Guidance re: "The Momo Challenge"

You may have heard recently about The Momo Challenge, a meme that appears in various digital spaces (eg, a WhatsApp message you receive from someone playing a trick on you; or in the comments section of a YouTube video). Momo’s role, via a chain-mail type psychological approach, is to encourage people to take risky dares and possibly harm themselves. Please be aware that Momo has a frightening appearance.

This week, The Momo Challenge came up in some Upper School classroom discussions. We have also noticed some Upper Schoolers googling The Momo Challenge this week, which indicates an uptick in curiosity around this topic.

While topics like these can feel scary, this also presents a great opportunity to continue ongoing discussions about growing up in the Digital Age. As this Forbes article advises, "Don't panic. Rather than sharing warnings that perpetuate and mythologize the story, a better focus is good positive advice for children, set up technology appropriately, and take an interest in their online interactions."  

This resource from Common Sense Media further outlines the Momo Challenge alongside a number of other internet-stunt challenges (some positive, some silly, some frightening). And these digital parenting resources have been specially curated to help provide guidance around these and similar topics.