There has recently been national and international media coverage about an Internet game known as “The Momo Challenge.” Allegedly, Momo targets young children by encouraging them to text a number on various online applications (i.e., YouTube, Minecraft, WhatsApp, etc.), which then sends instructions to complete a series of increasingly bizarre and dangerous tasks, which may include watching a horror movie to engaging in self-harm or even taking their own lives.
While there are reports that the threat of the Momo Challenge may be overstated, Princeton ISD believes it is important to make parents aware. Additionally, given the growing national media coverage of the Momo Challenge, experts on mental health caution that such hysterical news coverage could potentially prove harmful, possibly even inspiring imitators. It can also cause some students to be fearful or anxious.
“We encourage parents who are concerned about their kids being exposed to disturbing images like the Momo Challenge, to have intentional conversations about what they encounter online,” said Superintendent Philip Anthony.
The following are links to resources PISD counselors have found to be helpful in assisting young children to navigate the Internet, as well as tools for families looking to parent in a digital age.
- Family Online Safety Institute
- Common Sense Media
- Creating a Family Media Plan (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Teaching Kids About Internet Safety (GCFLearnFree.org)
- Talking with Kids About Being Online (Federal Trade Commission)
“As always, we want to remind our parents if they have questions or concerns about their child’s emotional health, they need to contact their child’s campus counselor,” Anthony said. “They will offer the support and resources the student needs.”
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