Fighting Bullying With Babies – NYTimes.com

The typical institutional response to bullying is to get tough. In the Tyler Clementi case, prosecutors are considering bringing hate-crime charges. But programs like the one I want to discuss today show the potential of augmenting our innate impulses to care for one another instead of just falling back on punishment as a deterrent. And what’s the secret formula? A baby.

via Fighting Bullying With Babies – NYTimes.com

The organization Roots for Empathy, founded in 1996 by Canadian educator Mary Gordon.  Through her previous work with neglectful parents, she found them lacking in the basic empathy needed for caring for their children “because they hadn’t experienced or witnessed it sufficiently themselves.”  Essentially, the program arranges monthly visits by a mother and child and the students, who participate from kindergarden to seventh grade, are guided through activities to help them understand the babies feelings.

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Image via Wikipedia

Perhaps surprisingly, research is showing that this program is working.  Babies change the attitudes of those around them.  Research still has yet to discover exactly why, but it’s likely biological.  Could this be a solution to the rising violence in American schools?  Possibly.  It’s working in 300 classrooms in Manitoba so far.

Read the full article at Fighting Bullying With Babies.

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