Beware of dangerous social media trends targeting kids, parents told

UAE - Consultants within the UAE have as soon as once more expressed their concern over viral social media tendencies that would critically hurt youngsters.

Mother and father ought to be careful for his or her children' involvement in "uncommon actions", they stated, following the emergence of TikTok movies that encourage the youth to strive the so-called 'blackout problem'.

This specific problem — which has been within the international highlight since final 12 months — dares children to carry their breath till they go out. In 2021, two women within the US died after participating in it, prompting mother and father to sue the platform.

“Mother and father must set boundaries about Web utilization. They need to even have an open dialogue and sincere conversations with youngsters about Web security," stated Dr Nada Omer Mohamed Elbashir, a psychiatrist at Burjeel Hospital, Abu Dhabi.

Adults may also help children perceive the rules higher by setting an instance and exhibiting them how social media can be utilized safely, Dr Elbashir added.

"Use parental controls and protected search settings whereas youngsters browse the Web. Be updated on privateness settings. Guarantee that you're round when your little one is utilizing social media or the Web, and ensure they're following the age requirement once they wish to obtain Fb or TikTok or another app."

On-line bullying

Wellness coaches and psychology consultants highlighted that bullying can also be prevalent on social media, significantly amongst youngsters.

It's potential that some children, they stated, are being bullied into doing life-threatening challenges on-line. Some do it for likes, too.

Girish Hemnani, a life coach in Dubai, stated: “To entry and implant a suggestion within the unconscious thoughts, one of many methods is to overload the aware thoughts. That is what is occurring on the mass degree through social media apps."

"The aware thoughts remains to be creating for kids and but to discern from the fun and menace, not with the ability to suppose it via and be cautious of potential penalties for oneself and/or for others," Hemnani added.

Even faculty authorities have a task to play in conserving children protected on-line.

“Challenges made standard on social media, such because the ‘Recreation of Dying Problem’, are a severe concern that shouldn't be neglected by faculty authorities," stated Nora Eldrageely, center faculty counsellor at GEMS American Academy – Abu Dhabi.

“As a college and workers, our staff members meet recurrently to establish tendencies with college students and based mostly on this info we take motion. Some initiatives embrace grade-level assemblies or advisory lessons," she stated, including that their faculty has partnered with the Abu Dhabi Police division to conduct common security talks for kids.

Some colleges also have a “Fear Field” platform the place college students share any worries that they might have and an AI automated response matches the fear with recommendation.

Many college students have entry to highschool pastoral groups, who can be found throughout break occasions, mornings and dismissal.

Communication is vital to security

Preaching on a regular basis is not a useful technique to hold youngsters protected, Hemnani identified.

"The extra mother and father determine for his or her children, the extra they are going to be vulnerable to getting influenced. Quite, the method must be, ‘The best way to use the artistic mind to consider potential outcomes and potential options?’ The long run wants extra free thinkers who're tapping into the intuitive facet of the mind to suppose and discern for themselves," the knowledgeable added.

Counsellors additionally identified that open conversations are key to making sure that youngsters will not be put in conditions the place they might be uncovered to inappropriate content material on-line.

Paola Sassine, training counsellor at GEMS Al Barsha Nationwide College, stated: “Speak to your youngsters each day, give them an opportunity to let you know about their day, present them you have got time to pay attention. This fashion, when they're put in an uncomfortable scenario, you're the first particular person they flip to as a result of you have got given them the area to speak."

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