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Fight Bullying With Babies

Posted Mar 10 2011 7:42pm

Here's a cool article that involves some outside-the-box thinking.  A group called Roots of Empathy tries to instill more empathy in school children.  Instead of lecturing students on how bullying is bad, they try a different approach: babies.

Once a month, they bring in babies to visit with the children.  They find that many of the "tough" kids start to open up and become more kind around babies.  The results appear to stick as there is some evidence of lasting change for both students and teachers.

The reason for all this is simple: biology.  Humans evolved in tight-knit groups of hunter-gatherers, and babies were a part of that.  Research shows that certain hormones in people elevate around babies.

I've written before about how schools boxing in children with only other children their same age is a bad idea.  We evolved as part of a small communities, and that meant constantly being around people of all ages, including babies and seniors.  We have certain instincts to be kind towards the very young and the very old, but those instincts only kick in if we're actually around people in those age groups. 

This is a great program that I hope many schools adopt.


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