’s not just parents who are struggling, as 22 per cent of teens find it embarrassing to talk about important matters with their guardians.

In fact, 44 per cent prefer to chat to their friends via text rather than speak to their parents –whereas their parents, at the same age, would have turned to a diary to open up about their thoughts or feelings (37 per cent) or would speak with a friend on the landline (35 per cent).

Snapchat ordered the study to celebrate its launch. Take My WordsInitiative, which encourages parents to share old diary entries or a letter to a younger self in order to establish common ground and have more open conversations with their teens.

Conversations about the “difficult”

Dr Nihara Krause, adolescent psychologist and teen expert, said: “The need for privacy is a natural part of growing up.

“However, parents want to feel reassured that their teens are being safe online, and getting the balance right is tricky.

“Knowing where to start can feel like a minefield, but thinking about shared experiences is a good place to start.”

“Starting a discussion about online interactions and setting boundaries will also help to create clarity between parents, carers and teens.

“Once boundaries are established, parents and teens essentially have a ‘contract’ of expected behaviour on both sides in place that can help avoid conflict in the future.”

The research revealed that 65% of people who keep a journal or kept a diary would write about relationships.

Following this, they discussed their thoughts about friendships (45%), and sex (38%).

These platforms were also popular for sharing information about mental health (32%), and sexuality (33%).

Ed Couchman, UK general manager at Snapchat, said: “As a parent of two teen girls, I know first-hand these conversations can be tough.

“For many parents the challenge is knowing where to start. We want to help parents start the conversation.

“While the world feels like it’s changed, many of the issues teens deal with today have similarities to what we experienced growing up ourselves.

“We know it can be tough to navigate and we want to help more parents feel confident in starting these discussions. Parents who are looking for more information on Snapchat will find plenty of resources, including our Family Centre tool, and our Parents Guide.

The Take My Word initiative is now accepting submissions. The most powerful examples will be featured in an online gallery accessible to parents and teens starting November 16th.

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