I recently had the opportunity to read Kindness Wins, by Galit Breen. I’ve also gotten to know the author a little bit as we both work to help protect children from the potential dangers that exist online. Kindness Wins is one mother’s story about what she experienced when her daughter asked to start using social media.
The result was Kindness Wins, a “how-to” book that helps parents teach their children how to be kind to others online. Below are the names of the 10 (lessons) chapters from Galit’s book. Each chapter starts off with an appropriate quote that applies perfectly not only to online activity, but to any interaction between people.
“Not My Kid” Is Simply Not True
Remember There’s Someone on the Other Side of the Screen
Learn How to Call Each Other Out
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand (Nice) Words
We Don’t Talk about Other People’s Bodies
If You Wouldn’t Say It or Show It to Your Mama, Keep It Offline
Learn How to Discuss Hard Things
The Internet Isn’t Permanent, but It Is Public and It Is Loud
Just Because You See It, Doesn’t Mean It’s Yours
Anonymous Isn’t an Excuse: You’re Responsible for Every Word You Write Online
Of the chapters in the book, Chapter 7 is my favorite because it gets right down to the nitty gritty. Galit realizes that while cyberbullying may be spread via technology, the technology itself is not the problem. It is more fundamental than that. The technology merely brings the message from one person to another. It does not create the message. Would you blame your postal carrier for bringing you a letter that contained the same message in printed form? No, you wouldn’t.
I recommend that all parents with children who are currently using social media or will soon be using social media read Kindness Wins.