How to Teach Kids to Be Kind Online

Help your kids learn to be kind online with these ideas and take the #ItsCoolToBeKind challenge!

I am a part of the Forward Influence Network and this post is sponsored by Google. 

When I was growing up, there was no internet. In fact, I was born the same year as the personal computer. You're going to have to Google that if you want to know how old I am.

This makes my kids think I lived in the time of dinosaurs and cave men, but it's true.

One of the realities of raising kids today is that the internet will always be a part of their lives. My twins are 7 now, and still too young for social media on their own. But they are not too young to learn about appropriate online behavior, and a big part of that is how to be kind online.

Learning to Be Kind Online

Raising kind children is one of my highest priorities as a parent. We incorporate acts of kindness in our lives every day. And since being online is part of our lives as well, I need to focus on teaching my boys to be kind online too.

The most important way that I teach my boys to be kind is by modeling kind behavior online. Online bullying, harassment, and aggression has become far too prevalent in our society. I make sure that my boys are exposed to social media in a healthy way, by allowing them to look at my feeds with me and allowing them to see me comment positively on friends' photos and posts.

I've also introduced them to Kind Kingdom, an awesome site where you can play Interland -- an interactive online game where you can put your online kindness skills to the test. I love that they can  learn about and practice being good digital citizens in a safe, age appropriate space.

Click here to play Interland with your kids!

Ways to Be Kind Online

Being kind online is much like being kind offline. As I tell my boys, you should always treat others as you would like to be treated, and that applies to online behavior as well.

With the digital world making such an impact on our kids, how they treat each other online will determine what their future community looks like - online and off.

There are a few specific things that you can do to incorporate kindness into your daily online life. I call them Random Acts of Online Kindness and these are a few of our favorites!

  • Add a positive comment to a friend's photo or video.
  • Always ask friends' permission before posting a photo that they are in.
  • Be an "upstander" - if you see someone being mistreated online, report it.
  • Send or post positive messages about your friends.
  • Do not share jokes or memes that are unkind.
  • Limit your social media circle to people that value kindness as much as you do!

Take the #ItsCoolToBeKind Challenge

Our friends at Google have invited our family to be part of the #ItsCoolToBeKind Challenge and I'm inviting you to join us!

The challenge is simple: do a random act of kindness online to someone else, then challenge 3 of your friends to do the same within 48 hours!

For our Random Act of Kindness, my boys and I decided to head to some of our favorite local businesses and leave positive reviews about their services! We chose our veterinarian, our locally owned pizza restaurant, and a local bookstore. We loved telling them how great we thought they were and also encouraging others to use their services.

You can head to Instagram to see more about our online acts of kindness and to see who we challenged to go next.

If you join the challenge, be sure to tag me @sunnydayfamily so that I can check it out and give you some kindness too!

Click here to learn more about how to be kind online with Google's Be Internet Awesome Family Guide!

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I'd love to hear from you! To get in touch, message me on Facebook or Instagram, or send me an email.