A non-profit group in Canada has come up with a cute and cuddly way to fight bullying in schools: babies. Real, live, young (cute and cuddly) babies.
The idea is that if kids can learn to identify others’ emotions, they develop a vocabulary and awareness and a sense of their own empathy. So over the course of a year, a baby visits the school and students can practice identifying the little one’s feelings, needs and emotions.
The program is called Roots of Empathy and has reached more than 325,000 schoolchildren worldwide. It started in 1996 when Mary Gordon, the group’s founder, was trying out ways to build a more peaceful society through children. But independent studies of the program found children who had been schooled by these chubby and drooling infant teachers had lower levels of aggression and a greater emotional understanding than kids in classes who did not take part.
Gordon explains to CNN:
There’s something so engaging between watching the love between a parent and a baby, and since that relationship of attachment and attunement is how we develop our empathy …
Babies are a kind of universal focal point for grade-school aged kids, I have noticed, and intuitively I can see how letting kids look at and talk to and think about a little humans needs would be valuable. What do you think of this? Would y0u volunteer to bring your babies to a rowdy classroom for such humanitarian purposes?