From the Author
– Jayneen Sanders
Book Title: You, Me and Empathy
Illustrator: Sofia Cardoso
For Ages: 3-9
Categories: empathy, compassion, kindness, anti-bullying, friendship
Related learning areas: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
Review of book: Click here for a book reading and review
About the book
‘You, Me and Empathy’ uses verse, beautiful illustrations and a little person called Quinn to model the meaning of empathy. Throughout the story, Quinn shows an abundance of understanding, compassion and kindness towards others. Showing empathy towards others is a learned trait and one to nurture and cherish with the children in our care. read more →
Book Title: You, Me and Empathy
Author: Jayneen Sanders
Illustrator: Sofia Cardoso
For Ages: 3-9
Category: empathy, compassion, kindness, diversity, tolerance, respect, character
Related learning areas: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), feelings awareness, writing
A word from the author: Click here to view pages, resources and hear from the author
About the book
In this gem, young readers are invited to explore their feelings and discover their ability to understand not only their own emotions but also the feelings of others. Written in first-person narrative with every-day examples of situations that might cause uncomfortable feelings like worry, anger, sadness, or fright, this text with reflection questions sprinkled throughout is sure to spark and ignite some dynamic conversations about empathy, compassion and kindness. read more →
Recently, a woman posted on a swap site for our city that a co-worker had been robbed and they stole the children’s tv’s and video game system. read more →
Many people believe that children and adults with autism don’t always show empathy. Some don’t, or very little, but there are a lot that do, sometimes even more than the “typical” person. read more →
There is a homeless man in our community. His back story is that he is bipolar, no job, home, insurance or means to get the medication he needs. Since we cannot provide him with everything he lacks, we regularly buy him food, snacks, water, etc. read more →
As a 6th grade teacher, I feel the necessity to teach my students about kindness, compassion and empathy. read more →
On Saturday morning I had breakfast with two lovely friends. I noticed a lady with a hat on who looked as if she could have been having cancer treatment. She was alone. She was sitting with her head in her hands a lot and shaking a lot when she did drink. read more →
My daughter has been having difficulty with a girl at school. This girl “Mary” became a bit of a stalker and it became quite intense.
It was manageable during school hours, but it was the constancy of exchanges on Instagram that became overwhelming. Relentless messages from Mary accusing my daughter of bad behaviour. Mary snapping a photo of my daughter’s private messages, where she revealed her crush and then showing him. Not cool. In the end, we advised our daughter to block Mary, at which point the girl jumped on to my account. Yikes, it was intense.
A meeting was held at school and the cyber issue was resolved. Several minor incidents occurred thereafter, but nothing that we couldn’t handle.
Then, one day my daughter came home from school furious. We sat down as I listened to the drama that had unfolded this time. Mary had taken a rotten piece of fruit and had thrown it at one of the boys. This particular boy is very shy, a bit of a recluse, an easy target. The fruit hit him. He did not respond and simply continued staring at the floor. My daughter then flew into action (she has a very strong moral compass).
“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears
of another and feeling with the heart of another.” – Alfred Adler
“People bully to distract themselves from their own issues.”
When I was younger I was a little naive. I thought that once you get out of school, everyone suddenly grows up. I thought that everyone would learn how to put aside petty differences and just get along.
Wow, was I wrong! Nothing could be further from the truth. Getting older – that just happens, but growing up is a choice. And some people don’t actively make that choice.
After finishing school, I got my first full time job. Everything was going great. I had made some new friends and was enjoying my time. Then my co-workers found out that I was from the “wrong side” of town.
They started to leave me out of conversations and other things that they were doing. Soon my co-workers started to make unkind remarks and verbally attack me. At the time I would have preferred it if they just kept leaving me out.
I was only 18 so I wasn’t really sure about how to deal with it. I was also in shock that it was even happening. After all, bullying stopped when school finished, didn’t it? read more →
Pet ownership can teach kids many important values and
build positive character traits like giving, empathy and kindness.
One of the overlooked opportunities of pet ownership, particularly if it is the right pet, is teaching our children how to care for something dependent on them. Kids can learn the art of kindness and compassion through caring for another creature and putting its needs first. The attachment to a pet is also incredibly important for developing empathy in older children.
At What Age Should Pets be Introduced?
In younger kids there are some benefits to emotional intelligence and pet ownership, however the reality is that kids under 10 years of age can’t really be responsible enough to manage the day to day care of their pet. Piaget, the developmental psychologist proposed that the concrete operational stage between 6-12 years is the time when kids start to become less egocentric and are able to see outside their own needs. It is generally assumed that introducing kids and pets any earlier than 6 years is therefore probably not necessarily going to teach kindness and empathy. The period of greatest attachment to pets appears to be amongst 9-10 year olds. Of course the health benefits of pet ownership tend to come at any age, particularly in relation to allergies. read more →
Phrases like “random acts of kindness” and “pay it forward” have become popular terms in modern society. Perhaps this could be best explained by those who have identified a deficiency in their lives that can only be fulfilled by altruism.
It seems that we just can’t get enough of those addictive, feel-good emotions — and with good reason. Scientific studies prove that kindness has many physical, emotional, and mental health benefits. And children need a healthy dose of the warm-and-fuzzies to thrive as healthy, happy, well-rounded individuals.
Patty O’Grady, PhD, an expert in neuroscience, emotional learning, and positive psychology, specializes in education. She reports:
Kindness changes the brain by the experience of kindness. Children and adolescents do not learn kindness by only thinking about it and talking about it. Kindness is best learned by feeling it so that they can reproduce it.
A great number of benefits have been reported to support teaching kindness in schools, best summed up by the following.
Happy, Caring Children
The good feelings that we experience when being kind are produced by endorphins. They activate areas of the brain that are associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust. These feelings of joyfulness are proven to be contagious and encourage more kind behavior (or altruism) by the giver and recipient.
Increased Peer Acceptance
Research on the subject has determined that kindness increases our ability to form meaningful connections with others. Kind, happy children enjoy greater peer acceptance because they are well liked. Better-than-average mental health is reported in classrooms that practice more inclusive behavior due to an even distribution of popularity. read more →
Good in theory, but in reality, there are many children who lack supportive, loving and safe home environments that promote good values. Instead these children often experience an ugly side of life that can have a devastating effect on their character and development.
Research shows that children naturally and almost unconsciously learn by following examples set by others. And those in homes lacking warmth, caring, love and parental involvement, are likely to imitate the negative behaviour they learn to consider normal.
Regardless of their situation, schools expect all children to be respectful, caring and kind when interacting with teachers and peers. When their behaviour is deemed anti-social or nasty, they may be labeled a bully. read more →