I enjoyed talking with our two AirTalk guests Wednesday morning about pairing babies with bullies and how it can build empathy in kids. I would’ve expected that many bullies spent considerable time with younger siblings, including babies. However, our guests pointed out that the parenting bullies often experience and observe at home isn’t of the quality that builds empathy.
That led me to wonder if there would be an advantage to putting students of a wider age range together, much like the old one-room schoolhouses of America’s rural past. I don’t know whether bullying was any less common, but I would assume older students had some responsibilities toward their younger classmates.
Regardless, I’m glad to hear of this Canadian program that’s making headway against bullying. Whether it’s babies, or any other tool for building empathy, the benefits should extend from bullies to the general student population. The more we’re able to put ourselves in others’ positions, the better.