Squid Game could be harming young viewers’ ‘social and emotional development and might breed bullies, expert warns

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  • Parents can teach their kids how to be bullied by allowing them to watch squid games
  • Dr Sandra Wheatley Says Netflix Shows Can Be Harmful to Young People
  • She said this could have an adverse effect on ‘social and emotional development’.

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One expert warns that parents can teach their kids to be bullied by allowing them to watch ultra-violent squid games.

Dr Sandra Wheatley said Netflix shows can harm youth’s ‘social and emotional development’ if they watch it too young.

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This may encourage them to ‘stand up’ or ‘get involved’ rather than help – if they see a co-worker being harmed, she said.

The South Korean 15-rated series has caused furious rows on parenting site Mumsnet, with some saying it was okay for children as young as eight.

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It sees characters compete in challenges based on the childhood game – but with a fatal twist – to win £27 million.

Scenes show someone locked in a coffin and people being shot in the head.

Dr Sandra Wheatley said the Netflix show The Squid Game (pictured) could harm youth’s ‘social and emotional development’ if they watch it too young

The South Korean 15-rated series has caused furious rows on parenting site Mumsnet, with some saying it was okay for children as young as eight.

The South Korean 15-rated series has caused furious rows on parenting site Mumsnet, with some saying it was okay for children as young as eight.

Dr Wheatley, a social psychologist specializing in parenting, said elementary-age children may not be old enough to understand the context of violence, adding: ‘It can make them question, ‘Why isn’t anyone helping them? Used to be?’ Clearly there are messages that we really don’t want our kids to come on board.’

Last week, John Bramston Primary School in Ilford, east London, warned parents that students were copying scenes in the playground.

‘This may well shake the foundation of what is being taught to them in school, which is that we care and that we help each other.

‘We don’t stand up if we see injustice. If we see that someone else is being bullied or hurt, we tell a teacher, and we don’t get involved or walk away.

‘Obviously there are messages out there that we really don’t want our kids to come on board.’

This comes after elementary schools warned that students have been seen imitating violent scenes from the show.

And Mumsnet users outraged by admitting they had let kids in their primary age watch it.

One wrote of his nine-year-old daughter: ‘I watch it with her and fast forward. She was hooked.

Another wrote of her eight-year-old daughter: ‘I see it in the room with her. I fast forward sex scenes or really brutal violence but she knows it’s not real.’

A third admitted: ‘My 9 and 11 year olds asked me if they could look at it and see bits.’

Several others condemned the action, calling it ‘bad parenting’: ‘Horror parents let their children watch violent shows’ and another said: ‘This is child neglect – very sad.’

Nuzhat Uthmani, a primary school teacher, also wrote in a blog for TES magazine that some of her students had seen the squid game and were concerned that it might affect their ‘mental health’.

She said: ‘As a primary teacher, the number of conversations you have with students about age-appropriate material is disappointing…

‘Ultimately, it is the responsibility of parents and caregivers to police.’

Dr Wheatley said that while parents should have the ‘freedom’ to choose what their children see, it was wise to be on the safe side.

He said young children carry a ‘different message’ for their parents from adult material because they are too young to understand the topics.

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