“Kill ’em with kindness.”
When dealing with bullies, you can do one of two things: give them a taste of their own medicine or kill them with kindness, which means countering their rudeness and aggression with courtesy and politeness. Almost all anti-bullying programs would advocate for the latter, but one in particular takes it further than most. Roots of Empathy (ROE), a classroom program that started in Canada and spread to the United States and New Zealand, believes that empathy is the key to reducing, if not eliminating, bullying. Students are taught empathy by routine visits from a baby and his or her parent. By watching the baby grow and learning to pick up on his or her emotional cues, ROE supporters believe that kids are more likely to understand themselves and others, which makes them less likely to harm themselves and others. What’s more, research at the University of British Columbia has shown an 88 percent decrease in aggression among students who participate in ROE’s program. A little lesson in kindness and empathy can go a long way.