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Did you know October is National Prevent Bullying month? One main area of focus that I want to discuss today is how to stop cyber bullying. It is becoming increasingly important to help kids learn how to navigate the online world. We definitely want kids to understand how to use the vast amount of online resources available. We also need to teach them how to be Internet Awesome and prevent bullying online!
This is a sponsored post in behalf of Forward Influence Network. I am being compensated for my time in writing this, but all opinions are my own.
I have seen and heard so many stories of people being bullied online. As someone who works online, I have had a bit of it myself. Unfortunately, it affects some people more deeply than others. In kids it can even lead to suicide. The earlier we can teach our kids to stop cyber bullying and show kindness online, the better!
Some Stats About Bullying:
- 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.
Google has developed a great program to help us teach our kids about these sensitive issues. Their FREE program, Be Internet Awesome, is designed to teach kids about kindness and safety online. It has complete lesson plans that can be used in classrooms, clubs or homes. The Be Internet Awesome program is available in English and Spanish. These are such important messages for kids to learn, so be sure to check it out!
They have also created a game called Interland which is an adventure-packed online game about digital safety and citizenship. Interland teaches kids to be kind and safe online through a variety of games and questions. My kids loved playing this game, and we learned some important lessons through playing it.
They have 5 main parts to their Be Internet Awesome program: Smart, Alert, Strong, Kind & Brave.
I am going to focus on the Kindness aspect today, because It’s Cool to Be Kind!
I made these two graphics that can be used to teach kids these important principles. The one below would be great used as a coloring page.
You can download this coloring page here: Be Internet Awesome
Tips to Teach Kids How to Stop Cyber Bullying:
- It is important kids understand that people online are REAL people. When you say something unkind online, it is the same as saying something unkind to their face. It hurts either way. Don’t be a cyber bully! This kind of education needs to start at home. Teach your kids about kindness and respect of others.
- If someone says something unkind to you, talk about it to a teacher, friend or family member. They can help!
- If it is really bad, report the bully to your school, social media platforms or even law enforcement if necessary. You will need to keep a record of the interactions if reporting them.
- Do not engage with a cyber bully. Block them or ignore them.
- If your friend is the one being bullied, you can stand up for your friend to help them. This is called being an Upstander. A little kindness goes a LONG way! Your kindness can make a huge difference in how your friend feels about the situation.
Be an Upstander to Prevent Cyber Bullying:
- Teach and model positivity in your home and in your school.
- Stop unkind behaviors at the beginning.
- If you see someone being unkind online, stand up for the person being bullied!
- Learn which situations are better discussed in person vs. online.
- Get a bunch of friends to “pile on the kindness” and post a whole bunch of kind comments instead!
- Be kind and extra friendly to the person in real life as well as online. They will need extra support. Privately email, text or talk to them and let them know you are there for them.