Who is Huggy Wuggy?
Huggy Wuggy is a character from a horror video game. The game is called Poppy Playtime and is aimed at teenagers and adults. It is not suitable for younger children due to the scary content. The setting of the game is an abandoned toy factory where creepy toys are up to mischief.
How do children know Huggy Wuggy?
Often children do not even know the creepy character from the actual context, in this case, from the video game. Through channels like YouTube, Instagram or TikTok, but also on platforms like Roblox, pictures and videos with the character are spread. This is because many people jump on the hype around a character. Then, for example, they produce videos related to the well-known character in the hope that this will cause many people to click on the video. Some children certainly also hear about the popular character from older siblings, in kindergarten or at school, which can now also be bought as a cuddly toy.
Is Huggy Wuggy dangerous for my child?
No, generally there is no danger for children. Creepy characters have always been part of growing up. With them, children can learn to deal with emotions like fear in a fun way. However, it is important that children can do this at their own pace and in a self-determined way. When children voluntarily take an interest in scary characters and expose themselves to this creepiness through play, this is a normal developmental step. Often, this also serves as a way of setting oneself apart from younger children and as proof to oneself and to others that one is "already big." However, it is problematic when children are involuntarily exposed to scary content that overwhelms them. For example, when they encounter pictures of Huggy Wuggy on the Internet or when they are confronted with Huggy Wuggy by other children while playing in the daycare center. Parents and educators can help here by comforting and classifying what they see or hear.
How can I protect my child from excessive content on the Internet?
Younger children should only use the Internet with guidance and supervision. In any case, the devices and the services used should be set to child-proof. Instructions for this are available at www.medien-kindersicher.de. If there are services suitable for children, such as YouTube Kids, these should be used. Older children and young people who are already able to use the Internet largely independently can be supported as a trusted adult. This means regularly asking about their online experiences, showing interest and signaling that you are available to talk to them if they have any problems. Also, communicate to children that they can always turn off and leave the situation if something scares them.
How can I support my child if he or she is scared by Huggy Wuggy?
It is important to take the fears seriously and talk to the child. Have them tell you where the child came in contact with the character Huggy Wuggy. Emphasize that it is a fictional character that poses no danger. And explain that people have invented many scary characters because sometimes it is fun to be scary on purpose. Think together if the child doesn't already know other scary characters (Frankenstein, vampire, ghost, zombie) that he or she is not afraid of at all. Or think up your own scary figure together, which is perhaps not only scary, but also has funny characteristics. This is a fun way to work through fears and redirect them in a positive way.