Being online is an integral part of children and young people’s lives. Social media, online games, websites and apps can be accessed through mobile phones, computers, laptops and tablets – all of which form a part of children and young people’s online world. However, it is important that we teach children not only how to be safe online but how to be kind. It has come to our attention that recently there have been a few occasions when children have not been kind to each other online.
As a school, we will address this through PSHE lessons and in anti-bullying week. However, it is important that these conversations take place at home too. A good way to teach kindness online is to talk to children about what it is like to be in someone else’s shoes. Children understand our school values of empathy and respect. If they empathise with others and picture the consequences of their actions, they are less likely to upset others online, whether they meant to or not.
If you are worried that your child has done something to upset someone, ask them how they think it would make them feel and how they would react if the same had happened to them. Point out positive examples of when they or someone else has shown empathy and understanding and praise your child when you notice them doing something kind for someone else. If they are reminded of what it means to be understanding of other people’s feelings and why it is important, they may make a habit of it.