Thanks to Google’s Be Internet Awesome program, we can teach our kids to be safe and smart online in a fun, educational and interactive way! It’s not only Ad blockers and parental controls that we need when it comes to our children’s access to the internet, we need to teach them how to handle the content they do see which may affect them. Sure, we as parents may learn more here about the deals to get them the cheapest internet access we can, but using that internet still should come with some rules and understanding. This post was sponsored, but the opinions and text are my own.
We all could benefit from having more kindness around us. Whether youre showing kindness to a stranger or using kind words on the internet to make someone feel better, every act of kindness you do, no matter how small, can make a lot of difference in someones life. In fact, studies have shown that we feel happier when we perform acts of kindness.
Sadly, we see more bullying happening around us now rather than acts of kindness. As a mom of three boys, I am concerned about the stories I hear about children and adults being bullied – both in person and online. It’s important to teach them what to do if they do become a victim of it, for example collecting evidence like abusive instagram stories and having the courage to report it, but it’s also important to teach them how to avoid it altogether.
Here are some facts about bullying that may surprise you:
- 28%of students have experienced bullying personally.
- 71%of students have witnessed bullying directly.
- Only 20% 30%of students notify adults about bullying.
- Over 50%of parents are concerned about their child being bullied.
OCTOBER IS NATIONAL BULLYING PREVENTION MONTH
October is National Bullying Prevention Month and Im honored to participate in Googles Be Internet Awesome movement. Throughout the month of October, Be Internet Awesome will spread positive messages across their communications to emphasize that the Golden Rule of treating others as youd like to be treated is just as important online as it is “IRL” (In Real Life).
People talk about how the internet is bad for everyone and I disagree. The internet can be a wonderful place to learn about new and valuable things and a way to interact or socialize with others, especially when the comments, conversations, and content are positive. But its when those interactions and conversations become negative that it creates problems for the people involved and can sometimes escalate into bullying.
ABOUT BE INTERNET AWESOME
Google created the free multi-faceted Be Internet Awesome program as a tool to teach kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence.
The program is available in English and Spanish and consists of an ISTE standards aligned curriculum for teachers to use in the classroom, ready-made Pear Decks for each lesson, and an adventure-packed online game called Interland that focuses on digital safety and citizenship. I perused the website and I love all the informative and free resources that are available for educators and parents like myself!
The Be Internet Awesome curriculum teaches and focuses on five areas of Internet awesomeness:
- SMART: Where we learn to share with care
- ALERT: Where we learn not to fall for fake
- STRONG: Where we learn how to secure Our digital stuff
- KIND: Where we learn that it?s cool to be kind
- BRAVE: Where we learn that, when in doubt, we talk it out
TIPS FOR DISCUSSING HOW TO BE INTERNET KIND WITH YOUR FAMILY
The Internet is a great tool for communicating something good or something badkindness or cruelty. As a family, we can help our kids apply the concept of treat others as youd want to be treated, helping their friends, and disempowering drama and cyberbullying. Practicing respect, kindness and positivity online startrs within your home.
Here are some things you can do as a family to teach and encourage our kids to be internet kind:
1. Be clear on what kinds of actions and behavior toward others are important to your family and how we treat other people in our family. The next step is to think about what that looks like in digital forms: texts, posts, comments, photos, videos, etc.
- Define what being positive means to your family.
- Understand what positivity looks like and how to express it online and on devices.
- Identify situations where its better to wait to communicate face-to-face with someone than to text or postand when to ask a parent or older sibling for help.
2. Be reminded at all times that behind every username and avatar there?s a real person with real feelings, and we should treat them as we would want to be treated. When bullying or other mean behavior happens, most of the time there are four types of people involved:
- There?s the aggressor, or person(s) doing the bullying.
- There?s also someone being bullied the target.
- There are witnesses to whats going on, usually called bystanders.
- There are witnesses to whats going on who try to positively intervene, often called upstanders.
3. Teach your kids things what they can do if they are the target of bullying or other bad behavior online. They can choose to not respond, block the person, and/or report the bully to you as his/her parent, a teacher, a sibling, or someone else they trust.
4. Encourage your kids not to be just bystanders by not trying to stop the bullying or helping the target. They can choose to be an Upstander by deciding not to support mean behavior and standing up for kindness and positivity.
A little positivity can go a long way online. It can keep negativity from spreading and turning into cruelty and harm. As parents, we have the ability to help encourage our kids to be Upstanders and help promote positivity at home, school, and online.
If youre a parent, I encourage you to learn more and become a part of the Be Internet Awesome movement. Explore all the free and helpful resources available to help your kids to stay safe and smart online and then play Interland with your kids and put your kindness skills to the test! Also, tell your kids teachers about the online curriculum on Be Internet Awesome so they can introduce these activities in the classroom.
I hope that this post about Be Internet Awesome and Teaching Kids To Show Kindness Online has inspired you to make a difference not only in your kids’ life, but also to others around you. We can commit to help stop bullying and we can begin today!
Being internet savvy is very important these days. I recommend that everyone teach the kids about safety there.
Some really well thought out points. The best way to combat bullying is through education and you certainly have done your part in this regard.
This is a very relevant and positive initiative. Kids are becoming more tech savvy and it is key to guide them in exploring the digital world with confidence but also with caution. Keep it up!
I have never thought this way before and yes I totally agree. Talking to kids and teaching them how to be more responsible can keep them safe. I believe if they know the consequences, they will act wisely.
I find this initiative so helpful. With so much time we spend in the virtual world, we need to be reminded to treat it as real and always be kind. Kids definitely needs this and so many adults as well.
I remember talking to a foster girl we had living with us. She wanted to know if she should tell someone off on Facebook.
I looked at her and asked: would you shout from on top a table in the cafeteria?
She looked mortified and said “No!”
I said: “Facebook is like a cafeteria, only more public. So don’t say anything there that you wouldn’t say in front of any other large group of people.
We’ve worked hard at teaching our kids to have Internet kindness over the years. I think we’ve done a pretty good job as they always try their best to encourage someone when they see that they have been bullied or been talking negatively to online.
You’ve obviously done a great job teaching kids about internet safety. I have little ones and I try to keep an eye on their internet activities. No parent wants their child to be the victim of cyber crime or bullying.
I am going to have to check this out. I haven’t seen Google’s campaign yet but it does sound interesting and pretty cool. Anything to reduce bullying is a good thing.
This is such a great way to encourage kids to use the internet responsibly. Thank you so much for sharing this!
The internet has brought so much good but it also has so much bad. I worry about my kids online and try to talk to them about it all of the time.
This is so important I am totally taking this into my lesson with my girls.
Yes, I love this post. It’s so important for kids to be nice everywhere, even if it’s online. Online can be one of the most hateful places, so everyone needs to learn more about this.
In a time when more and more people are becoming nastier and nastier online, I think the best thing we can do is raise children who know the value of being kind.
Sounds like a nice program. I find those stats to be so high and sad. It is also interesting to see parents posting about their children and similarly bullying each other.
Joy at The Joyous Living
Kindness in general starts at home, I believe. This is such a wonderful post, and I would hope that more and more parents will jump on board with their kids to be kinder online!
I think teaching children online kindess is important. So many people get bullied whether they are adults or children and educating is a good way to try and reduce this from happening.
Keeping nasty people out of my online life is very important to me. It is a slippery road being toxic. The kids certainly don’t need to see it either!
I think the Be Internet Program is such a good idea as I am shocked at how many kids are bullied online. When I was a kid the internet was still quite a new thing so we didn’t have as many issues as kids do now x
Honestly, this the first time to hear about this program and it sounds really great because it teaches kids to be kind to others even in using internet.
This is such an important topic that everyone needs to be teaching their children, so I am definitely intrigued by this program!
What a great article. I have seen some terrible things on Instagram between kids, especiallly teens. I will be talking to my kids!
I teach my kids about internet safety and practicing kindness by setting an example. There are so many dangers in cyberspace that we parents must be aware of.
This is such a great cause to raise awareness, especially for kids to prevent bullying. Every parent should have to support and join in Be Interent Awesome.
I love this. I try so hard to teach my kids about internet safety and how to just be kind online. I think people are too often trolls because it is easy.
I think it’s so important to teach kids internet safety at an early age! Looks like you are doing an amazing job!!
It sounds like a very awesome program. Internet can be an amazing tool for kids who want to learn or discover new things. It’s very important to teach them about kindness and make sure they are safe.
These are all important things to discuss with kids. It is such a good idea to make sure that they know how to be responsible with their own actions and make sure they are safe.
Parent’s need all the help we can get. I hate that it’s so much easier for the bullying to follow kids home, but with precautions and teaching kindness can work together to help keep our kids safe.
We sometimes are just content about internet safety for our kids. Teaching them to be responsible is extremely important.
I think the internet can be an amazing yet scary place and teaching kids how to use it safely from a young age is 100% a must!