Ever heard about the Blue Whale Game? Possibilities are that you have. We could also say that it the evidence is inconclusive and it can be one of the reasons leading to multiple deaths throughout the world. The teenagers that are struggling with depression can find a wide variety of disturbing content online that has claimed multiple gullible lives to date.
How to recognize if your child is under the influence of such online games?
Being a parent, there’s a possibility that you’re not aware of certain games even though you might be spending a lot of time surfing through a lot of other things. However, some of the benchmarks you can consider in order to identify if your kid is addicted to such games are by implementing a limited access to social media on particularly one single account give your kids a little privacy but also maintain a little accessibility so that there are no secrets hidden from you. Make sure to take interest into what they like online which automatically creates an atmosphere of comfort, look carefully into the phone addiction that prevails and does not forget to keep a track of the company that your teen is getting influenced with.
How must parents explain this particular case to their kid and warn them about such behavior?
Online games could be fascinating for the kids these days but they also need to understand the risks it involves. I think one of the key steps to start the discussion on online safety should be done right from their childhood, however; in subtle ways. There’s a possibility that they might be using the computer with you even now, rather than separately, this offers a chance to pinpoint the fact that the online world is parallel to the real world and that there are both safe and unsafe things out there. You need to begin by talking about the perils of the digital world and also the fact that it’s an unsafe place to visit mainstream websites. Also, one of the ways you can warn them about the harms is by mentioning the threats that the hackers possess which is easier for them to understand. Remember, the internet is a beautiful place but the parents need to caution their kids about what they say, once you write something, you cannot delete it. There’s a need for the parents to explain their kids the difference between a virtual video game and the real world and that the two are nowhere similar.
The role of teachers/schools
Supervision of computers at the schools and colleges are far more useful rather than shutting and blocking a few websites. I would rather suggest considering brute force technologies, for example, YouTube which will completely shut the access to any sort of videos or rather anything to do with social media or an online game. Help your students to apply common sense rather than just showing them a pathway, this can be easy for children once you help them to recognize the risks. This is a sensitive generation – its vital that as teachers and guides you need t to understand and then explain the simple safety rules. Encourage your students to open up about any website that they find inappropriate in order to get into an early routine. Schools and colleges need to inculcate discussions about mental health and not shy away from it, rather take bold steps to address such issues. Suicide topics must be addressed from a prevention perspective.
Most kids take up these kinds of things due to peer pressure. How to deal with that?
I believe that Social media has somewhere increased the gaps between school lives and personal lives. When it comes to most of the questionable activities like cyberbullying, most kids feel pressurized and go with what the peers follow. At such times, Parents and teachers can play a crucial role in setting the right kind of expectations for the online behavior their kids need to pursue. It’s important to set open conversations about having personal and professional boundaries set. Several times, teens turn to their friends to seek advice about the digital platform because they think that their parents could be clueless about the technological changes. At such times, make sure to educate yourself so that your newfound knowledge can help you build up your confidence.
How to monitor online usage? How much to monitor and how much freedom to give?
Kids must be encouraged to get out of the virtual world in order to experience the real world to socialize and have friends in real life rather than isolating into the virtual world. It’s pointless to ban your child from accessing the social media because of its vulnerability and a source of knowledge too if used properly. The simplest way of tracking the activities of your child could be by checking their browser history and the record of sites where they’ve visited. Another way to child’s safety is by talking about Internet safety and to become aware of any hazards they might be exposed to.
What must parents do if they come to know that some friends of their kids are doing this?
Modern parents now need to worry beyond games and internet usage. No matter at what age your kid is at, you need to constantly stay involved in their lives, the peers, and the friends they’re involved with. The moment you get a hint of the possibility that your kids are under such an influence, make sure to communicate the same to their parents and the teachers as well. Such situations are to be handled with care since the kids are at an odd age and also highly vulnerable. Teach them the skills to manage their interactions with good people and also the difference between virtual strangers.