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Does the internet help or hurt kids' courage?

The online world can be a fulfilling, courage-building environment. It can provide reassurance and support when kids test out new ideas, experiment with identity, and share their work. It can offer acceptance to kids who feel marginalized in the "real" world.

But the internet can also have a negative impact on courage. It can squash courage when kids' bold attempts fall flat or are ridiculed. It can short-circuit courage by allowing kids to remain anonymous and not take responsibility for their words and behavior. And then there are the kids whose sense of courage compels them to do outrageous or even risky stuff to attract likes and other kinds of attention.

Kids are always testing their boundaries. This process naturally builds courage. Help your kids channel their energy into positive, safe, courage-building endeavors by supporting their goals, finding opportunities for them to try new things, reserving judgment when you can, and allowing them to learn from their mistakes.

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