Raising children is hard, and anyone who says otherwise is either not a parent or is just lying!
As a parent, we try so hard and do everything to protect our kids from any unforeseen danger or predators. But the saddest moment is when we become the reason for exposing them to danger.
If you are puzzled how a parent can put their kid to danger, then this story is for you. This story is a reminder of how our lack of alertness about our kids using social media is one of the biggest danger that is lurking over them.
One such recent incident shook not only a family but also many parents around the country.
On Sunday, a 12-year-old girl allegedly hanged herself here in Maharashtra after apparently watching suicide videos on YouTube.
As per the police,
“Shikha Rathod, a resident of Hansapuri area here, had seen some suicide-related YouTube videos on her father’s mobile phone.
She had also told about those videos to her mother, who never thought that the girl would end her life.
Around 4 pm on Saturday, the girl allegedly hanged herself from a ceiling fan by using an elastic rope at her home.
Her younger sister saw her hanging and immediately informed their mother. The girl was rushed to a government hospital where she died while undergoing treatment.”
Though the reason behind the extreme step was yet to be ascertained, it isn’t the first time that the danger of social media on kids has surfaced.
Other than ‘MoMo’ challenge, some moms recently found disturbing videos on social media site that may not be safe for kids at all.
As per CNN, a Florida mother said she has found clips on YouTube and YouTube Kids that gave children instructions on how to kill themselves.
Free Hess said the first time she saw such a video was back in July when another mom alerted her to it. They came across it while watching cartoon videos on YouTube Kids. Spliced in the middle of one of the videos was footage of a man in sunglasses telling children how to slit their wrists.
Suicide and self-harm are on the rise, especially among tweens and younger teens. Sadly, the use of smartphone and social media among teens has exploded, making parenting the toughest job of all time.
While we are mourning the death of Shikha Rathod, we hope to build awareness among parents to be cautious of the effects of social media and technology on kids.
What should parents do?
Though there are multiple ways, parents can ensure their kids are safe in the technology-obsessed world, one thing which is more often than not ignored by parents – limiting the amount of time they (parents themselves) spend plugged onto computers or mobile phones.
Most of us check our phones or our social media apps too much, out of either real interest or habit.
Kids should be used to seeing our faces, not our heads bent over a screen. So, we need to establish technology-free zones in the house and technology-free hours when no one uses the phone, including the parents.
As per an expert,
“It is the mini-moments of disconnection when parents are too focused on their own devices and screens, that dilute the parent-child relationship.
And when kids start turning to the Internet for help or to process whatever happened during the day, you might not like what happens.
Tech can give your children more information that you can, and it doesn’t have your values. It won’t be sensitive to your child’s personality, and it won’t answer his question in a developmentally appropriate way.”
So, give them your full attention when they are with you before its too late. And make sure your kids are safe!