The “Blue Whale” game which has taken numerous lives already, has gained a lot of notoriety and raised alarm bells for concerned authorities and parents across the world. A nightmare for any guardian, the game preys on young vulnerable minds and incites them to take their own lives. So far, the game has challenged and caused at least 80 of 130 recent teen suicides in Russia. That is why it is important for parents to know handy tips to keep your child at bay from the ‘Blue Whale’ game. As part of the National Suicide Prevention Month 2017, which is observed annually in September in the Unites States, let us learn to identify the warning signs of suicide risk children and assist them with some effective ways to prevent the same.
what is blue whale game dare?
Known by names such as “A Silent House,” “A Sea Of Whales” and “Wake Me Up At 4:20am,” the blue whale game assigns a number of tasks to a player over a period of 50 days. These tasks are a mix of self-harm activities including body mutilation, watching scary videos, listening to music and others that are assigned over a period of 49 days. In order to win the game, the player has to commit suicide which is also the final task of the game. Unfortunately, so far the game has attracted a large number of teenagers, some of whom are as young as 12-years-old. The game dares the players to mandatorily complete all tasks assigned to them and also provide proof in the form of pictures and videos to the admin. If the player refuses to do so, he/she is threatened with dangerous consequences from the admin.
The blue whale dare is believed to have originated in Russia in 2013 with F57. It is not available online on google and can only be played, primarily, via the website VKontakte, a popular social networking site in Russia. The admin of the game finds its players through various death groups or suicide groups created on vk.com.
Blue Whale tasks list
In recent times, a number of social media posts, messages as well as news have carried a list of the tasks to warn people of what the game entails. This can also be helpful in identifying if someone is playing the game. A Reddit user, on a Russian news website, shared the following steps that have to be completed in order to win the blue whale suicide squad game. Take a look:
Tips for parents to keep their children safe:
Though the game is gaining a lot of traction and authorities are doing everything in their power to prevent its spread, it is important for parents to equip themselves with important blue whale facts to prevent blue whale suicide squad game download by their child. This will also help the parents in evading the risk of blue whale online challenge game download by their children as well as enable them to provide the required help to them when needed. Here are some tips for parents by which they can keep their children safe and away from this game:
Keep your child informed
While the blue whale challenge has been blamed recently for all unnatural teen deaths, it is not yet clear whether the game was the actual reason for the suicide. Therefore, it is important for the parents to be aware of what their child is going through and engage in constant and positive communication with the child to prevent any mishap.
Limit child’s access to internet
While giving liberty and freedom to one’s child is important, it is equally vital to stay cautious when doing so. It is the responsibility of the parents to ensure that their child has access to online sites that are appropriate for his or her age and do not encourage any sort of unethical or violent behavior.
Allow internet usage in family space
While giving internet access to the child is important to ensure his/her academic and personal growth, it is important to keep a close check on his/her internet using behavior. Make sure that he/she is using the internet in the common room or family space so that there is no risk of him/her indulging in any risky activity.
Talk to your child
Communication is the key to avoid all such risky and unethical behavior. It is important for the parents to keep communication with their child open and indulge in some intellectual communications from time to time. Sit with your child and explore the online world together. Doing so can be really helpful to promote ethical and safe online behavior in the child.
Use parental control on child’s devices
Giving freedom is important. But, what’s equally important is to keep a close tab on the child’s online behavior and activities. If required, use parental control on the devices used by the child to understand his/her internet using behavior, the associated risks, etc.
Be a role model
For a parent to maintain maximum control on his/her child’s behavior, it is important for him/her to set a positive example for his/her child. Parents should make sure that they do not indulge in any sort of illicit or objectionable activity online that might set a bad example for the child. It is important to be careful when using the internet.
Talk to other parents
Indulge in some meaningful conversations with other parents. Talk and listen to any concerns they might have about their child, share your own problems and work in collaboration to find the best way to help your child.
Observe child’s behavior
Keeping a close tab on the child’s behavior is important. This can help parents detect any unusual changes in his/her behavior such as mood swings, lack of communication, loss of interest in studies and falling grades, etc. In case the child starts exhibiting such changes in behavior, it becomes important for the parent to find out the cause. Among other things, parents can start by closely monitoring the child’s online activities as well as take the school authorities in confidence to overcome the problem and help the child develop a better mental state.
Encourage outdoor activities
For the healthy overall development of the child, it is important for him/her to engage in outdoor activities such as going for a walk, playing games, etc. Doing so will keep the child healthy and help ensure that he/she does not engage in any sort of objectionable or threatening activity.
Consult a child psychologist
If the child exhibits signs of mental illness or looks like he/she is stressed or losing interest in anything positive or motivating, it is time to seek help from a child therapist. Consulting a professional can help parents understand the exact cause of the child’s unusual behavior and prevent worsening of mental health problems, some of which if left untreated can make the child suicidal.
Curbing the risk of suicide
Reportedly, suicidal tendencies and suicide rate among girls between the age group of 15 and 19 years rose to a 40-year high in 2015, in the U.S. For the young men the rate increased by 31 percent between 2007 and 2015 while for young women it doubled. While there already exist a number of social and personal reasons that could trigger such a behavior, the Blue Whale dare is adding to the woes by preying on people who might already be in a vulnerable situation. It is, therefore, important to take steps immediately to curb this risk. As part of the National Suicide Prevention Month, let us take a pledge to work together and end this issue of suicide among teenagers. If there’s someone you know who is distressed, the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can help. This national network of local crisis centers offers free and personal emotional support to people who are on the verge of committing suicide.
The internet is a risky space. Therefore, one should be extra cautious when using it. More importantly, it is essential for parents to monitor their child’s online activity as ignoring the same could prove risky. The suicides related to the Blue Whale challenge is one such example where the children were given full liberty and access to the internet, which, in turn, took their lives. Thus, it is always better to be aware than remain ignorant or dismissive to avoid the risk of losing one’s loved ones to such futile, predatory aims.