The name Elsagate is derived from bizarre videos featuring Elsa from the Disney cartoon Frozen and Spiderman indulging in despicable acts no child should ever see. Gore, violence, sexual fetishism, abuse and rape are the prevailing themes in such videos. The term “Elsagate” itself has also evolved and it is no longer used to describe just videos featuring the Frozen franchise character, it is instead used to describe any video, animated or not, targeted at children, that contains these disturbing messages.
Hundreds of these videos exist on YouTube, and some generate millions of views. One channel “Toys and Funny Kids Surprise Eggs” is one of the top 100 most watched YouTube accounts in the world – its videos have more than 5 billion views.
Its landing page features a photo of a cute toddler alongside official-looking pictures of Peppa Pig, Thomas the Tank Engine, the Cookie Monster, Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Elsa from Frozen.
But the videos on the channel have titles like “FROZEN ELSA HUGE SNOT”, “NAKED HULK LOSES HIS PANTS” and “BLOODY ELSA: Frozen Elsa’s Arm is Broken by Spiderman”. They feature animated violence and graphic toilet humor.
YouTube did not offer a spokesperson for interview, but in a statement said: “We take feedback very seriously. We appreciate people drawing problematic content to our attention, and make it easy for anyone to flag a video.
“Flagged videos are manually reviewed 24/7 and any videos that don’t belong in the app are removed within hours. For parents who want a more restricted experience, we recommend that they turn off the Search feature in the app.”
The company also suggested that parents use the YouTube Kids app, which is available for mobile phones and tablets, and turn on “restricted mode” which limits flagged content. It can be found at the bottom of any page on the YouTube site, but cautions that “no filter is 100% accurate”.
And since Trending began investigating, several of the channels that we brought to the attention of YouTube have been removed – including the one containing the video of fake Peppa visiting the dentist.
The videos may not be coherent, but many proponents of the Elsagate theory claim this is an organized and orchestrated attempt to condition children into believing abuse is perfectly natural. Furthermore, they state these videos are normalizing pedophilia and different forms of violence, grooming children. Creating an entire generation of potential abusers and victims.
One can only hope that is not the case, but patterns keep emerging. Artist, writer, technologist and publisher, James Bridle, in his piece about Elsagate, published on Medium and quoted in the Guardian, had the following to say.
“Someone or something or some combination of people and things is using YouTube to systematically frighten, traumatize, and abuse children, automatically and at scale.”
Solutions to prevent kids from viewing those videos:
- Dont let your children watch youtube unsupervised
- Read the YT Parent Resources
- Turn on Youtube’s restricted mode howto
- Report the offensive Youtube Channels as adult content works YT Guidelines
- The YouTube Kids app filters out most – but not all – of the disturbing videos
- YouTube suggests turning on “restricted mode” which can be found at the bottom of YouTube pages:
I would like to share some tips from Parenting.com on how to keep your child safe on internet:
1. Step into their cyber-world
“Parents have to get involved. Just as they know every detail of the playground around the corner — the jungle gym, the swings — they need to know their kids’ online playground as well,” says Tim Lordan, staff director of the Internet Education Foundation, a nonprofit group that produces the online safety guide GetNetWise. It may be hard to keep your eyes open after visiting what seems like the 100th website devoted to Barbie, but playing copilot to your child is the best way to make sure she gets a smooth ride. By the time she’s 7, you won’t need to be glued to her side, but you should be somewhere in the room or checking in frequently.
2. Set house rules
Decide how much time you’re comfortable with your children being online and which sites they may go to. You might post a short list or even a signed contract (like the free ones at www.SafeKids.com) next to the computer. So there’s no confusion, talk about the rules — and the consequences for breaking them. “Our house rules say the kids are allowed half an hour of computer time on ‘their days.’ One child has Mondays and Wednesdays, and the other has Tuesdays and Thursdays. Then they get one hour each on the weekend,” says Jamie Smith of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, mom of Hailey, 12, and Kody, 9. “They have certain sites they can visit without special permission. Any others have to be approved by me or my husband.”
3. Teach them to protect their privacy
While they won’t fully understand the consequences of revealing personal information online, you should still make sure your children know:
* never to give their name, phone number, e-mail address, password, postal address, school, or picture without your permission
* not to open e-mail from people they don’t know
* not to respond to hurtful or disturbing messages
* not to get together with anyone they “meet” online.
More tips to follow
4. Know that location is key
Keep the computer in a central spot, where it’s easy to monitor its use. “We have five computers in our house, but only two — mine and the PC in the family room — are hooked up to the Internet. That way, I can frequently check up on what they’re looking at,” says Cecilia M., a mom of three in Teaneck, New Jersey.
5. Be their go-to person
Instruct your child to come straight to you when she sees anything that makes her uncomfortable, and assure her that you won’t overreact, blame her, or immediately rescind her online privileges.
6. Turn your ISP into your ally
Before buying a safety product, experts recommend that you work with what you’ve got, starting with your Internet service provider (ISP). America Online, MSN, SBC Yahoo!, EarthLink, and others have reliable, free parental controls that can limit children’s access to websites and communication features (e-mail, instant messaging, chat) by age, content categories, time, and other choices.
7. Make your browser work double-time
If your ISP lacks that capability, you still have some safe-surfing options at hand on your browser (the program that enables you to view web pages). Internet Explorer has Content Advisor (under Tools/Internet Options/Content), which filters out language, nudity, sex, and violence on a 0 to 4 scale. Netscape and Safari (for Mac users) have parental controls like filtering as well. Using your browser won’t get you the comprehensive results that a safety product or your ISP would yield, but it can be suitable for the times you’re sitting next to your little one surfing the net.
8. Tune up your search engine
Your search engine can be pressed into service for free. (But be aware: A savvy child could switch the settings back.) Once you set restrictions, Google will block sites with explicit sexual material (Preferences/SafeSearch Filtering). AltaVista puts several types of offensive content off-limits with its Family Filter (Settings/Family Filter setup).
9. Stay in a kid-friendly zone
For beginners as young as 4, consider confining online exploration to web addresses that list child-safe sites on everything from TV, movies, music, and games to world history, science, and trivia. Some good choices:
* web directory Yahooligans
* answer supplier Ask Jeeves for Kids
* the American Library Association’s Great Web Sites for Kids
* the U.S. government’s “Dot Kids” domain .
10. Call on software for assistance
While no technology is fail-safe, it does add another layer of protection. “The key is to make sure you have something that reflects your values and is just technological help, as opposed to trying to take over your role as a parent,” says Parry Aftab, executive director of WiredSafety.org, a nonprofit Internet safety and education organization with several websites. So make sure you can make changes to fit your family’s needs.Though these six tools will cost you, most offer a free trial period, and all are champs at doing your bidding. Just ask yourself, what’s your primary goal?
* Shutting out the smut (and other undesirables)
Best for parents who want maximum protection with minimal effort, CyberPatrol 6.2 deflects objectionable web content with a twofold filtering technique. It blocks sites on its comprehensive list of restricted web addresses, then does keyword pattern searches for offensive material on non-blacklisted sites that may have slipped through the cracks.
You decide: How much to customize. You can allow certain categories (Sex Education but not Adult/Sex, for instance); add your own blocked or allowed sites or keywords; and more.
What your child sees: Varies from a bold “Access Restricted” notice (with the CyberPatrol “To Surf & Protect” shield) to a discreet “This page cannot be displayed” message.
Cost: $40 for one year/$60 for two; Windows, www.cyberpatrol.com
* Keep the Internet under lock and key
ControlKey 2.0 is The Enforcer. No key means no Internet access. The small blue device (part of the company’s SecuriKey product line) plugs into a USB port and also serves as a watchdog for you. Children can do homework-related research but not waste time IM’ing; they can open their own documents but not your desktop check register. Setup is a little tricky and time-consuming. But once installed and configured (according to what you want to control or protect), it’s easy to use and a good choice for parents who want stronger restrictions or are dealing with kids who broke the rules. You’ll just need to guard it like your car key. Register so the ControlKey “token” can be replaced ($45) if lost.
You decide: What to lock up: access to files you’d like to keep private? A particular computer game? Certain sites?
What your child sees: “Access Denied” message (when the computer is restricted) or “This page cannot be displayed” (Internet restricted).
Cost: $60; Windows, 800-986-6578 or www.controlkey.com
* A pristine site for young surfers
Instead of keeping out what’s bad, Kidsnet keeps in what’s good, and only that. Every website on its vast “white list” has been vetted and classified according to Internet Content Rating Association and Kidsnet standards. Home page Hazoo is well stocked with web offerings (even a Google search box), ranging from pbskids.org to hilaryduff.com.
You decide: What to exclude and include and how subtly to draw the distinction. What your child sees: “Ahoy mate!” A pirate or another cartoon appears on a “redirect” page, telling kids why they can’t go to an off-limits site and offering two alternatives.Cost: $30/year; Windows, www.kidsnet.com
* Something to keep you safe online, too
Norton Internet Security 2006 provides everything: parental control over web content and Internet access, virus defense, spam blocking, privacy preservation, and firewall fortification. That makes it a good choice for families with general security concerns and less commitment to content-oriented parental controls (a small part of the protection package) and for those with older children plagued by spam and other system interlopers.
While setup takes a while — you’ll need to uninstall conflicting software, and it’s best to back up your computer before you start — it’s easy to customize and manage all five programs included from a main “System Status” screen.
You decide: When to turn on parental controls; which of 31 content categories are blocked; whether to restrict programs that access the Internet; how high to set controls over sending private information.
What your child sees: Message that Norton “blocked access to this restricted site” and why.
Cost: $70/$90; Windows/Macintosh, www.symantec.com
* Knowing exactly what they’ve been up to online
When a child is using the computer, Spector 2.2 takes snapshots of what’s onscreen at intervals and stores them in a hidden file to record all they do. You then view the file like a video (play, pause, fast-forward, rewind).
It’s best for parents who have reason to believe a child is breaking the rules or is being victimized (or who want to keep a record, just in case). Just be aware that a program like this can erode trust if you use it to spy on kids without cause or on the sly.
You decide: Degree of sneakiness, between stealth mode and visible (a tiny red box in the system tray); whether to record everything or only activities involving Internet access; how often to capture images and when to delete them.
What your child sees: In stealth mode, the program is invisible.
Cost: $100; Windows/Macintosh, 888-598-2788 or www.spectorsoft.com
Flexible Thinking is the ability to adapt to a new situation. It requires the ability to “unlearn” old ways of doing things and plays a key role in all types of learning.
One of the ways to introduce flexible thinking to your kid is to change some rules. Kids with flexible thinking can have trouble seeing that there’s more than one way to do things.
Practice seeing alternatives by helping your kid make up new rules for games. Have players slide down ladders and walk up slides in Chutes and Ladders. Find another path to get back home, run the bases in reverse order while playing kickball…
Once your kid gets comfortable with switches like this, try combining the rules of two games to make a new game.
Playing to change the rules on small things will help your kid become more flexible when something unexpected arise.
Back to School Stress
Back to school is a source of stress for many parents, but it’s important to not forget that it can also be for the children. Here are some tips and tricks to help our children overcome the stress of Back to School.
How do our children live the return to school ?
After spending two months of vacation, day camp or outdoor activities, it’s sometimes difficult to resume the pace of the new school year. Parents are of course worried about the reorganization of this busy time of year, but many children and teenagers are also sensitive to the tension caused by the start of the new school year.
The stress that our children live can be manifested in different ways, and the signs are not always very visible. We must therefore be on the lookout to perceive them and thus be able to help our child. For children in early childhood school, there may be more restlessness, lack of appetite, greater insecurity than usual, or difficulty falling asleep. Adolescents, who are more likely to close themselves up when they don’t go well, will appear to be preoccupied, less involved in family life, and may even be more irritable in their relationships with others, such as parents and friends.
What stresses our children?
There is no doubt that stress is different from one child to another and depending on age, but some sources of stress are shared by most:
The fear of the unknown: who will be my teacher? Who will be in my class? Will the atmosphere be good? These are questions that most children and teenagers are asking. If the child changes cycles or goes from lower school to middle school, it’s easy to imagine that this fear of the unknown will become more intense.
External changes: moving, divorcing parents, change in custody, death or sickness of a family member … These factors will make it more difficult for young kids to leave the family cocoon and start his return to school in a relaxed way.
The idea of performance: the desire to have good grades – or not to have bad grades if he has experienced previous failures – and of course the will to succeed in sports and extracurricular activities in which he participates .
Tips for a good life for 5-12 year olds:
Re-establish a routine between supper and bedtime.
Involve your child in shopping for school supplies. He is allowed to make certain choices, when possible, to make him feel involved during this period of preparation.
Spend quality time with your child (even if you are overwhelmed!). Remain available for your child.
Listen to what your young ones tells you and try not to minimize his problems. Even if you feel that he sees things worse than they are, his feeling of anguish is real.
For the 12-16 years old
Spend time alone with your kid doing an activity or a sport that you both enjoy, without television or computer.
If you feel stressed or worried about his return to school, you can try to approach the subject with him.
With his participation, a schedule is established for the moments devoted to school work, leisure and other activities, and, very importantly, sleep.
This schedule is displayed in a common room, such as the kitchen, to ensure that it is respected.
Despite the burden of schoolwork and time spent on activities and recreation, your teenager is required to take time off for family supper. The best way to keep in touch with your kid daily!
On school days, get up early enough so that our youngster can have a supportive breakfast and so that you have time to spend a good time with him before arriving at the school, without feeling jostled by the time .
There is evidence that academic achievement is directly related to the quality of relationships students have with their teachers. So if we feel that there is a discomfort, approach the subject with your child and then meet with his teacher or the school principal. Important: avoid taking sides with your child.
Limit the extracurricular activities that your child will participate in. Young people are often full of energy at the end of the holiday and ready to embark on a variety of activities. You must ensure that your child has free time in his / her schedule. Moments where he can simply rest, read, listen to his favorite music or simply play for pleasure and not to perform!
Some kids have a really tough time getting organized and starting tasks. Planning, focusing and using working memory can be big challenges too. Use this visual guide to see how executive functioning issues can affect a child’s daily life.
St. John Ambulance, an organization dedicated to teaching medical first aid, shared a video that is a must-watch for every parent. According to them, 40% of parents have witnessed their own baby choke, yet over 80% of these parents had no idea what to do in such a situation. This is an alarming statistic, especially when you consider that an average of 34 children are treated for choking on food every day.
In order to combat this staggering issue, St. John Ambulance created an animated video that will show you a very easy way to save a choking baby. In this heartwarming video, four characters – a pen lid, marble, jelly baby, and princess – work together, in a fun-filled manner, to show you the proper technique.
We all know that infants and babies will put anything and everything into their mouth, so this video is incredibly resourceful for those with little kids.
Traditional meals of daily life, traditional Sunday lunch meals, and festive meals for special occasions. All have their importance, and participate, in their way, in the construction of the family and its history.
In the 1950s, supper could only take place in one way: with the family around the table. Today, this is not so simple. With parents’ busy work schedules, children’s extracurricular activities and the feverish rhythm of our lives, it is not always easy to find the time when all family members can convene. It is more important than ever.
We realize that families do not see each other often anymore, and that is very distressing. Meals are therefore the only opportunity to talk and see each other.
Research has shown that children from families who eat together enjoy significant and, most importantly, more active parenting support. The table and the kitchen are thus serving families by much more than their physical functionalities. They secure children and promote their fulfillment. Families that eat together regularly have a more developed comradery and stronger cohesion. In fact, children who gather around the table regularly are less likely to drop out school, develop anxiety issues.
Why is eating together so beneficial?
To answer this question, we need to understand what happens to family members during the meal. Dinner time becomes a real thermometer of family life and an opportunity to know of current family events: who did what? Who loves what? What are we dreaming about? Etc. By listening to each other, family members recount their daily experience; they all draw something from it. For example, listening to their parents explain how they solved a problem at the office, children learn problem-solving strategies.
If the emotional appetite is satisfied by these shared meals, so is health. Family meals are important as much for nutritional health as it is for emotional wellbeing. Children of who often eat together with their families make better food choices and are more interested in food.
A study by two researchers at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia found that family meals divert children from television, which, in addition to exposing them to a multitude of advertisements, pushes them to eat beyond their real appetite. This research also reveals that children who take at least three meals with their family per week would be less likely to be overweight.
There is no need to knock kids out with nutritional notions to convey healthy eating habits to younger kids. Parents can model healthy eating habits to their children. Behavior acquired during childhood will follow them all their lives.
Towards eight or nine months, children should adopt the family schedule to learn by looking at others. “Children learn by imitation to eat and love what parents appreciate. They grow ignorant of valuable eating habits. We should not bet on the short term, big talk or blackmail, rather on our example and on repeated exposure to new foods.
Long before the perfect cooking of the roast, the secret of successful dinners is the search for pleasure. The work of the parents is to get everyone to the table and prepare the dish, that is all. Then they should focus only on the pleasure of being together and not on the content of the children’s plate,
Disturbingly, the “Institute of Statistics” of Québec found in a study that, for 31% of 4-year-olds, meals are not a pleasant time. When the researchers asked the children about this, they responded that family meals were a time of tension and chicanery for them. By making the dinners pleasant by various attitudes and by creating a place of lively exchanges, one can hope for a reversal of the situation. The meal makes it possible to nourish the family ties as long as it is more like a party than a constraining routine. Also, the sooner families get together to eat with their young children, the less they will have to work hard, as a teenager, to bring them back to the family table.
However, it is not the number of meals that matters, but the quality of the emotional support received. Most often would be the best, but everyone has to start where s/he can and from there try to improve. Because family meals are a social act that triggers a truce in the growing individuality and the preoccupations of each one, families who never eat together may face a challenge at the beginning but a great win later on. In fact, the most memorable familial moments are usually marked by meals. The tables and meals mark the most significant events of our family history. What’s the proof you are asking? Just leaf through your family photo albums: all of the highlights cling to meals.
Below, you can find twelve strategies for successful family dinner that can change the dynamic in your home. Good luck!
Successful Dinner Strategies
1. We adapt our schedules.
The resounding “Dinner is ready!” does not have to resonate at 6 pm, sharp! We change our meals in the family according to the availabilities of each one. Monday at 4:45 pm and Friday at 7 pm, why not? Some families together, on Sunday evening, set the schedule for the meals of the week.
2. Plan menus in advance.
By avoiding the stress of the famous “What do we eat?” The time of supper will be more serene and the meal, ready faster, which is especially important when we have hungry teenagers.
3. We provide snacks as needed.
If you will dine late and the children are hungry at 4:30 pm, it may be necessary to have a healthy snack to prevent starvation from undermining the atmosphere.
4. The ambient noise is limited.
The climate became more conducive to conversation. We turn off the TV; we postpone listening to the news at 10 pm. The same goes for video games and radio. Telephone conversations are limited. We take the message and call back later.
5. We choose subjects of harmonious conversations.
The table must not be a minefield. Avoid reproaches on unreleased duties, uncomfortable interrogations, the monopolization of speech by a single individual and subjects heavy or conducive to heated discussions. We prefer quiet conversations and make sure that everyone can express themselves freely.
6. We insist moderately on good manners.
We take advantage of family supper to inculcate some good manners at the table (one does not eat with your fingers, one asks before going out of the table, one does not interrupt, etc.), but it must not become a course on manners. If the rules are too strict, the meals become unpleasant. We must ask ourselves if all our regulations are so important and rework them if necessary.
7. We demand respect.
We do not tolerate comments like: “It is not edible!” Alternatively,: “I do not know how you do to eat that!” We instill respect as much for the food as for the person who prepared the meal.
8. We do not go on forever.
Spending a good time with the family does not necessarily mean “long and endless dinner.” Twenty minutes is enough for busy evenings.
9. Nutrition courses should stop.
At dinner, one takes good eating habits, but it is not the time to bore the kids with endless nutritional facts.
10. We cook together.
Even toddlers can accomplish certain tasks. With teens, why not create a group meal: everyone prepares the portion of the dinner of his choice!
11. We take advantage of the time of the dishes.
Washing, wiping and storing dishes allows you to discuss more “troublesome” topics. This less “eye-to-eye” task is more conducive to confidences. Even if the parent is surprised by the words raised, the child will not see his gaze, and we discuss issues more easily.
12. From time to time, make meal time out of the ordinary.
We invent new rituals, make theme dinners, change the setting (picnic, restaurant), we play it chic (tableware of the big days, napkins and candles); in short, we are not reluctant to leave the routine to make family meal a special moment.
Your life as parents is rather similar to that of a minister. Between the daily routine and the difficult nights, we are often quickly on the verge of a nervous breakdown! Even for the quietest of us. It is therefore not always obvious to remain positive in difficult situations with our little ones!
Imagine coming back from work, you are tired, worn out and the only thing you want is a little quiet and silence, but your youngest one decides otherwise! You resort to anger only to realize that it will only bring more fatigue. Stay assured as the solutions to those intense moments are in hand. Let’s start by thinking of the word Zen.
Zen, is the art of living in harmony with oneself, it is the attitude to adopt during moments of conflict, and this method is not an art for nothing, it is so good that it’s definitely worth making an effort to achieve it. Once you recover your serenity, your child will feel calmed, free from his anger and anxieties. He will breathe more easily, and so will you. Allow me to offer some small tricks that can help and improve the situation. Channeling your emotions, fostering a climate of cocooning and serenity are the keys to achieving this zen attitude. That’s why you should turn your tongue three times in your mouth before screaming and breath. Inhale, then exhale, one two three times, you will see, you will already feel better! Come on, set aside your anger to make room for calm.
Control your mood
Sometimes, under the impact of emotions, we do things without thinking, and we end up feeling guilty. But there is no point in blaming yourself, this will make you even angrier, and will make things worse. On the contrary, any negative emotion against yourself will be felt by your child. Remember that you cannot always be the best in all situations. You can only be an example for your child.
Cultivate your calm and reduce noise
If you want your child to regain his serenity, you must set an example by staying calm. Everything you are going to do, feel, say, will influence him. Favorite an environment conducive to calm. Family life can sometimes be tiring. There are often a lot of noises, whether it’s the sound of the TV or the cell phones beeping. Try to turn off all these little noises once a week, to find a small bubble of calm.
Think twice before speaking
Remember that any word you are going to say will impact your child tremendously. Breathe calmly and count in your head before you start talking. Know that there are many ways to phrase thoughts and feedback.
Reassure your children and model serenity
What to do when your child is hyperactive and grumbles all day? First, leave your emotions aside and sit quietly beside him. Instead of responding to your child’s crying and anger, try to listen to the words and the tone of speaking; focus on your child. Refrain from giving your child a feedback. Try to mirror back to your child what they have just said to you. Sometimes words make more sense when they are mirrored back to us. Remember that listening means to remain silent while your child is speaking.
Feel free to offer your child to write down their emotions and then read it together later. Your child will find many of those emotions moot. Writing down emotions of the moment and checking them later is an excellent tactile exercise emotional regulations.
Give yourself a moment or two
While we live in a world of multitasking (working, running errands, staying in touch with teachers, and supervising homework time), it is sometimes good to be able to sit and do nothing. Find a time to be together. Time to hug, close your eyes for a few minutes or look each other in the eyes. In short, a moment full of sweetness and love.
Academic and Life Coach
It is always difficult to see a child crying, we want to console them, or just have them stop it! Trying to placate your child by asking “Don’t cry, it’s gonna be ok!” could be a mistake. It would actually be better for your child to fully express his emotions instead of avoiding them and being afraid of them. I am referring to emotional agility. Understanding and apprehending one’s emotions helps to better live with them. Moreover, a growing number of child psychologists advocate this method with children. I would like to suggest the following steps to implement next time your child is having an emotional tantrum.
Feel it, It’s OK!
Children often hear sentences like “don’t be sad,” “don’t be jealous,” and “don’t be angry,” as if they need to eliminate what is considered to be “bad emotions.” In doing so, your child avoids reality, situations where s/he must confront with strong feelings. This is where we enter the picture. We must convey that experiencing strong feelings are normal, and there is a way to deal with them. The last thing we want our children is to be afraid of their emotions, instead of knowing how to cope with them.
Putting words on emotions is a critical and necessary step in the development of a child. For example, children in early childhood age ought to learn to differentiate stress from anger. Later, it is important to address more complex emotions, such as being excited and stressed at the same time.
Gaining Control Over Emotions
Even the most intense and painful emotions go away one day, this is the reason we must teach children about feelings and emotions. Sadness, frustration, and anger are real, but they do not last a lifetime, and you can see beyond these emotions. Our children should know that they will not necessarily feel the same for a similar situation. They may be anxious to go to a new place on the first time, but the second time will be just exciting and happy. The main thing, finally, is to speak openly and reassuringly so that the child learns little by little to apprehend even the most painful emotions.