4 and Above
What happened to me?

In this story Duck does not mean to put himself at risk, but he does. Duck’s Mom needs to talk to him to help him to understand what some of the risks can be when he is online or gaming, so that he can keep himself and others safe online.

Aims of this story

In this story ‘What happened to me?’ we will look at how things can seem honest and truthful online, but actually after closer inspection, can seem very different.

Tell your child that in this story Duck thinks he has made a great new friend online. But things take an unexpected turn when this new friend, Zebra, wants Duck to look at websites that Duck knows he should not be viewing.

Key Messages

  • A person can be at risk online without them knowing it
  • You should never visit websites or play games online that Mom, Dad or whoever looks after you, have not seen and made sure are ok for you
  • Some people we might meet online will pretend to be friends, but they might really be trying to cause you harm or manipulate you
  • People that we meet through online gaming may not be honest and have our best interests at heart
  • Promote the idea that children should always tell an adult that they know they can trust, if they are worried or scared

Explain to your child:

In the story Duck was told things, and saw things on websites that Zebra recommended, that looked and sounded ‘right’ but turned out to be lies or, a very distorted version of the truth.

Duck says in the story:

"Mom does not let me look at just anything online, she is always trying to keep me safe. But Zebra keeps saying I should do what he says, not what Mom wants me to do, because he says Zebra’s know best!"

The reason why Mom checks what Duck can look at online is that not everything on the internet is truthful and safe to be looked at, especially by children.

Zebra was telling Duck things about Buck, a Chicken at Zebra’s school, that annoyed him. Zebra then tried to get Duck to believe that if one Chicken was annoying then they must all be like that. He showed Duck information on the internet, but it was information that just simply was not true.

The internet unfortunately does not always tell the truth, because people put their own versions of information on there, which is not based on the truth, but more on what THEY think!

This happens a lot online. People are often able to post what they want, say what they want, and no one has checked to see if it is true or not.

Discuss with your child if they can think of any examples of this?

(You may also wish to give an age-appropriate and relatable example of your own to reinforce the point that the internet is not always a reliable source of information!)

Explain to your child:

Sometimes people can make something seem truthful, but when we investigate a bit further, it is not always what it had originally seemed. Tell them you are going to play a quick game to help you both understand how this can happen.

Activity: First impressions Answer Sheet

Activity: First impressions

Show your child the PDF’s one at a time.

Image A shows part of an image and image B shows the full image – there are 3 examples in total.

Now get your child to answer the 3 questions for each image, on their sheet.

Once this activity has been done we would expect your child to have changed their minds, from YES to NO for each of the three images, on their sheet.

Explain that essentially all the first images (A) could be misconstrued. It is only when we see the second image (B), with all the information shown, that we can form a true and informed opinion.

Discuss with your child:

How could us making our minds up about something, without having the full, accurate and truthful information, affect the way we think? How might it make us treat people or behave towards people, or act in certain situations?

Discuss/listen to what your child has to say.

The following messages are important to emphasise to your child:

  • Not everything we see online is 100% honest and truthful
  • We should always check to see what the truth is about someone or a situation before making up our OWN minds
  • We should speak to a grownup we know we can trust and check things out
  • We should speak to our teachers so they can help us
  • We should only look at websites we are told are ok for us by our teachers, or people who look after us like our Mom and Dad

Explain to your child:

In the story Duck made friends with someone he had met when he was gaming online, Zebra. Duck had never met Zebra face to face, but they talked a lot online, so Duck felt as though he knew Zebra really well. But did he?

Now explain that you are going to look at the positives and negatives of making friends online.

Ask your child:

Are there positive and negatives to making new friends online?

You can print the sheet off for them to write down the positives and negatives (click the link below) or you can just discuss their answers.

Activity: Friends online

Activity: Friends online suggested answers

The key messages we need your child to understand are:

  • Day to day friends (our friends in the ‘real world’) are good to talk to online, so why not do this a bit more? We know them, and, if they do something we do not like, we can tell someone who can help us deal with the situation
  • It does not matter how we communicate with someone online, all of the different ways you can do this come with some kind of risk. It might be gaming, or messaging, or talking to them via video call, but if we are communicating with someone, they have the potential to influence us
  • We should never, never, send any personal details about ourselves to anyone online (like full name, DOB, address, school you go to, etc)
  • We should never, ever, send images of ourselves to anyone online if they ask us to. If we are ever asked, we should ALWAYS tell a trusted adult immediately
  • If we are asked by someone online to visit a website, we should tell a trusted adult who can look at the site first to ensure it is safe for us to visit and has content that is age-appropriate
  • We might not always see risk for ourselves in certain situations. That means if we see a friend putting themselves at risk, we should get help for them from a trusted adult
  • Getting help for a friend who might be in trouble or at risk is a brave thing to do; we think these types of people are superheroes!
  • Tell your child that if they are ever worried, scared, or not sure about something, always talk to an adult you know you can trust.

This next activity is for your child to write out their own personal online safety plan, to help them stay safe online.

Activity: Online safety plan

Below you will find a very detailed ‘Internet facts for grown ups information’ - this is designed to help you protect the devices at home, and to help keep an eye on your child especially if they are communicating via a headset, as what is being spoken about cannot be heard.

This is not to scare or panic you, we are trying to give practical advice that will help to keep your child safe.

Information: Internet facts for grown ups

Now you will look at how we make our decisions, what we should consider when making our decisions about things and how to get help for ourselves and those we care about.

In this activity, we are trying to ensure that your child understands that they might sometimes take risks because it feels exciting. But, they need to be aware that with risk comes potential consequences – like there were for Duck.

There are four phrases that help to describe our behaviours:

  • Feeling safe – this is when we feel safe, and we cannot see any risks or dangers
  • Fun to feel scared – this is when we know something might be a bit scary, or a bit wrong, but we still think we can stay safe. A good example of this might be going on a big fairground ride or climbing a tree when we have been told we cannot
  • Risking on purpose – this is something that does not feel like fun but is still a choice because the outcome is needed e.g. going to the dentist, doing a test or exam
  • Feeling unsafe – this reflects not feeling safe as a person will have no choice, or control or time limit

Explain to your child that sometimes we make decisions based on how we feel, and we sometimes take risks. These risks can feel exciting, and we may take these risks believing we can stay safe, but sometimes things do not go according to plan!

Tell your child that any feeling apart from 'Feeling safe' should be mentioned to an adult the child knows they can trust.

Re-cap with your child that in the story, Duck listened to his supposed new friend, Zebra, and had a look at some websites that Zebra had recommended.

Duck knew he should not really be doing this, as his Mom had told him he should only be looking at web sites that she had approved, as Duck is only young.

Duck thought that because Zebra was 'ok', that any websites he recommended would be ok too. He also did not want to look like a 'baby' in front of Zebra.

Duck knew he was disobeying Mom and taking a risk, and that was a bit scary, but also a bit exciting as well.

We are now going to look at that idea a bit more.

Activity: Decisions

Answers: Decisions answers

For each of the questions there are 3 answers required by your child.

Explain to your child:

Together you will now look at what Duck did in the story.

Together you will decide if you agree with Ducks thinking and his decisions, or if you would have done things differently! Tell your child you want them to especially think about if Duck was sensible to take a risk, no matter how exciting it might have felt for him!

Display the 'Decisions PDF' – and discuss each of the questions with your child.

Explain to your child:

It is not right to form an opinion based on one perspective or just on what someone else tells you. It is not right to disobey a parent/carer/guardian when they are trying to keep you safe, and it is a bad idea to stop thinking for yourself and just think the same way that someone else does.

Key learning points to explain to your child:

  • We should form an opinion of people based on the facts, not just on what someone else tells us
  • Sometimes we do things, and we are not sure why, we just do them - and often that will be ok and nothing bad will happen.
  • However, if we do make a decision, and it goes wrong, we need to involve a trusted adult straight away. Duck may have done something naughty by disobeying his Mom, but thankfully he was sensible enough to get her help before he got himself into too much trouble. He also had help from his good friends, Dog and Cat, who looked out for their friend.
  • If you ever do something, that you know you should not, and it leads you into a bad situation, always get help straight away. You might get a little telling off to begin with, but your trusted adult will help you and keep you safe, and that is the most important thing.

Explain to your child:

So in this story What happened to me?, Duck found himself in a situation where he had stopped thinking for himself! Duck had listened to Zebra and been influenced by him and the websites he had recommended.

Duck was advised by his good friends, Dog and Cat, that the way he was thinking was not like him, and they were worried. Duck then realised that something was not right and acted on it, he got help from his Mom.

Duck was lucky to have the advice he got from Dog and Cat. But what if Dog and Cat had not been around to help?

Together you will look at that now.

Activity: Asking for help

There are two questions your child can answer:

  • How a person could get help for themselves
  • How a person could get help for a friend.

You can help your child devise a way, of advising others, how to get help for themselves or for a friend.

These are some points your child may want to consider.

Activity: Points to consider

These are key messages to go through with your child to make sure they have understood.

Activity: Key messages to dicsuss with your child

There are more things to do to have fun than just go online.

The Dog, Duck and Cat Trust have linked with 'Go Play Sandwell' and want to encourage all children, and those that care for them, to spend time together offline having fun.

We could all do with spending less time online, so we want to promote the fact that we can come off the tech for a bit!

Offline fun and games are still fun and games, and also provide a great opportunity to spend some quality time together.

Click this link below, to have some fun!

Activity: A pocketful of play

Key Message:

  • If we think something is wrong, even if we have done something we should not have, we need to have courage and speak up for ourselves and get help
  • If we think our friends are in trouble, we might need to help them to get the help they need
  • To help a friend we may need to tell an adult what is going on with them. Our friend may not be 100% happy about us doing this, but sometimes we need to do this to keep them safe
  • Why should we do these things – simply it is to protect ourselves and those we care about
  • Never forget, we are being superheroes by getting help for ourselves and others

What happened to me? Quiz

Take our quiz to see what you have learnt from this story!

Togetherness. Talking. Having Fun.