Resurfacing in the news recently, police and schools are warning parents about the “Momo Challenge”. It’s said that a scary image will pop up during a YouTube video or on other social media pages and encourage self-harming behavior in children.
Many sources have claimed this is a hoax but Dr. Tanya Gesek, child psychologist, says this is like many other social media challenges that have emerged in years past. “This ‘Momo Challenge’ is no different than Tide pods, cinnamon on a spoon. This is just the latest terminology used to kind of describe just how difficult it is to be a mom and a dad in the 21st century and what supervision means in this day in age.”
Dr. Gesek encourages parents to set limits and boundaries on social media platforms for children. “We have to stay almost one step ahead of them or at least on par with them. And part of it is doing our own research on things and having a healthy skepticism on what you do, what you see and read on the internet. The other piece of it is an open dialogue with your children.“
In regards to the “Momo Challenge” she says a challenge daring children to do something dangerous can be interpreted as another version of online bullying. “At the very least use it as a launch point for talking at the dinner table.”
If you’d like more information visit Dr. Tanya Gesek on Facebook/TanyaGesekPhd