The problem: bullying in schools. The solution: babies? Classrooms in Canada are bringing infants in to teach kids a thing or two about kindness with the Roots of Empathy, a program that allows school children to study the emotions of babies to hopefully increase compassion and decrease their aggression.
In Denyse Stewart's third grade class, 4-month-old Indigo will make nine 30-minute visits where a facilitator will ask questions about Indigo, like why she is crying? or what makes her happy?, encouraging the third graders to think about how others feel.
"There's something so engaging about watching the love between a parent and a baby, and since that relationship of attachment and attunement is how we develop our empathy, I thought, well, why not bring the teachers in, the tiny teachers?" said Mary Gordon, founder of Roots of Empathy.
The program has been introduced to 12,600 Canadian classrooms, and independent studies have found that afterward kids show less aggression in school. Stewart reports that she's witnessed a change in how her students interact with one another. And David Bornstein, a reporter for The New York Times, witnessed the program in action and says babies in the classroom are like "heart softening magnets.”
Do you think babies could be the answer to reducing violence in schools?