Teaching kids to be safe, courteous, and responsible online

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Looking for a good way to help teach your children how to be good citizens online?  Want to help them build good online habits so they can learn to use the Internet responsibly? “The Mini Page” in today’s Raleigh News and Observer offers a helpful family rules list. Use this list to prompt conversations about good online practices, what your family values and why, and how you can work together to build their online skills.

  • Our dinner table is a media-free zone: We talk with each other and share news from our day.
  • When we are using electronic devices, we use only one at a time.
  • We talk regularly about how to be ethical online. We have specific rules about what can and can’t be shared online.
  • Adults in our family help kids understand how to respect others and ourselves online.
  • Parents or other adults help kids adjust privacy settings on devices and social media sites.
  • Kids in our family know how they can reach out to a parent or other adult if we feel threatened or bullied online.
  • We know not to share pirate information about ourselves, our families or our friends online.
  • With adults’ help, we ‘Google’ ourselves periodically to find out what information about us is online.
  • Before we post something online, we remind ourselves that once it’s posted, it never goes away.
  • We use the rule, “Never post anything that you wouldn’t say in person.”
  • When we see inappropriate posts, we ‘flag’ the post for the website managers.
  • We create strong passwords for websites and use different passwords for each website we visit.

–The Mini Page. Our Online Rules. Betty Debnam, Ed. in The Raleigh News and Observer, September 15, 2014.

Looking for other resources?  Check out

Brain Pop, Jr: Internet Safety

What is Digital Citizenship?

Teaching Digital Citizenship in the Elementary Classroom


Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America