The post details her seven-year-old daughter's battle with anxiety.
A mother has taken to Facebook to share a post about her seven-year-old daughter’s battle with anxiety, in a bid to warn other parents about the dangers the internet poses for young children.
Meridy Leeper uploaded a disturbing picture drawn by her child, of a solemn stick figure with a string wrapped around its neck. Alongside the image, the concerned mother wrote a harrowing account of her child’s battle with anxiety and her belief that she has fallen under dangerous influences on YouTube and other online games.
Meridy began her post: ‘This is an exceptionally hard thing for me to post. I’ve thought long and hard about this. I’ve decided it’s way too important not to bring awareness to other parents.’
This is an exceptionally hard thing for me to post. I’ve thought long and hard about this. I’ve decided it’s way too important not to bring awareness to other parents. This is not up for criticism….
The mum was keen to emphasise that she was not writing to criticise other parents for letting their children use channels such as YouTube on the internet, but simply wanted to warn them of potential dangers:
‘This is not up for criticism. I only want to let all parents know what to watch for.
‘Kids youtube, rob lox, fortnight… no matter how much you think you are monitoring your child.. notifications to what your child is watching. It doesn’t matter.’
She continued with this shocking revelation: ‘My 7 year old was taught how to attempt suicide by kids youtube and these games. She has expressed that she doesn’t feel neglected or unloved. Instead, she was constantly told to ‘go kill yourself’ by other gamers, by kids youtube. Shown HOW to.’
‘Sunday night, she had a full blown anxiety attack…Monday, she drew this in school. This is a VERY real danger! I NEVER thought I would find myself helping my SEVEN YEAR OLD CHILD through an anxiety attack.’
‘PLEASE, keep your children away from these things. I’m just so glad my child was able to express her feelings before she actually tried to harm herself.’
The mother concluded her heartbreakingly honest post with this message: ‘I never thought something as ‘innocent’ as kids youtube would have these subliminal messages. Again, I’m only sharing our experience in the hopes to prevent another child going through this.’
The brave mum’s post was flocked with comments from fellow concerned parents who offered her messages of support, with one user sweetly writing:
‘Thank you for sharing this. And I’m so happy your daughter was able to feel she can express that with you. I went through the same with my son when he was younger. Even with the news that adults watch. Beware of the images kids watch.’
Another parent commented: ‘Thank you for having the insight and courage to share this. Hope your child finds the help she needs. Parents need to start a petition to have this stuff removed from viewing. God be with you and your family.’
Want to protect your child from the dangers of the internet but not quite sure where to start?
Read our parental guide to internet safety which has lots of tips to help you create online guidelines for your child.
Helpful tips include how to:
Teach your children how to block people and report things they find upsetting
- Ensure your child’s account is set to private
- Understanding online codes/text speak
- Monitor your child’s activity online