This is a sponsored post, thanks for supporting The Mama Maven Blog
Last weekend I hosted an intimate Moms’ Night Out, sponsored by Google for Education. We met at Cipollina Gourmet in Forest Hills, Queens, NY and enjoyed a delicious dinner. The topic of the night was Google for Education’s Be Internet Campaign and how we can teach kids to learn to act responsibly and kindly online, which you may remember I wrote about recently. How To Help Kids Be Kind Online – Google For Education Moms’ Night Out Recap | The Mama Maven Blog
After giving an overview of the program, I explained about my own children’s history of being online and how I had to put the breaks on some of the things my oldest son was doing online…We also talked about how to spread kindness online and how to go from being a bystander to an upstander.
It was actually great to hear the stories from my other mom guests. Turns out I wasn’t alone — what I experienced was common. A lot of us had children who were going online a bit too much (it’s a real struggle) and acting inappropriately. Other moms shared stories about their kids, some older and some younger- which was helpful seeing how other families handling restricting online access or why they didn’t restrict it. Most mothers did mention that their kids wanted to be online almost all the time and they had to set boundaries. There were no wrong answers and we found the advice given was very helpful. One mom had a son that was a year older than my son — a straight A student who loved to game. Hearing how she handled his being online was really interesting to all of us and actually inspiring. Another mother explained how being online had actually really helped her child. But we all agreed on the fact that kids need to know how to act online. That’s something that really wasn’t taught to us and most schools aren’t covering this yet. One mother mentioned that her child was being taught how to act appropriately online, which we all thought was a great start. It’s a new digital age and while we didn’t grow up online, our kids are doing just that.
If you remember, the Five fundamental topics of digital safety and citizenship form the Internet Code of Awesome:
• Share with Care (Be Internet Smart)
• Don’t Fall for Fake (Be Internet Alert)
• Secure Your Secrets (Be Internet Strong)
• It’s Cool to Be Kind (Be Internet Kind)
• When in Doubt, Talk It Out (Be Internet Brave)
We discussed what being a “Bystander” versus and “Upstander”. According to Google for Education’s Curriculum, “behind every username and profile there is a person that is real. They have real feelings and we need to treat everyone the way we want to be treated. When bullying or mean behaviors happen, there are different people included —
- The Target
- The aggressor/bully
While we can easily figure out the target and the aggressor/bully role, we defined what bystander and upstanders are. There are witnesses to what’s going on, usually called bystanders. There are witnesses to what’s going on who try to positively intervene, often called upstanders. We can also encourage each other to be “upstanders”: people who help the person being hurt when they see something hurtful happening and help turn negative situations into positive ones.”
More on being an upstander
• They find a way to be kind to or support the person being targeted
• They call out the mean behavior in a comment or reply (remember to call out the behavior, not the person) if you feel comfortable with that and think it’s safe to do so
• Deciding not to help the aggressor by spreading the bullying or making it worse by sharing the mean post or comment online
• Getting a bunch of friends to create a “pile-on of kindness” – post lots of kind comments about the person being targeted (but nothing mean about the aggressor, because you’re setting an example, not retaliating)
• Reporting the harassment. Tell someone who can help, like a parent, teacher, or school counselor.
We went through some scenarios (pretending to be in elementary and middle school) and discussed how we would act in those situations. It’s not always easy to be an upstander, but we agreed that it is something that kids may have to work at.
There is a really easy way to put kids on the spreading kindness online track – team them how to be kind online. Also – playing “Kind Kingdom” on Interland is a low-stress way to let kids actually navigate individual situations. All in all, we had a fantastic night, thank you to our sponsor, Google for Education!
How can you start?
Play Interland with your kids and put your kindness skills to the test at g.co/KindKingdom
Learn more about how to Be Internet Awesome at g.co/BeInternetAwesome and tell your kids’ teachers about the online curriculum so they can introduce these activities in the classroom.
Download Curriculum right here: Be Internet Awesome Curriculum
For more info: Go to: g.co/BeInternetAwesome
Huge thank you to all the mamas that came out!
Read our first post on this: https://www.themamamaven.com/teaching-kids-to-make-good-decisions-online-and-be-internet-awesome/