The Momo challenge is a challenge for parents to be more pro-active and tech-savvy

It is important to remember that the Momo challenge is not a genuine cyber threat in terms of infecting or corrupting devices or seeking to steal, however, it is a malicious joke intending to shock and unsettle and, as the craze gathers momentum and media hype increases, more people are going to be tempted to scare their friends or, more worryingly, use the meme to harass and intimidate.

The Momo challenge appears to be more fear than fact, it’s important that parents talk to their children about it. – Parent Zone

First things first. Don’t panic. Educate yourself. Fact check. Kids are drawn to internet challenges, It is fascinating to teens, who can be both impulsive and drawn to behavior that draws attention, especially in social media. 

What is the Momo challenge? The Parent Zone briefs you about it. The Momo challenge is the latest in a series of online challenges that emerge and cause enormous concern. Sometimes the challenges are more myth than reality but that doesn’t reduce the worry..”

An article on Forbes.com says “evidence of direct harm caused by the game is yet to be found. It is essentially a viral ghost story.”

The Momo challenge is a challenge for parents to be pro-active parents in the digital world. If you are a parent, you don’t allow your kids to roam around the streets. You don’t allow your kids to talk to strangers or accept things from strangers. The offline word is the same as the online world. You won’t allow your children to walk in cyberspace without guidance.

READ: Are digital gadgets good for our kids?

Do you have a family media plan?

Digital Parenting with “Visible Internet”

Social media and suicide

I have written many articles on digital parenting but let me emphasize the following:

  1. Talk to your child regularly about the biggest challenges they’ve heard about in their circle of friends. Sometimes kids are more willing to talk about their peers than themselves. Asking questions about school trends, friends and fads may yield more answers than direct questions about their own activities.
  2. Be updated on internet trends/ laws : cyberbullying, data privacy, and cyber security. It is important to remember that this not a genuine cyber threat in terms of infecting or corrupting devices or seeking to steal, however, it is a malicious joke intending to shock and unsettle and, as the craze gathers momentum and media hype increases, more people are going to be tempted to scare their friends or, more worryingly, use the meme to harass and intimidate.
  3. Visit healthychildren.org or commonsensemedia.org and understand the appeal of these challenges. Search for online challenges, internet challenges.
  4. Develop a media plan. Parents play a role in guiding children and teens navigate the internet and media environment, just as they help them learn how to behave off-line. No one can decide the media plan for your family except the parent or caregiver but there are recommendations to give you an idea. Use the interactive, online tool so families could to create a personalized Family Media Use Plan at HealthyChildren.org/MediaUsePlan

We need to understand the technologies better to know how they should and should not be used. We have to recognize where the real world begins and ends so we can help our children develop boundaries in both worlds. 

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1404 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.