facebook-pixel Teaching Children Online Safety | BTR.ORG
Teaching Children Online Safety: Try This New Resource!

Teaching children online safety is essential in today's world, and White Ribbon Week is an incredible resource for parents and schools.

Google Podcasts

Teaching children online safety is a high priority for many women in the BTR.ORG community.

Heather Cowen from White Ribbon Week is on The BTR.ORG Podcast sharing an incredible resource that you can use in your community. Tune in and read the full transcript below for more.

Teaching Children Online Safety Is As Easy As…

Anne and Heather discuss the different dimensions of White Ribbon Week, as well as the different resources this organization provides. If you’re interested in using White Ribbon Week to teach your kids or community online safety, consider checking out these resources:

BTR.ORG Is Here For You

At BTR, we want to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself, too. Consider attending a BTR.ORG Group Session today – find the validation, community, and support that you deserve.

Full Transcript:

Anne (00:00):
I have Heather Cowen on the podcast today. She is a director for White Ribbon Week. She facilitates White Ribbon Week in various elementary schools and she’s been involved in this crusade for the last 12 years. Welcome, Heather.

Heather (00:18):
Thank you.

Anne (00:19):
So Heather is coming from a place of hurt to healing. Will you share with us your story of how you came to care about porn and its impact on families?

“Betrayal Trauma is real. It’s so important to discuss.”

Heather (00:28):
Betrayal trauma is real. It’s so important to discuss. I’ve been there 12 years ago. I was wondering what my life would be like. I had an infant daughter wondering if I would ever recover from the horrible pain and ache that I felt in my heart. My whole body had symptoms of pain. I would seek major inspiration from church leaders. I spent a lot of time on my knees in prayer and just try to gain back my own strength because as many of you know, it’s hard to gain your strength back and put your life back together piece by piece.

Here I was, I didn’t know what would happen with me and my husband and I just knew I wanted her to be brought up right and protected. So I wanted her to be able to distinguish between good and degrading media. So I figured if she was taught at a young age, she would be better prepared and informed.

What is White Ribbon Week & How Does it Teach Children Online Safety?

Anne (01:28):
So besides being a serious tongue twister, what is White Ribbon Week for our listeners who are not familiar with it?

Heather (01:36):
White Ribbon Week, it basically is similar to red and green and blue. All these other different weeks that talk about anti-drugs or anti-bullying, White Ribbon Week teaches safe internet principles to kids all week long.

Anne (01:55):
Awesome. And why did you choose to be involved with White Ribbon Week?

Folks Love this New Resource For Teaching Children Online Safety

Heather (01:59):
So as I was saying, I had an infant daughter and I knew that if I could teach elementary principals to her at a young age and then get it in a local school, that there would be a great sense of community all getting on the same page. I found White Ribbon Weeks program. I printed it out and I took it to our local elementary school. And I showed up and the principal immediately fell in love with the program. He then said, Hey, our calendar year is already all booked up. Is there any way you could team up with Red Ribbon Week?

And I said, great. Let’s just at least get this in your school. I met with the planners at Red Ribbon Week and they loved the program. They were astounded that the kids learn a little power boost message each day and how every day when we would do our White Ribbon Week, it was so empowering that the moms later on in that week said, you know what? Where has this program been? We love it. We cannot wait to continue doing it. And they’re still doing that program in their school.

Parents Love How White Ribbon Week Teaches Children Online Safety

Anne (03:07):
That is so exciting. So what are some of the things that make White Ribbon Week, unique?

Heather (03:13):
What I like about this program is we never get any pushback or flack from parents. It’s really fun. We’ve got four different theme programs. Our themes range anywhere from Brain Power where we talk about protecting our brain. We do Let’s Get Real where we talk about real communication and real positive interactions with each other instead of just online. We do Media Detective where we have little clues all around the school and the kids get a hunt and do media manhunt messages.

I love to do that one in Utah in the wintertime so they can kind of do something fun indoor when it’s all cold outside. And then we’ve got the power that one teaches kids that they are in charge and with kids getting infiltrated with media messages all day long, it’s nice to give them the chance to say, Hey, is this a good choice for me?

Resilient, Confident, Kind

I can help my friends online make good choices as well, and we give them daily Power Boost messages that help them a lot. What else is really fun is it helps them to understand the why and not just the no. Many times kids will turn something off or turn the other way just to appease a parent, but we want our kids more resilient than that. We want them to understand, put the filter in the kid where they are very media savvy and they can be resilient and confident. We also are very pro technology. And We teach kindness online.

Are You Passionate About Protecting Your Children From Pornography?

Anne (04:56):
I love White Ribbon Week. The listeners to this podcast have husbands who are involved with pornography and are exhibiting abusive behaviors. So our listeners are passionate about protecting their children from pornography and the damage that it causes not only to the person who’ve views the pornography but the damage they cause in other people’s lives. What can my listeners do to bring White Ribbon Week to their local elementary school?

Heather (05:28):
We try to answer all of these frequently asked questions on our website that you were so great to talk about. Print off the letter to your principal. Like I was talking about, my daughter wasn’t even in kindergarten and I got it started right where I was.

Are you willing to start White Ribbon Week at your child’s elementary school?

Anne (05:49):
If every single one of our listeners went to White Ribbon Week and got a White Ribbon Week started at their elementary school, I could see the power in that because we need to not only teach our children, but also our communities about the harms of pornography and how to use digital devices in healthy ways, and we’re all still learning how to do that right.

I found myself over the weekend watching an inappropriate show that I kind of got hooked on for a little bit and then I realized I’m not going to watch this anymore. And so I took that app off my phone and made a healthy choice. So even as adults, even if it’s not pornography, deciding what type of media is healthy for us to watch. Heather, how have you noticed White Ribbon Week making a difference in your own children? Because you are so familiar with the material that’s taught in the schools. Tell us about how your kids apply that at home.

Resources for Teaching Children Online Safety

Heather (06:44):
I love your personal example of, Hey, as parents, we have to model what’s right for our kids. My kids are more prone to tell me and inform me of stuff because of White Ribbon Week. They know I enjoy it. They know we talk about media. We’ve done our family media pledge where we have it in a prominent location. Again, no parent is ever immune.

All of our children at one point or another will be confronted with weird material that we just want them to know what to do. We teach the kids tic-tac toe. It’s as simple as those three circles or three xs in a row. Immediately turn it off, tell a trusted adult and turn to something positive. Those three simple little things can really help teach them what to do and when they have something bad that they’ve viewed that they can release that to a parent and you can harm them for the next time That happens.

Empowering Young Kids to Know Online Safety

Some of our White Ribbon Weeks having going on for over 10 years, the principal of the junior high and the high school say, Hey, whenever I have a problem with sexting or an issue with my high schoolers, I know it’s never from your elementary school. They’ve been protected and taught so well that it’s never one of your kids. So that’s empowering. It’s hard to know what difference we’re making in the life of these little ones, but their little eyes will light up when you have a discussion once a day for a week with these kids that they will start to remember what to do and feel empowered.

Anne (08:24):
So to implement this in your local elementary school, the first thing you need to do is go to white ribbon week.org. Then you need to take that letter to the principal and work in conjunction with the PTA. This is not a program that is an external program that you hire someone else to come in and do in your school. The program materials are taught by and implemented by the teachers in the school and the PTA. So for a very small fee, the school will be able to implement that either a standalone white ribbon week or in conjunction with another week like bullying or red ribbon week, which is also very difficult to say.

Contact White Ribbon Week

Heather (09:02):
Every time someone learns something new, there’s that much more protection. You never know what difference you’ll make in that one child’s life or their families or their cousins. It’s all worth it. It’s really important to just do your best and it gets better every year. But it’s actually so well spelled out and planned that it’s a pretty fun week to be in charge of.

Anne (09:26):
Thank you so much, Heather. So Heather again is a director at White Ribbon Week. If you have questions or if you would like to implement this in conjunction with your PTA at your local elementary school, please visit their website. There you can find information about how to do that and then contact information to contact Heather or any one of the other directors to answer your questions.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

recovering from betrayal trauma
Have you been lied to? Manipulated?

Discovered porn or inappropriate texts on your husband's phone?
Are you baffled by illogical conversations with him?

Here's What To Do Next

Get the steps we wish EVERY woman had!

Check your inbox to see What To Do Next. We'll be with you every step of the way.

Get the Podcast Straight to Your Inbox Every Week

Get the Podcast Straight to Your
Inbox Every Week

Welcome to the BTR Podcast! Keep an eye out for our first email!