Every few months, our kids are exposed to a new viral social media challenge. Sometimes the challenges are harmless, while other times the challenge could land your child in the hospital or jail.

Here are just a few of the online challenge trends we have seen over the last few years:

  • Tide pod challenge
  • Cinnamon Challenge
  • Blue whale Challenge
  • Skull Breaker Challenge
  • Food coloring challenge (ingest turn urine colors)
  • Momo challenge
  • Slenderman

The current challenge making the rounds on TikTok is the Skull Breaker Challenge. This one’s a bit different then others from the past in that it involves your child being a party to physical assault, physical and mental bullying along with cyber bullying, all with a video record of the evidence!

How to talk to your kids about online challenges

I was recently interviewed on CNN HLN about what parents should be aware of, you can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/kILLx0uGOcs

If you haven’t discussed online challenges with your kids yet, now is the time. Here is one way to approach the topic.

  1. If you haven’t, start talking to your kids about technology use – use our Conversation Starters we post every weekday on the Savvy Cyber Kids social media accounts (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) as a place to start.
  2. Next, have your child ask themselves two simple questions before they decide to participate in the latest online trend:
    1. Could you get hurt? – So, Should you do it?
    2. Could someone else get hurt? – So, Should you do it?
  3. Discuss possible consequences – both negative and positive of participating in a social media challenge. For example, would participating in a specific challenge potentially lead to arrest and misdemeanor or felony charges? (FYI, all states have laws against bullying in some form or another). Or, if a college admission counselor is searching for you online, will they find pictures and videos that may sway their decision?

If your kids ask for an example of a positive or beneficial online challenge, show them videos of your favorite actor, actress, or musician participating in the ice bucket challenge.

Need more tips on raising successful children in a world filled with technology? Download our free Digital Parenting Guides https://savvycyberkids.org/families!

Savvy Cyber Kids educates and empowers digital citizens, from parents and grandparents, to teachers and students. Sign up for our free resources to help you navigate today’s digital world with cyber ethics. See more cyber safety and cyber ethics blogs produced exclusively for EarthLink. Looking for a social media parental control? Try a 30-day free trial of Bark. If you sign up after your trial, Bark donates 25% of your monthly fee to Savvy Cyber Kids.

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