How New Parents Can Help Stop Bullying

Roots of Empathy Program Has Babies Teach Empathy

Parents of babies can give back to their local community through the Roots of Empathy program. It decreases bullying and improves caring and sharing in schools.

Roots of Empathy is a wonderful program where babies can help make the world a more peaceful and caring place – just by being cute adorable babies. Parent and child visit a classroom about once a month for the school year so that young students can form a bond and learn about the baby, while at the same time improving the capacity to understand feelings and be more empathetic.

According to the Roots of Empathy organization based out of Toronto, there have been a number of studies that have shown that this program is effective in increasing pro-social behaviors like cooperating and reducing aggressive behaviors like bullying in schools.

How Babies Help Teach Empathy

A parent brings her baby to a local elementary or middle school once every three weeks and visits the same class of students each time for the school year. A Roots of Empathy instructor will be providing lessons to the students before and after each visit.

During the baby’s visit, the instructor will lead the class by talking about the developmental stage the baby is at each month. She will talk about what the baby can and cannot do and get the children in the class to make observations. The teacher does things like ask the class how the baby communicates if she can’t talk. She also puts out toys to see how the baby interacts with them during each visit.

Parents Talk About Their Bond with the Baby

Students will be learning to have empathy for small children, and they will also be able to witness the strong bond and attachment between parent and baby. It is an opportunity for a parent to role model the kind of positive relationship that peace-loving parents hope everyone can have in their life.

The parent gets to have an active role in the class as the children will have many questions to ask. They can have concrete questions such as “How often do you have to change the baby’s diapers?” or “What TV shows does your baby like to watch?” Or they can have more emotional questions like “How do you feel when the baby cries a lot?” or “How do you know the baby likes you?”

How to Find a Roots of Empathy Program

Roots of Empathy is a volunteer program and if a parent is interested in becoming involved, he or she can phone, email or visit nearby schools in the neighborhood. Another idea is to call the school board to see if any schools in the area offer the program.

One can also put out a call or email to the Roots of Empathy organization; there are local Roots of Empathy contact numbers listed on their website. The program is available in Canada, the United States, New Zealand, and the Isle of Man.

Roots of Empathy is a great program for new parents to give back to their community by simply visiting a class with their new baby. It’s a volunteer opportunity where a baby is a teacher to the younger generation, by helping students put themselves in the shoes – or should one say the booties – of a baby. Parents also get to role model their healthy attachment to their child so students have an example of what a good relationship looks like. Interested parents can contact neighborhood schools or a local Roots of Empathy contact number.