Sprinkle A Little Kindness Online with the Be Internet Awesome Curriculum

This content is sponsored by Forward Influence and Google. All opinions are my own.

When you get together with old friends you tend to reminisce about how it was ‘back in the old days’, and how that differs from what it’s like for kids today. Recently, I was speaking with a friend about kids being online this day in age. We have kids in the same age group and we both have similar viewpoints on what we allow in terms of online activities, with a few minor differences.

One thing that really stood out during our conversation was a comment she made regarding how kids can utilize social media without having to feel empathy or remorse

I’m paraphrasing, but it went something like this: 

“Kids can hide behind a screen. They cannot see the actual reaction of the person on the other end if they say hurtful things and make unkind remarks.

In the old days, if someone wanted to be mean to someone else they had to do it right to their face. They had to see the expression on the other person’s face and how much hurt it caused them. They had to feel empathy, or not. But they had to be a witness to it and be a part of the reaction.

With social media that is gone. You can make a remark and have no concept of what happens to the person on the other end of that. There is no empathy — and I fear we are losing that overall as a society.” –when speaking on how bullies have a new way of tormenting other kids.

Her comment got me thinking, and I realized she is so right. Unless kids are aware of how their words have real-world consequences we may lose that sense of empathy. The good news is that Google has a free program designed to teach kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety! 

Be Internet Awesome has 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

While I’ve had these conversations with my kids in the past, I think it is something that should be a continuous discussion and the conversation should not stop after speaking to your kids once.

As kids get older they will continue to face new and different challenges when it comes to the online space, and as parents, it is our job to help them understand both the dangers and the responsibilities that come with the privilege of being online.

Playing Interland – Learning To Be Kind Online

Interland is part of Google’s Be Internet Awesome program and is a fun, interactive game kids can play while they are learning about the five areas of Internet Awesomeness. I had my kids play Interland while using the corresponding Digital Safety and Citizenship Curriculum to have some important discussions with my kids. 

While they like to roll their eyes at me and tell me they know everything already, I am not going to stop reminding them of the dangers of being online, while also making sure they are kind to others themselves. It is so important to me that I raise respectful young adults who help spread kindness wherever they go, including online. 

If you want your family to Be Internet Awesome, be sure to have conversations with your family about how to be Upstanders and promote positivity at home, school, and online.

What Can You Do?

  1. Play Interland with your kids and put your kindness skills to the test at g.co/KindKingdom
  2. 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.

Jesica H

When she isn’t drowning in a pile of never-ending laundry or picking up Legos, Jesica is busy helping other parents make their lives a little less stressful with homemaking hacks, easy recipes, fun DIY projects, and more. On her successful blog, The Mommy Bunch, her Cricut crafting tutorials are the most popular articles and are what sparked her passion for helping others build a business of their own. Jesica started rockyourcraft.com where you can find loads more craft tutorials and business advice. In her FREE Facebook group, Rock Your Craft Business, Jesica teaches other entrepreneurs how to take their craft business to the next level by building their brand, targeting the right customers, and utilizing smart social media strategies. Join us!

jesicaj1 has 1736 posts and counting.See all posts by jesicaj1

21 thoughts on “Sprinkle A Little Kindness Online with the Be Internet Awesome Curriculum

  • November 5, 2018 at 2:10 pm
    I can't imagine how it is to be a kid in this digital age, I mean we had the internet and MSN, but it is nothing like it was now and learning to be kind online is a must. Words behind a screen can still hurt. Reply
  • November 5, 2018 at 4:08 pm
    I am starting to enter the digital age with my kids, and this looks like a great tool to teach them how to get along online with others. The problem is that we are always more open with what we say online and sometimes people say things that they wouldn't dare to say to your face ... it's a scary world! Reply
    • November 5, 2018 at 8:36 pm
      Exactly! That's why we have to let them know their words have real-world consequences and help them learn to be kind. :) Reply
  • November 5, 2018 at 5:26 pm
    I can totally relate with this post. My daughter is 10 years turning 11 soon and we have similar discussions often now. Reply
  • November 5, 2018 at 7:29 pm
    Kids being on the internet can be stressful for us parents. I think we have a responsibility to teach our kids to be kind online, and to come to us if someone is giving them issues. Reply
  • November 5, 2018 at 7:43 pm
    Now that kids are constantly connected, I think a curriculum like this is totally necessary. What a great movement! Reply
  • November 5, 2018 at 8:03 pm
    Although I have conversations about the internet dangers all the time with my daughter, I never thought about how now a days kids can be mean so much easier online and not "feel" or see the pain they are causing the person on the other end. Definitely another conversation I will be having with my daughter. Really great post! Reply
    • November 5, 2018 at 8:35 pm
      Yes, when I had the conversation with my friend it was really enlightening for me as well! Reply
  • November 6, 2018 at 4:36 am
    What a great observation about the online interaction and not seeing the other person's reaction. I think every parent/adult should be very interactive with their child's online experiences. It's a crazy world out there. Reply
  • November 6, 2018 at 8:35 am
    This is great! It is really important to teach our kids to be kind online. Well, for me, not only online, but all the time. Nothing is more sad than seeing people being so unkind to other people. Reply
  • November 6, 2018 at 9:07 am
    What an important conversation to have with our children! I never thought about the loss of empathy, which is obviously a real danger. Reply
  • November 6, 2018 at 9:30 am
    Super interesting information - it is such a challenge growing up with social media. I'm glad parents are looking out for their kiddos and talking about how to use social media in an empathetic way! Reply
  • November 6, 2018 at 10:09 am
    This is such an important topic in this day and age! I can’t even image being a kid or teen with social media. But we need to get a handle on this because even adults are hiding behind the screen to say some pretty awful stuff! Reply
  • November 6, 2018 at 10:29 am
    This is so incredibly helpful! I have kids at this age and I'll be applying some of your advise! Reply
  • November 6, 2018 at 10:53 am
    It's definitely important for kids to realize the importance of their words, especially online, since it is basically documented. Internet safety is something we should not take lightly, for sure. Reply
  • November 6, 2018 at 1:23 pm
    There's something to be said about the "olden days" - and I mean OLD. Way back in the 60's & 70's while growing up, we never ever had to worry about the things we do today. It's so sad. Reply
  • November 6, 2018 at 2:41 pm
    It truly is different than when we were growing up. I'm going to try out the Be Internet Awesome site with my kids. Thank you for the info! Reply
  • November 6, 2018 at 3:52 pm
    Yes, I can totally relate to this post. People can really be mean behind the comfort of their computers too, it is so sad. Reply
  • November 7, 2018 at 12:18 pm
    This sounds like the perfect program to educate on internet kindness! I kind of wish it was tought to every kid in school. Reply
  • November 7, 2018 at 2:54 pm
    This sounds like a great thing to share about! I would love to check out the Be Internet Awesome site! Thanks for sharing. Reply
  • November 8, 2018 at 11:21 am
    I have never heard of Interland and will definitely check it out. Social media had really changed the way we all interact with one another. I never thought about it causing our children to lack empathy but that really does make sense. So much to think about now! Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.