The guidance on this page has been shaped by the brochure, Building Resilience & Confronting Risk in The Covid-19 Era: A Parents & Caregivers Guide to Online Radicalization, prepared jointly be the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab (PERIL) at American University and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). This short guide was edited with particular attention to the circumstances of the 2020-21 pandemic, but most of its points are applicable to all periods.
Sometimes the most helpful guidance comes in the form of personal accounts. A particularly valuable example, What Happened After My 13-Year-Old Son Joined the Alt-Right, is a mother’s detailed narrative of her efforts to draw her teenage son from a quickly deepening engagement in an online white nationalist group. Writing anonymously to protect her son’s identity, this mother recounts the emotional stresses that led her son to white nationalism, shows the intensity of the social rewards membership provided him, and also models the sustained patience and understanding that enabled the parents to avoid a confrontation and gradually draw their son back, building on his own growing doubts.