Social Media a Disaster in the Making; How safe are our teenagers?

Dangers lurking on the internet are a disaster in the making. How safe are your children? Can you shield them from perverts all over social media?

Social media and parenting. It’s every parent desire to raise Godly children who will love the Lord, follow His teachings and do what is right. In the book of Proverbs 22:6 the Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Parenting is hard. Children are gifts from God, and He has entrusted them unto us to bring them up in his ways. To love Him with all their hearts and follow his attributes.

In this world we are living in, negativity is all over, lack of morals, and a lot of things that can draw our children from the love of God if we are not careful as parents.
People have thrown morals to the drain, and if you’re not careful in scrutinizing on what goes around your children, you’ll get a shocker of your life.
Can you be a mirror that you’ll be proud of if your children reflect from you?
It’s advisable as a parent to be keen enough to know what your child is up to, who are his friends, what exposure is he/she getting from social media, and if there are negative influencers in his life.
How can this be achieved?

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Pray for wisdom

James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and he will give it to you.”

There are so many available resources on where you can get nuggets to help you in bringing up your children from books to seminars, programs from famous speakers, and parenting magazines.
With all the above resources, a Bible comes in handy. Reading the word of God and allowing the Holy Spirit to rule you is the best tool you can ever have. Parenting is not for the faint-hearted but with the guidance from the Holy Spirit, as a parent assurance of the best outcome is guaranteed.
Let’s delve on where as a parent you’re supposed to look keenly into this era of social media.

We cannot negate the importance of social media in our day to day lives. It helps us to keep in touch with friends and family, keeps us informed on what is happening around the world, and other benefits.Let me ask you this annoying question, do you know what your teenager is up to with the device they are using?

Social media

Social media is a demon showing its ugly head everywhere, and it’s a disaster in the making.
If the statistics by the year 2008 are anything to go by, 93% of young people aged between 12 and 17 years were online. We are in the year 2019, and I bet each household has at least three devices.
We are in a digital world. As a parent, are you keen enough to know what your child is up to in these perilous times? There is ungodly disposal of content all over social media. A good parent makes sure that he/she is pretty sure of what their children may encounter along the way. There is a lot of cyberbullying where innocent kids end up having depression or end up committing suicide. Children are harassed and threatened each day.
Our children are tech savvy, and they can navigate through devices so well without breaking a sweat.

Did you know that cyberbullying or cyberharassment occurs in;
Social media, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and on Twitter?
SMS (short message service) also correctly known as a Text message which one conveys through devices.
Instant Message. This kind of message one passes it via devices, email provider services, apps, and social media messaging features

Does this come as a shocker? It is painfully real and our children as young as seven years can use these devices so well, and you can now imagine how messy it can be to your children.

A good parent monitors what their children are watching, where they log in, which apps they’re using. Negligence causes more harm that is irreversible. We share a lot of content online, and some of the online perverts use it to threaten, harass, and troll users.
The bullied children self-esteem diminishes to zero due to negativity attached to it. As a parent, you may not know what is happening because these children may opt to bottle up and fight this monster all on their own.
Monitor what goes around in these devices. Put child lock where necessary and delete unnecessary apps. You need to be firm on this but with a lot of love.
I’ve realized that if you become a best friend to your child, they will be close enough to open up on everything that goes around their lives.
Cultivate that friendship, and the results will be amazing.

You have ever heard of online games that have subjected children to self-harm or suicide? Parents are always caught unawares on matters of technology.
Our children are tech savvy, and if you see no need of monitoring them, you’ll be shocked by the findings. They are much engrossed in these online games where the outcome is always self-harm or suicide.

I had a privilege the other day to ask teens what they were up to over the long holidays. I also enquired on what times they slept at night and what they were doing those late hours.
They opened up by saying that as the rest of their family members retire early to bed, they insist on prolonging their stay awake by watching movies of which some parents would be shocked by the findings.
They also play these online games that I’m to mention below;

The Blue Whale Challenge

The challenge takes 50 days where the participant is required to complete 50 tasks, that are the inclusion of self-harm, watching scary movies, or waking at odd hours, etc.
As the game continues with each task at hand, the participant reaches the peak which is always suicide.

To show your commitment on the tasks, one is supposed to send proof like pictures to the ‘curator’ or the ‘whale’who is the instructor who takes you through the challenge.
Sad to say that the challenge had claimed over 130 lives so far by the year 2017.

The Pass out Challenge.

Teenagers highly played this game also known as Chocking Game in large numbers who chocked themselves for exhilaration. This game allows children to choke themselves by preventing the movement of oxygen to the brain to experience euphoria.

As they are to pass out, they stop to feel the ‘high’ as this is what the game is all about.
In the US alone, the game is estimated to have claimed 250 – 1,000 lives annually.

Challenge of The Salt and Ice

In this challenge, teenagers are supposed to put salt on their skin and place ice over it. All over a sudden, the salt reduces the temperatures of the ice to as low as -26 degree Celcius causing severe burns.

Children who participate in this challenge often film themselves to show their performance or to know if they outshone their peers.

The Fire Challenge

In this game, the teenagers are required to put their bodies on fire, literally! A shocker? They set their torso aflame by applying flammable liquids.

Did you know that the video of the task is recorded then uploaded on social media? A boy from New York aged 15 succumbed to injuries as a result of this game.

Another had set his body on fire by pouring alcohol on his chest, and on a request why he did so, he said that he had no idea why. Setting your body on fire, it can be devastating, right?

The Cutting Challenge

This game allows teenagers to cut themselves on purpose, take a photo of these injuries and after that share them online. To become famous, these youngsters deliberately mutilate their bodies. By so doing, they feel that they belong to a favorite group after participating in this challenge.

Parents, be warned. The challenges are the trend, and unless you cultivate a friendship with your teenagers, you’ll never know what is happening in their lives.

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Take away

Be their best friends. Discuss some of these issues and earn their trust. Where there is love, confidence is always in the vicinity.

Some tight schedules deny parents an opportunity to be in their children’s lives. How active and busy are you? Don’t be a busy bee at an expense of your child wellbeing? Free some time, go out for lunch, visit a zoo, or share the word of God together.

You’ll be surprised by the information your child is holding within themselves. Analyze the dangers of participating in these online games together lest your child becomes a victim. It is doable.

Shiphillah Wanjiru

Walking with you, side by side in the parenthood journey. Ideas, tips, and strategies of how to manage our lives as moms regarding health and parenting.


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