Teaching Children Empathy

Japans Answer to teaching children empathy


This clip was passed to me yesterday and I was so deeply moved by it, I felt it important to pass it on. ‘Children Full of Life’  is a short documentry (separated into 5  x 10 mins clips on you tube) on a teacher in japan who is teaching his grade 4 students to develop empathy.

The depth of the little kids emotions and the ability they develop with this teacher to share them  was deeply touching. I was moved to tears a few times, proud of them, proud of their courage.  These little people are learning perhaps one of the most important human skills  – empathy.  

If  schools around  the globe, begin including  in their ciriculum, lessons in empathy, compassion, remorse and forgiveness we may in the next generations,  experience a whole new level at which humanity communicates. 

I was inspired and so very proud of these boys and girls.


PEACE – How to teach this to our children.

Peace Day - A story Book For Children

Peace Day - A story Book For Children

How does one begin to teach children about Peace ?  It is a word so frequently heard in conversations these days, yet how do we explain its concept to children?

Its a little bit like saying ‘do as i say not as i do’ rather than leading by example, because we,  the adults of our world are not really showing our children a concept of PEACE.

If we have the courage to be really honest with ourselves and take responsibility for our actions (or non action) it is difficult not to admit that actually far from knowing peace and living in peace, we are in fact doing quite the opposite.

We have created war, poverty and hunger. We have created corporations that do not consider the individual important and the consequences of this have had a terrible effect on the balance of our global community.

We have allowed the media corporations to become so powerful they control all the global news we read and see.

We have allowed them to create the vision of our world and this vision we now have, frightens us so much, we live in fear, deep fear of almost everything.

We lock our doors, we dont talk to strangers, we dont get involved in community injustices for fear of our own safety. We are afraid of our world, afraid of the reality we have created.

So how do we teach our children about Peace?  How do we prepare and educate our beloved children to know what peace is and how to achieve it for themselves?

I recently read that ‘we as humanity have lost our of vision of Peace’  

We no longer have a clear concept of what Peace looks like. And before we can live in Peace, we must first be able to Imagine Peace. We must first take the time to create a strong, clear image of what we  want Peace to be.

Its been written that ‘Peace is not the absence of conflict, but rather the ability to cope with it, to open our hearts to listening, giving respect to each side in an attempt to understand the conflict and hence, find a resolution that is good for both’

If this is peace, where are we showing our children examples of this?

Every news channel is showing non stop visions of war, terror, destruction and endless sadness, many childrens games are centred on war and fighting in some way or another, where the goal is to WIN, to beat the other, there seems no education in these games in skills of compromise or tolerance….and very few global examples of this either. 

So how does one teach Peace to a child?

This question hangs heavily on my heart. How can we nuture a new generation not to think and behave like we have done?  how do we teach them a new way?

Perhaps its by helping them to create their own vision/image of Peace. To help them to create a clear image of what Peace is for them.

Perhaps it is also about us, the adults becoming more creative in our peace efforts, thinking with a new mind, rather than the mind that created the reality we live now in. Perhaps as families we need to get more actively involved  thus leading by example on the path towards Peace.

While searching the net for ways to do all of these things, I came across a delightful little childrens book created for World Peace Day on Sept 21st  and thought it was really worth sharing it you.

The Peace Day Book is available to read Free online in 14 different languages.  Have a read, tell your friends and if you think it gets the message across to children consider donating one to your child’s school.

Read The Peace Day book:

http://www.peacedaybook.com    http://www.internationaldayofpeace.org/story/

This is a subject close ot my heart, if you have suggestions on how to teach children about Peace please share them by adding a comment below.

What is Peace to you?  Here’s some other peoples ideas of PEACE.

Until next time

love and laughter