Quick Guide to Digital Empathy
Digital Empathy means being kind to others and yourself online. To do this, kids need to figure out how others feel and how they themselves feel while online. Developing this awareness helps kids better understand the impact of their digital communication with others.
Talk to your kids about doing their best to understand what other people are saying and why they are saying it. This isn’t easy when online as kids can’t see the other person. Encourage your kids to:
- Let the other person finish talking or texting before responding
- Reflect others’ feelings by summarizing what they say to you. Example: “It sounds like you feel…” “What I’m hearing is you…”
Kids will interact with people from different backgrounds holding different opinions. Talk to your kids about the importance of “agreeing to disagree." We can’t always share the same opinion as others, but we should do our best to always be respectful.
Unfortunately sometimes, kids may come across cyberbullying. Encourage your kids to safely play a role and stand up for other kids dealing with unkind behaviour.
- To the unkind one, tell them: “That is unkind” or “That is mean”
- To a trusted grown-up: report you’ve seen someone being mean
- To the receiver of unkind behaviour: ask if they’re alright and if you can help find a trusted grown-up to help
Share with your child how to take action when facing cyberbullying.
- Use the “report” function. A lot of platforms kids visit have one. Show them how to access and use it.
- Save the evidence. Show kids how to take screen captures.
- Tell a parent or trusted grown-up.
Help your child practice listening and understanding. Take turns talking for three minutes about what you did today. Once time’s up, let the other person share back as much as they can remember.
Get more tips to deal with Cyberbullying here.