The latest TikTok trend sweeping the nation and wreaking havoc in schools is called the “Bathroom Challenge.” It’s where middle and high school students record themselves stealing and vandalizing school property, then post their videos on social media. It’s called the Bathroom Challenge because this destructive behavior takes place in school bathrooms. Minster Schools have not had a specific "bathroom challenge" incident occur on campus but to be proactive, please talk with your child about this and other social media “challenges.” As you do, here are some points to keep in mind:
• Don’t assume your child won’t try it: Remember, a teen’s brain is not fully developed. Impulsivity, peer pressure and competitive desire to one-up a peer are all-powerful influencers.
• Set clear boundaries: Share your expectations and what you consider to be acceptable and unacceptable behavior. What your child thinks is okay, may not be okay with you.
• State (and restate) the obvious: Stealing and destroying school property is wrong. Explain that fellow students may do it to fit in, or because they think it’s funny, but it’s no joke, and the punishments can be harsh.
• Prompt critical thinking: Ask your child, “What do you think would happen if you do this?” Help your child learn to step back for a moment and apply basic logic and reason before making a decision that could impact his/her/their future, as well as your trust.
• Keep it positive: Though you may be tempted to focus solely on the negative consequences, remember that youth are hardwired to defend against negative messages or scare tactics. It’s important to educate them on the risks; however, you must also emphasize what they should do, like resisting peer pressure, making good decisions for themselves, and never encouraging others to put themselves at risk.
Thank you for reading this Know! Parent Tip today.