As a parent are you able to identify Cyberbullies or a victim? …
This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Google However, all opinions expressed are my own.
The internet is our passage to limitless information, it’s our tool to connect to the entire world. With only one click, we see what’s happening on the other side of the planet. It’s as fascinating to our kids as it is for us; especially during the current fast-paced era, we live in.
As moms, the idea of our kids discovering that the world goes beyond a phone screen, video game, texting etc, is equally fascinating and scary.
Our role is to teach kids to have fun discovering the world while protecting them. It’s true, the internet has the power to open so many doors for all of us, including our minors.
Sadly, this platform also gives power to bullies and allows them to extend their actions on a wider range.
The internet is not going anywhere
We won’t stop using the internet and we certainly won’t keep it from our children for it’s a place that encourages growth when accompanied by positivity.
Therefore, to ensure their safety, we must teach them how it is done. For this reason, “Be Internet Awesome” will be spreading positivity with their messages all over the internet during the month of October; the national bullying prevention month.
It will be showing families and students how to dis empower all the cyberbullying behavior and transform their environment into a healthy and interactive one, by being part of month-long acts of kindness online.
Bullying is a widespread phenomenon. Statistically speaking, 28% of students have been subjected to bullying, while the rest 71% have witnessed it.
These numbers aren’t the scariest part. The scariest part is that only 20 to 30% report being accused of bullying.
Be Internet Awesome is a free multifaceted program designed by Google to help minors with the basis of digital citizenship and online safety, it is available in both English and Spanish.
This program consists of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards curriculum where safety is explained throughout Interland adventure-packed online games along with resources for both parents and educators.
Five main areas of “Internet Awesomeness”.
Be Internet Awesome has five main areas of “internet awesomeness”. These areas go as follows: SMART, ALERT, STRONG, KIND AND BRAVE.
They tackle online communication, scams, phishing and non-credible sources identification. They speak about the protection of one’s personal information, about the impact of positivity and kindness online and finally, about being open to adults about all things that concern us online.
This program offers teacher curriculum, guides, and tips for families along with resources. Aside from Interland, vocabs and discussion points. With the purpose of laying a strong foundation for helping kids in learning how to be safe online.
Activities in the Be Kind Curriculum help kids to:
- Identify harassment situations and bullying online.
- Acknowledge that being an upstander is a complete choice.
- Learn how to be an upstander.
- Respond in specific ways that feel safe and appropriate to bullying.
- Know how to behave in cases of bullying.
- Express their feelings and opinions positively.
- Respond to bullying in constructive and civilized ways.
It could also help adults understand how their behaviors could model the behavior of younger generations.
As moms, we serve as an inspiration to our kids, it’s mandatory we explain everything to help prevent them from becoming victims of bullying and to teach them how to be there for their fellow friends who are being bullied.
Our children must understand that behind all the virtual connections and profiles, real people who don’t feel any less than we do exist.
Communication is the most important tool for a family to move forward and strengthen the relationships between all individuals.
A family is where we learn how to communicate not only verbally, but emotionally through kindness, respect, and positivity. That is exactly where the love and the capacity to look the other way when someone makes a mistake begins.
If we learn how to forgive and be there for one another within our families, we will reflect that in society effortlessly.
How to identify a bully
During bullying, there are four types of people involved: the aggressor, the bullied, the silent witness; bystander, and the active witness upstander.
As moms, it is important we raise children in a supportive environment for they are like mirrors, whatever they see, they do. Our kids should also be taught that if they can’t solve a problem, which in this case is bullying, they should not spread it.
On the other hand, they could spread positivity by creating a group to counterattack negativity and harm, with kind comments.
Our kids must be taught the importance of being there for their friends, and If it makes them socially awkward to intervene in public, they could be supportive in private by being there for victims emotionally.
Moreover, there are simple actions they should be taught when subjected to online bullying such as:
- simply blocking the bully.
- Reporting; as in the social media applications, and for adults if we know who the bully is.
it doesn’t matter which approach they choose, what matters is learning how to be upstanders and defending the good and innocent individuals.
Whether we choose to stand up for the bullied or report the hurt someone else is causing to prevent the situation from amplifying, we will have many options and strategies to act upon.
It’s okay to feel stuck when we experience or witness any of these things for the first time. The important part is to learn how to control it. It could be tricky and misleading when body language is missing during communication, this is the case with social media.
We cannot possibly feel what others are feeling, but when we have a visual, we feel with them. Since that is missing on social media, we need to be very careful and thoughtful for the manner in which friends treat each other online, this affects the new generations on large scales.
Kindness goes a long way
Being kind is always the most natural way to fight against hatred and bullying. This trait is the seed we should plant in our families as moms.
They need to understand that bullies are bullies because of their own reasons, not because we are any less than they are. Kindness could be a smile, a hug, or a nice word. Kindness is intangible.
And can be expressed in many ways it is impressive, the impact that one smile could have over someone who is really hurt. Bullying is not a joke and many teens have lost their lives because they felt stuck and didn’t understand what was going on around them.
This is why we should all spread awareness and kindness all around us and at every place we sign in to. This is a great way to keep our kids safe from the internet whilst using it for good reasons.
Keep reading how Protect your children’s Internet access using Google’s Family Link app
This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Google However, all opinions expressed are my own. #Sponsored