Sometimes – well, a lot of times – kids get it. Really get it. They’re learning sponges and when the learning is experiential, it goes deep. And changes them.
You can see a remarkable example of that in a recent CNN report from London, UK, where 10-year-olds in a Roots of Empathy class room explain what has happened to them and their classmates with the help of ‘their’ baby Evelyn – powerful Baby Evelyn.
From Mohammad: “Before it was rough and … no one listened but once Evelyn came we started to get calm.”
From Abrahim: “Before I’d be like, to be honest, I was a bit mean to some people, but now I’ve changed a lot and I’m kind to my friends.”
Eighteen years of research shows that with Roots of Empathy bullying goes down and prosocial behaviours such as helping, caring, sharing and including go up, but it’s comments like these that bring that research to life. It’s very real.
It works for many reasons, one of which is the Roots of Empathy instructor who guides the children through their experience by asking questions, not telling. “When you’re feeling upset or a bit frustrated, how do you regulate yourself? What do you do to make sure you feel a bit calmer?” The children reflect and find their own answers. That’s learning that lasts.
Watch the 3-minute CNN video, Babies fighting bullying. You’ll see what we mean.