If you’re a Momma and you haven’t heard about this challenge quickly look up your son or daughters phones if they are in Elementary school. That is Kindergarten or above. A new challenge that youngsters talk about is called the blue whale challenge. It is an extremely scary and dangerous.
It started in Russia. The man who started has been imprisoned, however, it has not stopped overs from copying his antics. This challenge plays off of grooming like sex trafficking does. Differently, your child is not taken by another person they are encouraged in a span of 50 days to commit suicide. This is through grooming efforts online having them complete weird but innocent tasks the first few days and they progressively get more violent, includes self-harm, watching extremely violent content while waking up at wee hours in the morning. And the final day with the selected members, the last day in order to win the challenge the youngster is encouraged to commit suicide to live a happy life and not face the evil things in the world they have witnessed through online content. They are also encouraged to clear all their history and contact with the group a day or two before it happens. So catching it early is crucial.
Like sex trafficking, it is hard to completely prevent this from happening. It requires a lot of people on board, not just the mom and dad. Children do go through phases of not liking their parents’ decisions and finding them difficult. However, blaming the parents and teachers on this is a bit rough. What we can be doing and should be doing is constantly talking about internet safety with our children and having discussions about what is age appropriate and not. We should discuss what kinds of behaviors crazy dangerous people who want to sex traffic children or who will invite for the blue whale challenge look for. Knowledge is power. Students will remember these conversations when faced head on with the problem. The 3 seconds extra a child thinks about what they are doing can be the difference of falling for a trap and saving their lives.
Speak to your child about online safety and what that means. Get acquainted with how and who predators are attracting. I believe the biggest skill you can teach your child is confidence in themselves and love for themselves. With these two qualities, predators have a more difficult time. Also, have your child come up with 3 to 5 people as their inner circle to speak to whenever they feel uncomfortable about something in real life or over the internet. If they have a group of adults who put the child’s best interest at heart, guidance from the adult can help a child overcome challenges they may face. Make sure these adults understand to take everything your child says seriously and to tell you after he/she confides in them.
Tell your child they can confide in you about other children. I know most of the time, a child will tell their best friend something before a teacher. This way, you can update the teacher what you heard and he/she can continue with a report.
It is best to be proactive than reactive to problems.