New Delhi: Blue Whale Challenge has claimed several lives across the globe. In the name of a challenge, the deadly game urges children to commit suicide.
Those who accept the challenge are encouraged to complete a number of given tasks which get more and more sinister and at the end of the game, the player is forced to take their own life in order to win the game.
The Blue Whale suicide game goes by many names including ‘A Silent House,’ ‘A Sea of Whales’ and ‘Wake Me Up At 4:20 am.’ It takes 50 days to complete the challenge and is played primarily via the website VKontakte, which is a popular social network in Russia.
According to a report by NDTV, they did a Facebook Live chat with Dr Jitendra Nagpal, Senior Psychiatrist from Moolchand Hospital, on how parents can help their children stay safe from the virtual world.
What makes the issue worse in the game is that the creators of the group do not allow the participants to leave at any point. Here are some ways by which parents can protect their child from these invisible monsters.
Balance: Set daily internet time limits determining when they can surf online and do school work, etc. Do not allow your child go to bed with phones or other devices. If you notice your child is online more often than usual you should investigate.
Investing more time: In order to keep your child away from such games and other hazardous temptations, parents should spend more time with the children. It is advisable to keep your child occupied in fun activities. Also, keep a close watch on what your child does on the social media sites and internet.
Peer pressure: Teens are known to experiment and discover new things because of peer pressure. They are likely to take risks because of parental and school expectations or media influence. Without trying to invade their privacy or threaten them with dire consequences; we must show compassion and the strength to stand by them.
Counseling: Children should be taught that they can still be accepted even if they don’t go along with the crowd. Counseling the teenagers on sensitive topics will help them differentiate between right and wrong. Encourage your child to ask questions, address their curiosity and guide them in a friendly manner rather than leaving it up to them to figure things on their own.
The game is attracting teens as young as 12-years-old in Russia and Central Asian countries but recent reports suggest the game could be spreading across Europe and into the UK. The game has been blamed by the Russian media as the reason why 80 to 130 children committed suicide between November 2015 and April 2016.