Anti-bullying Program Has Kids Watching Babies

Can “empathy babies” teach children to be kind and reduce bullying in schools?

A controversial anti-bullying program used in Canada for over a decade is now being introduced in United States schools.

“Roots of Empathy” involves having students watch mothers and babies interact as a way of teaching them sensitivity to body language and other people’s needs.

A study of the Canadian “Roots of Empathy” program showed that aggressive behaviors decreased among children who were in classes with “empathy babies,” and children who had formerly been bullies reduced their aggressive behaviors after taking the course.

About 40 classrooms in the Seattle region will be participating by 2009, and other cities, such as Tucson, AZ and Jacksonville, NC are planning similar programs.