Many ridiculous trends, such as intimidating children when they refuse to eat or go to bed or frightening them, have emerged and become popular on social networks in Vietnam, especially TikTok.
With the popularity of social networks, many children have imitated what they saw in harmful videos or been intimidated by cruel fads of adults.
Obsession with fears
Recently, a trend using a ghost filter to frighten children has taken off on social networks, especially TikTok, with multiple videos showing children left alone in a room with a terrifying sound.
These children are being used to attract views and likes.
As a case in point, a one-minute video of a TikToker named T.M. shows an adult and a child playing in a room. Suddenly, the woman ran out of the room, closed the door, and left the child alone in there with an awful sound. The children immediately burst into loud wails.
What is worth mentioning is that such videos receive hundreds of likes. Many people have expressed their interest in such videos.
Entering keywords such as 'intimidate to ask kids to eat' or 'intimidate naughty children' on YouTube, hundreds of short videos with horrible faces will be made available.
These videos attract hundreds of thousands of views.
T.N.L., residing in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, said her nine-year-old daughter unintentionally watched a video about a child who was trapped in a room and was frightened.
“On that day, she refused to go to the toilet and stayed in her room alone. After asking her, I learned that she was afraid of being trapped,” L. said.
Talking about child intimidation trends on social networks, N.T.H. in Hanoi said, “I am also spooked after watching those videos, let alone my children. I cannot understand why such useless tricks have been created," H. said.
“Children may suffer mental issues when being trapped in a room or browbeaten by such images.
“I think parents should keep a close watch on what their children see and listen to on social networks.
“Instead of letting their children watch videos on social networks, parents should ask their children to watch age-appropriate entertainment and artistic programs on TV."
N.T.T., 35, a resident who has a four-year-old child in Thu Duc City, a district-level unit under Ho Chi Minh City, said to soothe her child into obedience, she often allows the child to watch videos on TikTok on her smartphone.
“My child accessed social networks early. Some days, she refuses to go out as she wants to surf social networks," T. said.
“I just allow her to use social networks in spare time. I don’t think too much."
Following trends regardless of pros and cons
Associate Professor Tran Thanh Nam, a lecturer of the University of Education under the Vietnam National University-Hanoi, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that these acts are abusive to children’s minds and reflect a lack of awareness among many young people.
Many parents educate their children by intimidating them with an aim to make their children more obedient.
|Many young children use electronic devices and social networks. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre|
The method, which is considered inhumane and makes children ashamed and timid, has been condemned, Nam added.
The trends of trapping children in rooms or wearing masks to browbeat them to have fun must be criticized vehemently. Such devilish fads will cause a negative impact on children’s mental health.
Young children cannot distinguish between reality and virtual images, so they may have nightmares about these awful images, become anxious when being alone or lack confidence.
The acts show the lack of education among young people who consider others’ fears as a way to relieve their stress.
They treat children as a joke without thinking of how their tricks may affect children, showing the ignorance of some young people, Nam analyzed.
Psychologist Vuong Nguyen Toan Thien from Ho Chi Minh City Children's Hospital said products with thrilling, blood-curdling, and intimidating content may cause a negative impact on children, such as fright, anxiety, obsession, and even feelings of unsafety and sleep disorders.
When being anxious, many children will snivel, cling to their parents, become timid, and refuse to interact with others.
In April 2019, the World Health Organization recommended that children under one year old should not be exposed to electronic screens and those aged between two and four should not have more than one hour of sedentary screen time a day.
“It is needed to regulate the electronic device using time for each age group and control the content to which children can get access. Parents must be a good example for their children as the relations in families are the foundation for their healthy mental development," Thien said.
“Having meals together without using electronic devices will help parents and children understand and care about each other. This is also a way to educate good values out of the virtual environment to children."
Solutions for children with anorexia, sleep disorders
According to Thien, parents should help children build an appropriate timetable to ensure sleep quality and an appropriate bedtime for each age group.
It is advised against using electronic devices before going to bed as the high-energy visible light from these gadgets may inhibit the production of melatonin hormone, thus reducing sleep duration and quality.
Moreover, children should be allowed to feed themselves and encouraged to discover food rather than being forced to eat, which will lead to loss of appetite.
The duration of meals should be regulated and children should not be permitted to use electronic devices while eating, Thien advised.
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