Last month there was an uproar on all social media platforms from parents in fear of their kids finding the Momo Challenge on YouTube. An image with a character named Momo supposedly was popping up during YouTube videos, specifically with Peppa the Pig and Fortnite, encouraging viewers to harm themselves and eventually commit suicide. Thankfully this challenge was all a hoax although the scariest part of the Momo Challenge is that parents were causing the pandemonium and making it go viral from unverified media reports. The Momo Challenge is just one of the latest phenomena that can be found on the internet intending to cause confusion and meant to create an upheaval. From the tide pod challenge to the condom snorting challenge, there are things lurking on the internet that could put your adolescent at risk and are not going to go away anytime soon. Unfortunately, the internet is a free-for-all which can spread risky videos and posts before anyone is able to stop them.
Educate your kids.
Without causing undue anxiety or fear, you should let your kids know what they are up against with the internet. No matter how old the kid is, understanding stranger danger on the internet is a must. Explaining how someone behind the computer may not be who they say they are and that there are bad people who prey on others to get what they want is an important conversation to have with even teens.
Use your parental control.
Getting lax on monitoring kids on their phones, tablets, and computers is pretty common, but you are doing a disservice to them. Adolescents are naive and not equipped to make decisions concerning their actions on the internet. Getting accounts hacked, chatting with strangers, or viewing things that are too mature for them is what they will gravitate to every time unless you guide them in the appropriate manner. They may get in an uproar about what you are seeing and doing with their online persona. Just remember that you are not their friend. Your job is to keep them safe and protected by trying to help them navigate the internet which is no-man’s land.
Keep your feed positive.
The main focus for many kids presently is to become an overnight sensation and go viral and do anything that it takes to do so. This is a good opportunity to teach your adolescents to weed out the negative influences with their online friends and focus on the positive ones. Explain that being authentic does not mean to be dangerous or outlandish just to prove their worth. Looks like the internet is here to stay so the best thing you can do with your adolescent is to give them the tools they need to make good decisions with their online presence. There are still some amazing and inspirational videos, posts, and games that can make the internet a fun and positive place to venture in.
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