Have you heard about the new trend?
It’s truly horrifying!
If you have a child between the age of 2-6, there’s no chance you’ve never heard about Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol.
They are sweet kids shows, the first is about a pig and her family and friends, and the second is about a bunch of doggies saving the day.
Sounds very innocent, and looks very innocent too, if you’ve seen an episode.
Well, not anymore!
Mock-Up Shows On YouTube Kids
Several fake videos popped up lately on YouTube Kids, that seem like the original show, but they’re brutal and dangerous.
In these shows (that can be added automatically to your child’s playlist if the Autoplay option is on) when they start watching probably an original episode, the characters turn out to be abusers, they kill each other and give the kids terrifying advice on how they can commit suicide themselves!
I think we both agree that whoever started this whole deeply disturbing practice of endangering children all over the world are just as sick as the ones that created The Momo Challenge…
The Momo Challenge
The Momo Challenge has been running for years now. In the early days, people, and mainly kids using Whatsapp and Facebook got a message from an unknown number or a fake account encouraging them to participate in a 50 days challenge.
For these days, they were told what to do, from easy tasks deepening to dangerous ones. Once they refused, Momo started threatening them. The challenge escalated in self-harm and/or suicide.
The newest Momo trend is that Momo comes up in a trusted kids show like Paw Patrol, and after a couple of minutes, starts telling kids to self-harm themselves, like take pills or turn on the stove when their parents are sleeping.
Dangers of These Shows
Even if you trust your kids and think they would alert you about something that upsets them, don’t let yourself get fooled.
Kids are smart and innocent at the same time.
Maybe you think your children would never watch something like this, and even if they do, they wouldn’t do anything to harm themselves.
You are probably wrong!
You are probably wrong just by the single fact that kids are really curious. When they have someone they trust (and who can be that other than their family and their favourite characters?!) they tend to believe anything and like to try things out for themselves.
Even if they know it’s wrong!
Just remember how many times you had to tell them not to run too close to the road or not to climb too high up on the tree.
On the other hand, they can be so innocent they might won’t know something is truly wrong with these shows.
Hear me out!
If they watch an episode that is not about self-harming but abusing others, they might won’t see the real connection.
They will only know how they feel about that.
It can lead to many mental issues such as depression or anxiety.
Check out Colleen’s post: 10 Not So Obvious Signs Of Anxiety In Children to notice their way of expressing something is wrong!
You don’t want to take this half-heartedly!
How to Protect Your Kids
1. Old school tip: buy DVDs
Yep, you’ve read it right. I know you’re probably thinking nobody uses DVDs anymore, but if your TV has a DVD player or you have a separate device, just buy DVDs. You can get them second hand, so it’s cheaper and still does the job.
You betcha there’s no mixed inappropriate content on those!
2. Use a USB Stick
Download the episodes and put them on a USB stick for your kids to watch those shows. In this case, you can make sure it’s the real thing and not a mock-up.
It’s still best if you proofwatch the episodes before letting them do it, because one of the trends is that they mix up the real content with the fake one after a couple of minutes into the show.
Yes, that’s right, they mix the content. They expect you to start watching it with your little ones for a couple of minutes, and after some time, comes the surprise horror!
3. Record the Episodes on TV
Most of our devices are almost smarter than us!
If you have a TV that can record shows, just set it up! There are several kids channels that play these shows, you only need to hit them up, find their schedule and set up the time for recording. You can then access it any time and the kids can watch it safely.
4. Set Up a Safe Playlist
If you use a tablet or other device, another good idea is to set up a playlist for them, making sure you proofwatched the episodes before showing them.
5. Watch the Shows with Them
Don’t let them watch this content alone! Now I know it’s very time consuming, and most of us want to put the kids in front of the TV once we have something to do ourselves for a short amount of time, but it’s still worth it to make sure the kids are safe!
Download a guide from National Online Safety about what parents need to know about The Momo Challenge here!
Prohibiting them from these shows won’t help! They will feel like they’ve been punished, and won’t understand…
After all, our world is ever changing and we cannot keep them away from technology for all their lives!
Did you know kids often get homework to do online in the early stages of school?
You want them to be able to use the internet safely, and of course, there are options you can set up.
But these shows already passed a lot of these safety settings!
Remember, if you type in these keywords on the channel, most of the harmful content won’t pop up!
They’re simply not set up as keywords for them, making it much harder for us to shut them out.
If you try and forbid them from these shows, they will try to find a way around it on a play date, or when you’re not around, or when someone else is looking after them who might won’t be aware of these dangers.
Instead of letting it slide through, monitor it, screen it, and protect your precious ones!
Please share this post for more and more mummies to be aware of this dangerous new trend of poisoning our kid’s shows!