Empathy and Friendship Group Summary
Clare, Kelsey, Caitlin, Sara, Monica
Empathy is the ability to recognize, understand, and share the feelings of another individual. This skill is useful for anti-bullying efforts in recognizing similarities and being mindful of others. We learned that bullying occurs in many different environments, across many different situations, and thus affects many individuals besides the victim and the bully. Our goal was to create a functional resource for the people in the community— teachers, Big Brother/ Big Sister, and other children-focused groups— to teach and engage with empathy in the classroom, community, and world. By addressing the whole class, or entire group atmosphere, we want to make everyone aware of the effects of bullying. Our targeted audience is children and teachers, as our research shows that the earlier children engage with radical empathy and friendship, the easier it is for them to implement these concepts throughout their life. Children need to understand and be exposed to these factors in order to comprehend the effects and process of bullying. They are then aware of the bullying process and what part they play or what responsibility they could take to change the situation. It is our hope that the PowerPoint will lay the groundwork for how to teach children empathy and the role empathy plays in preventing and decreasing the presence of bullying. As well as teaching children how to accept and embrace individuals that are different from them by being empathetic.
We want to provide tools and build confidence in children. Some believe that bullies have low self esteem or are unable to empathize with others; however, we learned that bullies are able to empathize, but typically choose to ignore the harm they are causing others. Bullies prey on those with less self esteem and know how to manipulate and evoke pain in them thus suggesting they are capable of putting themselves in the emotional shoes of another. An important take away tool we hope to instill in children is having an attitude that does not tolerate bullying, but rather having the courage to acknowledge AND accept that differences are natural part of life despite what society may say.