This post is part of a paid sponsored campaign with the Forward Influence Network to raise awareness for National Bullying Prevention Month. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to share about an online act of kindness we did that carried over into an in-person act of kindness with an easy recipe for Slow Cooker Italian Beef sandwiches that you can use to share with people in your life.
Life throws many things at us. It tests our relationships with our family, friends, and even neighbors. It gives us the opportunity to show that we care for the people in our lives. It gives us the chance to show that we care for others. In this age of technology, opportunities for kindness can be online or offline.
THE IMPORTANCE OF KINDNESS
I feel like I’m raising my kids in a pretty tough world.
I’ve dealt with things I didn’t think I’d have to worry about until my kids were older. October is National Bullying Prevention Month and it hits close to home because of some of the issues we’re dealing with.
As my kids get more involved in technology, one thing that’s important for them to understand is that kindness matters whether it’s “real life” or online. I want them to know that the choices they make online have an impact.
We recently dealt with an issue involving text messaging and what kind of messages are appropriate to send. Right now, when bullying is so prevalent, I want my kids to be aware that actions online can have an impact just like they do in everyday life.
FACTS ABOUT BULLYING
I’ve been learning a lot about bullying lately and the numbers have the mother and teacher in me worried. 28% of students have experienced bullying and 71% have directly witnessed bullying. With over 50% of parents concerned about their child being bullied, I know I’m not alone in my concerns.
You can learn more about the facts surrounding bullying to get a better understanding of where it’s happening and why we need to be aware.
BUT WHAT CAN WE DO?
It might seem like an impossible situation, but we can communicate with our children. We can work to teach them to be kind and we can help educate them about being good people in the “real world” and in the digital world.
Google’s Be Internet Awesome is a program designed to help kids learn the basics of digital citizenship and safety. It focuses on five areas of Internet awesomeness:
- SAFETY – focuses on how to communicate online responsibly
- ALERT – teaches how to identify scams and non-credible sources
- STRONG – stress protecting personal information online
- KIND – focuses on being kind and positive online
- BRAVE – teaches kids to talk to an adult about anything online that they have doubt about
While all of these aspects are important and will help our kids be better prepared to live in the digital world, this month kindness is my focus. As we head into a season of focusing on what we are thankful for in our lives, kindness is a great thing to talk about.
It’s cool to be kind!
I want my kids to know that how they treat their friends (and even family) online has a big impact on the digital life they’re building. It impacts their offline world as well!
A fun way to learn more about kindness is to play Interland with your kids and put your kindness skills to the test. You can play at g.co/KindKingdom. You can also learn more about being kind online with the Google Be Internet Awesome Family Guide.
RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS ONLINE TO “REAL LIFE”
Recently, a family we know suffered a tragedy that will impact them for the rest of their lives. They were once part of our daily lives but now we stay connected through the wonders of technology. One reason I love the digital age is that we can stay in touch with the important people in our lives even after our time together offline has ended.
Another great thing about online life is that we were able to put together an online meal train as an act of kindness for our friends. There’s a website that made it extremely easy.
Without technology, it would have been much more challenging to do. But we were able to create the signup and friends from all around the local area were able to sign up. Friends who weren’t local even contributed through donations and gift cards.
The internet can definitely cause concern for us as parents, but it also has the ability to bring us all together in ways we might not have been able to come together in the past.
After signing up for a day on the meal train, I chose to make Crock Pot Italian Beef for sandwiches because it’s simple for me to make and works well for an easy lunch or dinner. It’s also easy to transport which makes it perfect for taking a meal to family, friends, and neighbors.
This month, I challenge you to do a random act of kindness online to someone else by yourself or with your kids!
SLOW COOKER ITALIAN BEEF RECIPE
This Italian beef sandwich recipe is an easy meal idea for the family but works well for packing to take to others as well.
HOT BEEF SANDWICH INGREDIENTS
- 2 pounds chuck roast
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- ½ teaspoon of pepper
- ½ tablespoon chopped or dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 can of beef broth
- 1 cup sliced banana peppers with juice
- Rolls or sandwich buns
- Provolone cheese (if desired)
HOW TO MAKE SLOW COOKER ITALIAN BEEF
1. Place the roast in the bowl of your slow cooker. Season the meat with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, parsley, and Italian seasoning. (You can also use a seasoning blend if you prefer. It makes this recipe even easier!)
2. Pour the beef broth over and around the meat.
3. Top the meat with the banana peppers and juice.
4. Cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for six hours.
5. Remove the meat from the pot and shred with a fork. Put the meat back into the slow cooker and stir to combine it with the juices.
6. Serve on a roll topped with provolone cheese and additional banana peppers, if desired.
If you’re taking this meal to another family, it’s easy to pack up to take on the go. Once the meat is finished cooking and you shred it, mix it with the juices and then put it all into a container. Allow it to cool before you put the lid on.
I usually opt for a container that is disposable or that I don’t need to be returned to me. If you take it in a container that looks like it might need to be returned, be sure to include a note so your neighbors know they don’t need to worry about it!
During hard times, those are the kinds of things we worry about. So make sure they know you don’t expect anything back.
Pack up the meat with a few packages of rolls. Whether or not I include cheese depends on how quickly I’ll be getting the roast beef sandwich fixings to the recipient. If I’m taking the meal straight to them, I will include cheese slices with the rolls. Add in some chips or a side dish to give the family a full meal that is easy to warm up and eat when it’s needed.
PRINTABLE SLOW COOKER ITALIAN BEEF RECIPE
Slow Cooker Italian Beef
- Slow cooker
- Rolls or sandwich buns
- Provolone cheese (if desired)
- Place the roast in slow cooker. Season with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, parsley, and Italian seasoning.
- Pour beef broth over meat.
- Top with banana peppers and juice.
- Cook on HIGH (3-4 hours) or LOW (6 hours).
- Take cooked meat out and shred with a fork.
- Put meat back into slow cooker and stir to combine it with the juices.
- Serve on a roll topped with cheese and banana peppers, if desired.
MORE MEAL TRAIN RECIPE IDEAS
This month we challenge you and your family to do a random act of kindness online. If it spills over to “real life” as well, then that’s double the awesome! Let Be Internet Awesome inspire your family to spread kindness!
Do something kind for someone then challenge three of your friends to do the same within 48 hours. Post about your act of kindness using the hashtag #BeInternetAwesome to encourage more and more people to join in. Tag me on social media using @thesimpleparent too! I’d love to see all of the wonderful acts of kindness happening!
To learn even more about Be Internet Awesome by Google and how we can support our kids as they live their lives online and off, visit g.co/BeInternetAwesome.
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