Bullies have a large impact on the people they taunt and torment, but how do you as a parent or teacher encourage children to not become one? In the Time article below it states that “Increasingly, neuroscientists, psychologists and educators believe that bullying and other kinds of violence can indeed be reduced by encouraging empathy at an early age. Over the past decade, research in empathy — the ability to put ourselves in another person’s shoes — has suggested that it is key, if not the key, to all human social interaction and morality.” According to the article, “The first stirrings of human empathy typically appear in babyhood: newborns cry when hearing another infant’s cry, and studies have shown that children as young as 14 months offer unsolicited help to adults who appear to be struggling to reach something. Babies have also shown a distinct preference for adults who help rather than hinder others.”
Instilling empathy into children is part of making them emotionally intelligent. LifeBound’s title PEOPLE SMARTS FOR TEEANAGERS: Becoming Emotionally Intelligent has been used with sixth graders to effectively create a positive classroom culture. To receive a free review copy call 1-877-737-8510 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
How Not to Raise a Bully: The Early Roots of Empathy
By Maia Szalavitz
April 17, 2010
Since the Jan. 14 death of Phoebe Prince, the 15-year-old in South Hadley, Mass., who committed suicide after being bullied by fellow students, many onlookers have meditated on whether the circumstances that led to her after-school hanging might have been avoided.
Could teachers have stepped in and stopped the bullying? Could parents have done more to curtail bad behavior? Or could preventive measures have been started years ago, in early childhood, long before bullies emerged and started heaping abuse on their peers?
To view this entire article visit www.time.com