Along with the open availability of instant communication via social media has come some pretty insane passing-fad challenges that have been both beneficial and worrisome for parents. While things like the "cinnamon challenge" ran certain respiratory risks for children, there are some challenges that can have a profound psychological impact in a child or teen. One of those most recent internet challenges to emerge is the "blue whale challenge," which has recently been a major focal point in the news. Even though the name sounds harmless, this challenge is a dangerous thing and there are quite a few things you should know as a parent.
The blue whale challenge has a morbid final intention.
The blue whale challenge gets its name from blue whales who sometimes seem to commit suicide by beaching themselves on dry land. Because f this, the media has been referring to the challenge as alternative names, such as "The Blue Whale Suicide Challenge" in order to get parents' attention. The game basically consists of requiring participants to complete various challenges for 50 days, with the final challenge being for the participant to take their own life. Unfortunately, because parents don't often catch on to the fact that this game has a morbid underlying goal, many have no idea their children are in danger. So far, there have been more than 100 possible deaths linked to the game in Russia and the UK.
Some children may be more drawn to this kind of game than others.
Children who are struggling with mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, often find solace in taking part in group activities with others. Unfortunately, this fact can be used for good, such as in group therapy sessions, but can also be used for the advantage of those with ill intent. A child may initially start taking part in the game to be a part of something that makes them feel less alone, so if your child is showing signs of depression, it is important that you openly talk with them and monitor their online activities.
The creator of this game has been prosecuted, but ongoing problems do exist.
The initial creator of this game has been arrested and great strides have been taken to eliminate the blue whale challenge from the internet. However, similar games and challenges have popped up with different names. For this reason, keeping close tabs on what your children are doing online, who they are communicating with, and how they are feeling is one of the most important things you can do as a parent.
For more information, contact companies like Dr. Stephen Brown & Associates.