The horrifying Momo craze this week – whether real or not – has shown that we may not be doing enough to monitor our children’s internet use

by Becky Day

Anyone who has seen the haunting doll face behind the ‘Momo Challenge’ will agree that it’s beyond disturbing.
Her bulging eyes and distorted smile are enough to give anyone nightmares – let alone children.
But what is more disturbing is the threat that this game poses for young people.
The game targets youngsters on social media apps – it has even reportedly infiltrated Peppa Pig videos on YouTube Kids – and encourages them to undertake highly dangerous, and potentially deadly, challenges.
It is no surprise then that news of this game has spread like wildfire across the internet and has triggered much worry among parents and children alike.
According to various news organisations, police believe that hackers are behind the game and it is a ploy to gather information from the people they target.
Whatever the intention of the ‘Momo Challenge’, it is unpleasant and children should not be falling victim to it.
National Online Safety (NOS) has released some excellent advice on what actions parents and carers can take to ensure their child stays safe from the threat of ‘Momo’ – and other dangerous online challenges, for that matter.

Read more here

NOS not only encourages the monitoring of your child’s technology, but also highlights the importance of speaking with your child about their online activity.

As discussed before in one of our blogs, parents can often feel out of touch with social media and therefore afraid to instigate conversations with their child about what apps or games they are playing.
But it does not require a social media expert to ask a child about what they’re up to online … be inquisitive and take interest. Through open, honest and non-judgemental conversations with children, we can learn a lot about the threats they face online. We can also build their confidence, so they know who to speak with if they have any worries about the internet.
After all, if a terrifying doll, commanding children to undertake harmful – and potentially fatal – challenges isn’t enough to scare us into action, then it begs the question, whatever will?

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