Kiki Challenge: How To Keep Your Child Safe

Worried about your teen trying this outrageous online challenge? As a parent, here is what you can do to keep your child away from such dangerous trends.

By Sahana Charan

Kiki Challenge: How To Keep Your Child Safe

The ‘30 seconds of fame’ phenomenon has gripped a lot of our youngsters and how! These days, parents often worry that their children may get influenced by the Internet to perform dangerous tasks that could easily go haywire. That is because social media has fuelled a trend, wherein children get lured into performing outrageous acts and indulging in sensation-seeking behaviour. One such bizarre trend is the Kiki Challenge.

What is this #KikiChallenge?

The #KikiChallenge, also called the #InMyFeelingsChallenge refers to a social media dare that involves people stepping out of a moving car, dancing to the tunes of the popular track In My Feelings by Canadian musician Drake, from his album Scorpion; and then getting back into the moving car. News reports mention that the rap artist did not start this craze. In fact, no one really knows how the challenge started or how it has become so popular in India with many preteens and teens taking it up. Police in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Jaipur and other cities, have issued advisories warning people against trying this dangerous stunt or, risking the lives of others by doing it.

Both parents and law-enforcing agencies are concerned about this Internet craze, which coaxes teens to take unnecessary risks that can result in severe injury and even, turn fatal. Unfortunately, some celebrities have also put up their versions of the challenge on social networking sites; encouraging their young, impressionable fans to emulate them.

Why do teens indulge in these silly challenges?

1. The thrill-seeking or novelty-seeking trait is quite advanced in preteens and teens, so they are highly likely to indulge in dangerous acts, just for the sake of doing something exciting.

2. Teens may not have the cognitive ability to make the right decisions or, think rationally like adults.

“The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain connected to cognitive behaviour, rational thinking, impulse control and decision-making. It fully develops beyond the 20s, so teens do not have the cognitive ability to reason out or control their impulses. So, when it comes to dangerous challenges, teens may not be able to distinguish between right and wrong.” — Arundhati Swamy, counsellor and Head of Parent Engagement Programme at ParentCircle. 

3. Teenagers are at an age, when they may see such acts only as fun and exciting, and may fail to perceive the risk factor involved.

4. Teens seek approval from peers and want to be popular among them. So, what their friends do or say can have a major influence on their decisions.

5. Some children, who have low self-esteem and fear being left out, may try such risky stunts just to fit into a group.

Ensure your child does not do this:

  

What parents can do  

“Have an open conversation with your child about the consequences of social media challenges. Explain to them the dangers of indulging in risk-taking behaviour, what is safe and what is unsafe; and how such acts can lead to severe injury. The goal of the conversation should be to make children aware that some risks are not worth taking at all. Children look for the fun element, but parents must help them look beyond that to see the reality,” says Arundhati. 

Here are some useful tips to help parents dissuade their children from trying such challenges:     

  • Talk to your child to get her perspective. Ask her what she and her friends think of the challenge.    
  • Have a normal conversation, without being overbearing. If you say, 'Don't do that', your child may be tempted to rebel against you.  
  • Be patient and educate your child about the dangers of taking unnecessary risks.
  • Tell your child that a celebrity can either be a positive or negative influence.    
  • Encourage your teen to push healthy boundaries and stay away from unhealthy behaviour.   
  • Help your child channelise his energy into productive activities such as trekking, adventure sports, etc.  
  • Set reasonable limits on social media usage

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