5 Ways to be an UpstanderOctober 10, 2018
This is a sponsored post written by me for Google. This post is part of a campaign managed by the Forward Influence Network. All opinions are mine alone. #ItsCoolToBeKind #BeInternetAwesome
Both of my daughters are in school full-time this year. Most of the stories that they tell me about school are positive, but occasionally, I’ll hear a story that makes me sad. For example, a few weeks ago, Sophia told me about an incident in school that she witnessed. It basically involved one kid making fun of another’s outfit. Sophia told me that she felt bad for the person being targeted and stood up for them. Essentially, she was being an upstander.
Did you know that 28% of students have experienced bullying personally and 71% of students have witnessed bullying directly? The sad truth is that there is a good chance that most kids will either experience bullying or witness bullying. Since October is National Bullying Prevention Month, it’s the perfect time to think about this growing epidemic and whether we are doing everything we can to disempower bullying. In fact, one of the most important things we can do as parents is to have meaningful conversations with our kids, encouraging them to stand up for anyone being bullied. This applies to both in-real-life situations and online conversations. By showing our kids how to Be Internet Awesome, we are giving them the skills they need to confidently tackle the online world.
Be Internet Awesome is Google’s free program that is helping kids understand basics of digital citizenship and safety. Available in both English and Spanish, this curriculum is empowering students to explore the online world with safety & kindness in mind.
The program features an ISTE standards-aligned curriculum, ready-made Pear Decks for each lesson, Interland (a super fun online game about digital safety) and useful tools for teachers & parents. The program is giving students the skills they need to be Smart, Alert, Strong, Kind and Brave via the Be Internet Awesome curriculum.
Interland is a fun, interactive online game that teaches the lessons of digital safety. There are four different challenging levels to play! For example, in Kind Kingdom, the goal is to get to the top of the kingdom by spreading good vibes and nixing bad vibes.
The game asks a series of interesting, thought-provoking questions about online safety. The student strives to get the most answers correct to advance in the game. Click here to play Interland with your kids – it’s fun and educational!
Google’s Be Kind Curriculum educates children on identifying bullying online, choosing to be an upstander, understanding there are multiple ways to stand up for the target, expressing feelings in effective ways, and so much more. There are also plenty of talking points to help spark a meaningful conversation with your child.
After all, when it comes to online safety, open-minded communication with your child is essential. Encourage your child to always seek advice from you when questions arise about online activities. Teach your child that if she ever witnesses bullying (in person or online), she should stand up for the person being targeted.
Before we delve further into the ways one can be an upstander, let’s first define a typical scenario of bullying. In most cases of bullying, there are actually four individuals involved:
- The aggressor: the person doing the bullying
- The target: the person being bullied
- Bystanders: people witnessing what’s going on
- Upstanders: people trying to positively intervene
So how can a bystander become an upstander? In fact, there are five ways:
1. Be kind to the person being targeted! Offer support and positive attention to the person being targeted by the bulling. You can even get a number of friends to join you to support the target. Simply complimenting the target can help.
2. Call out the mean behavior! Reply to the incident by calling out the aggressor’s behavior. State that you don’t agree with this behavior and that this is not acceptable. Just saying “hey, that’s not cool” is an easy way to make a positive impact.
3. Don’t exacerbate the situation! Do not help the aggressor in any way. Do not retweet, like or support the bully. Do not share the negative post/comment with your friends or followers.
4. Report the behavior! Get the help of a parent or teacher when you witness incidents of bulling. If someone is harassing someone else online, you can usually report the post directly to the social media channel.
5. Reach out privately! Many people may not feel comfortable standing up for someone else publicly. In this case, feel free to reach out privately. Send a text or direct message, asking how he/she is doing. Send an anonymous post or comment with compliments. Tell the target that you don’t agree with the aggressor’s actions.
Don’t forget to play Interland with your kids to put their kindness skills to the test. Also, learn more about the Be Internet Awesome program! Has your child ever experienced or witnessed bullying?
Unfortunately there will always be bullies in school. Girls can be the worse because it is with words and cattiness. Social media is a big way they bully now. Teach the children.
My son also returned to school this year and I love what your teaching your children and I will share it with my son. As he was Bullied in the past and this year they are targeting a little girl in his class.
Bullying always flabergasts me – but people are mean yet also hurting themselves – so I see it as a weird defense mechanism 🙁
I always worry about my kiddo getting bullied. He goes to a really small school and so it can be monitored a lot better, but there still could be issues. I have not let him online yet because it is such a pitfall of stuff that can happen. I love this post and I will keep it in mind as my kiddo starts to explore the world of the internet.
Bullying comes in so many forms and it is great that you are raising your awareness and that of your daughter. It is good to have this coping mechanism and can make it fun to learn.
I love your tips. My son never experienced bullying. However, I did in middle school.
It definitely is sad the amount of bullying happening these days, but these are really great tips for standing up and stopping the bullying. Most bullies thrive on being the person in control and being the center of attention, so when others stand up to that, it does seem to help diffuse the situation. Thanks for the tips!
We have been teaching this in schools (where I live) for years, but it is just now becoming mainstream and I am so excited! If we could turn bystanders into upstanders, that would make a real difference.
Okay, so kudos to you momma! You know you’re doing a good job at this whole parenting thing when your kids automatically stand up for the less fortunate and don’t just fall in with the crowd. It’s SO hard to stand up to your peers, and most kids end up going along with the flow for fear of making waves or being targeted themselves. Your girl is someone to be proud of, and so is her mom! I only hope I can do just as good a job with my daughter as you’ve done.
I think there has always been bullying in school. It’s sad. I hope that campaigns like this will call more people to be upstanders rather than bystanders.
With all the bullying going on, I love the idea of Be Kind Curriculum. I think schools need to use it too.
The big picture with Be Kind Curriculum is good. School should be using more of this in their classrooms. So bullying will stop.
Kids could always use an upstander. In some situations adults could use them too. Thanks for sharing this with us.
Great tips, and great job with your girls. Bullies are everywhere but we have to make a start.
Thank you for this post. I have a child that goes to school and don’t want that bad things happen to him or his classmates.
Our school offers a Bullying Course for parents. We didn’t have to deal with social media and online bullying so it really helps us understand so we can help our kids combat bullying.
Interland sounds like a great game. I believe you reach kids any way you can so I game the encourages standing up for other and making good choices is a good idea. If more people reported it and decide to be kind to the person being bullied, i think a change would come.
Yes making kids learning things and understanding that their have been bad things and they need prepare to fight for it. I like your post.