Go from Bystander to Upstander and Be Internet Awesome

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Forward Influence for Google.

Did you know October is National Bullying Prevention Month? Stats show that 28% of students have personally experienced bullying. 71% of students have witnessed bullying happening. 

Stop Bullying - Be Internet Awesome

Be Internet Awesome

Yet only 20-30% of students notify an adult about what they’ve experienced or seen.

It’s time to teach our kids to not only stand up for themselves, but for others as well. To step in and say something when it’s safe to do so. Whether in person or online, there’s much to be said for being an “Upstander.”

Google, through it’s free multifaceted program, Be Internet Awesome, is teaching kids the “fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence.”

be a friend to others

As parents, we should not only help direct our children on ways to handle bullies when it happens to them, but when it happens to others as well. To be the person who steps in when possible. The upstander.

upstanders: people who help the person being hurt when they see something hurtful happening, and help turn negative situations into positive on

In fact, Be Internet Awesome teaches how you can go from bystander to upstander by…

  • Finding a way to be kind to or support the person being targeted
  • Calling 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.

At home, we can start by walking through these tips with our kids. Be Internet Awesome also features Interland; an adventure-packed online game about digital safety and citizenship. Play Interland with your kids and put your kindness skills to the test.

Next, continue to foster good relationships at home with your kids. Teach them the “Golden Rule” and encourage them to be kind to others. These small things can still go a long way.

Have conversations with your family about how to be Upstanders and promote positivity at home, school, and online.

Want to find more ways to equip your kids to positively disempower bullying behavior?

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.

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