By Denise Bodart, RealCare Product Manager for Realityworks
It seems that every day we hear stories about bullying in our schools and online. Many schools are trying to think “outside the box” and find creative ways to teach students important life skills like empathy, tolerance and the importance being kind to one another. This week, The Washington Post published a story about an innovative program from Canada called Roots of Empathy. Developed 20 years ago in Canada, this program is now being implemented in the United States to help curb bullying by bringing real infants intoclassrooms.
From the article: “Roots is built on a simple notion: When babies bring their huge eyes, irrepressible smiles and sometimes unappeasable tears into the classroom, students can’t help but feel for them. The idea is that recognizing and caring about a baby’s emotions can open a gateway for children to learn bigger lessons about taking care of one another, considering others’ feelings, having patience.”
(Click here to read the full article from the the Washington Post.)
Using infants to teach nurturing, sharing, cooperation and patience is not new to Realityworks. In fact, RealCare Baby has been used to teach these types of life skills in many settings in the past two decades.
In correctional facilities: RealCare Baby is used in parenting programs in correctional facilities to help teach responsibility. Inmates work with Baby and get hands-on practice in the best way to care for and nurture a dependent human being. This practice also helps prepare inmates who will be released into home settings with young children.
In juvenile court systems: RealCare Baby is also used successfully as part of sex education and relationship courses offered in juvenile court for at-risk youth. Participants must care for Baby and experience what it’s like to put someone else’s needs first.
In babysitting classes: RealCare Baby is a great hands-on tool for groups like the Red Cross, which offers babysitting classes. Participants will learn how to patiently care for infants in a risk-free setting until they feel confident.
In the classroom: RealCare Baby is used in 62 percent of school districts in the United States to teach a variety of skills. The Parenting curriculum in particular has lessons on nurturing, attachment and infant care. Because RealCare Baby is so lifelike, students who interact with Baby and participate in lessons taught from the curricula walk away with greater patience, understanding and empathy for others. The Basic Infant Care curriculum has a lesson specifically on soothing a crying infant and handling stress. Patience and perseverance are taught as students learn how to manage this challenging situation.
Around the world: RealCare Baby is used in over 90 countries worldwide. Because infants cannot talk, their universal language is crying. Knowing how to handle a crying infant calmly is important anywhere there are babies! Baby also teaches students responsibility and how to care for someone else.
To learn more about using RealCare baby to help teach empathy and kindness, visit our website
How have you seen RealCare Babies being used successfully to teach empathy and kindness, or where would you like to see them used? Tell us in the comments below!