I really didn’t want to write this blog when I saw the headline and read the story. I truly feel bad for the family of this boy and hope that other children will not repeat his actions because of a TikTok challenge.
Encase you didn’t read the linked news story. An Ohio 13-year-old boy and his friends decided to complete a TikTok challenge where he would ingest 12-15 Benadryl pills because it was said to give the person hallucinations. Sad, that amount of pills is not lone 6 times the normal dose, it is also very deadly.
Apparently, on the day he took the pills, his friends were recording the challenge to be uploaded to TikTok later. However, when the pills started to take effect Jacob Stevens started to have seizures and his friends fled in fear. I can only imagine none of these boys knew or had one idea of the dangers that would happen, let alone how to handle a situation like an outcome of this type. Sadly, after so many days, Jacob was pronounced brain dead and taken off of life support and died much too young.
Now the reason I felt I must write about this story…
Like I said in the beginning, I really didn’t want to write this blog, mostly because I felt so bad for the family and the friends that now have to live the rest of their lives with the knowledge and visions of watching the friend die. But, there are two parts of this that I would pray will help other children and parents in the future.
- Know what your kids are doing, watching, and hearing. – Now from this story, it sounded like the father was worried and asked Jacob not to watch TikTok. So please don’t think I am attacking the family in any way, as a parent kids will try and many times figure out how to get around your rules.
What I mean in this section is that parents need to not just monitor and ask a child not to do something, but actually get involved. That means placing blocks on phones, the internet, and media. There are no rights that kids have to have any of those things or censorship laws to allow children to have access to them. Instead of giving the children a smartphone, tablet, or other devices, give them dumbphones. Place parental controls on any device that they use and know their passwords. They are children and as a parent, they have no reason for such privacy.
- Know the children that your child is friends with. True, you can never truly know what a friend of your children really is like away from you or their parents. However, getting involved and meeting their parents or other parents about those friends helps a lot. It is also true, over the course of time those friends may go from good kids to bad. But being an active parent will help a lot, along with talking with your child about their friends.
- Don’t treat your children like little adults. I know right now in society you are getting told that a child can decide their gender at the age of five. On top of that, if the UN gets its way, they can decide to have sex at any age too. That logic is so far from the truth. Children are still developing even past the age of 18 and make stupid life changes that are not reversible if not guided by adults. We don’t expect them to be able to drink, smoke, vote, or join the military until after the age of 18, so why allow them at 13?
Now those were things simply addressed toward parents. Now I will focus on the issue of social media and the so-called leaders of the government and medical world.
- While those in power keep threatening TikTok because of the possible personal data being collected by the Chinese, what about the other social media apps that this child could have obtained such horrible and deadly information? Sure, Americans’ personal information is very bad in the hands of an enemy nation, but isn’t our children’s safety? While Jacob and his friends used TikTok this time, where did the Tide Pod challenge start? Where did the choking game come from? In both cases, they were challenges before TikTok. And this doesn’t even cover the fact that each and every one of the other social media apps also collects personal information on the user. I can’t even count on my fingers and toes how I can say something on one social media app and all the others starts to show me ads for the very thing I posted about in less than 5 minutes.
How about creating laws that protect our people, young and old from social media? Create laws that govern how and how social media groups can collect and use our information. Create laws about the type of content that can be harmful to children. Sure it is a balancing act between rights and access to these services. Where is that line going to be placed? That is something that needs to be worked on to protect children and to protect the average citizen’s private information.
- Stop pretending that children are responsible to make life-altering changes t their bodies and health. Sadly, Jacob is a perfect example of why children can not decide they are the opposite sex that they were born, or that they are gay either. There are many stories that the media covered up that show young adults that were told they should change their gender at an early age. Only as an adult realize that all those drugs and the operations only created a person who is now infertile and in pain from drugs that prevented puberty.
Like Jacob, they were not ready to make those types of decisions. In his case, it was a bad choice to take a drug that I am sure the TikTok video said was safe. That all that would happen to him was some hallucinations and be fine afterward. He didn’t know that possible other outcomes that could happen to him. Just like these children being convinced that puberty blocker and surgery is reversible will have no problems in the future.
Bottomline to the parents: Protect your children from as many of the evils in the world as possible. Don’t let the world tell you that your children have full rights as an adult or that they understand things that take years to learn.
Most importantly, teach them the morals and truths in the Bible and trust in the Lord, not in man or the governments and experts of man.