This post was sponsored by Google in partnership with the Forward Influence Network. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The other day I was on Facebook scrolling through my feed when all of a sudden something caught my eye.
One of my friends had posted an experience her daughter had at school that day about an anonymous message she received from a new social media app basically saying that she was ugly and she wished she would die.
My heart stopped as I read this. My friend’s daughter is beautiful inside and out and it crushed me to know that this was happening.
Cyberbullying is the #1 online safety concern in the classroom among teachers. In fact, 28% of all kids have personally experienced bullying, while 71% have seen bullying happening. With these astounding stats, you will be shocked to know that only 20-30% of students tell adults when they see bullying happening, but yet over 50% of parents are concerned that their child might be bullied.
With these stats, it is time for us to ban together and teach our kids It’s Cool to be Kind, as a digital citizen as well as in real life. It’s time to start treating others how we wish we were treated. How we treat others online will make the digital world a better place now and for generations to come, not to mention our offline world too!
So we are going to share with you 5 Ways to Teach Your Kids to Be Internet Awesome!
Let’s throw kindness around like confetti on the Internet!
How to Be Internet Awesome
Google has created an amazing multifaceted program to help teach kids how to be great digital citizens and safety so they can be online with confidence called Be Internet Awesome. This is available in both English and Spanish.
Communicate responsibly online.
Teach your kids to be smart online. This means thinking twice before they post a picture or a comment on social media. Teach them that once it is out there it is really hard to get it back. Their online presence is a direct reflection of who they are, so it is so important to make good decisions when it comes to communicating with others online.
Remind them that sometimes it is best to not communicate at all or perhaps it is better to communicate face-to-face with someone than to text them right away.
Identify phishing, scams, and non-credible sources online.
Help your kids to realize that the Internet is not all sunshine and roses. Teach them to look for email scams trying to get information from them to have access to email accounts, credit information, social security numbers, and other valuable information.
Not only that, but teach them the newest YouTube Star might not be the most credible source. Teach them how to find credible sources to evaluate what is the truth and what is not.
Protect your personal information.
Being Internet strong goes hand in hand with being alert. Teach your kids to protect and not give out their personal information.
Be kind and positive online.
These two resources help me lay a strong foundation for helping my kids learn to be safe, smart, and positive online, as well as kind. Of course, having an open heartfelt conversation with your kids is the best way to teach them to be smart, safe, and kind online.
One of the best things you can do is to set clear expectations for your kids on appropriate behaviors and actions that are okay and not okay. Remind them this is in ALL forms of DIGITAL such as Air dropping, texting, sending pictures, direct messaging, posts, comments, videos, even disappearing anonymous messages.
Remind them behind every username and avatar is a real person just like them and we should treat them exactly how they want to be treated.
When in doubt about anything online, talk it out with an adult.
I always tell my kids be brave enough to make a difference. There are so many ways to be brave online and in real life.
I tell my kids all the time, the Internet is a powerful tool, are you going to use it for good, or for something bad? It helps them remember to think before they post.
Teach Your Kids what to do about Bullying
A few months ago I had a talk with my kids, we talked about bullying and what that meant. They realized that bullying can happen anywhere and it can be done in small subtle ways and in big ways. We talked about that there are usually 4 types of people when it comes to bullying.
Types of People When it Comes to Bullying.
Aggressor- The person or people bullying
Victim- The person being bullied
Bystander- The person watching the bullying happening
Upstander- The person that sees the bullying and positively acts and helps the situation.
We talked about if we are a bystander how to become an upstander such as
- Find a way to support the victim
- Call out the negative bully behavior
- Do not help the aggressor by spread the message and make the bullying worse
- Gather with friends to “pile on kindness” to the victim.
- Report it. Tell someone. A teacher, a parent, an adult and report it.
By teaching our kids to be Internet Kind it can go a long way not only in the digital world but in the real world!
Now it’s Your Turn!
Now it’s our turn to show our kids to be Internet kind, by being the example online and in person! Throw kindness around like confetti!
Within the next 48 hours do an act of kindness online and share with us in the comments what you do and be Internet Awesome!
Some Ideas for Internet kindness are:
- Send a text to someone you are thinking about
- Comment on a post!
- Like a comment
- Reconnect with an old friend
- Stand up for someone who is being shamed online
- Be an upstander
- Help your kids spread kindness online with Kind Kingdom
- The possibilities are endless!
As we all be Internet Awesome and teach our kids to be Internet Awesome we can change the digital world and real-life and make it a more positive place for our kids!
Share on Pinterest with others how to Teach our Kids how to Be Internet Awesome!
Michele is a Family Life Educator. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!