adventures in empathy

Our little Baby B is a teacher.  Yes, that’s right a teacher! Since he was 2 months old, B has been teaching 2nd graders how to understand how others feel.  He is a Roots of Empathy baby.  Roots of Empathy raises social and emotional awareness in youth from kindergarten to eighth grade.  It’s a program that was created in Canada by Mary Gordon.  When the program began, she worked with just 150 students in Ontario.  Over the years it has grown tremendously, and is now touching the lives of kids across Canada, the United States (just Washington State right now), and several other countries.

Through observation of Baby Bergen, and our interactions and reactions with him, the 2nd graders learn skills in empathy.  They gain an understanding of how a baby develops, milestones to expect, and how a baby should be treated.  Bergen is teaching these kids to be better friends, siblings, and maybe even parents!

Our monthly visits are centered around a topic.  Topics like teething, eating, sleeping, safety and milestones like rolling over and eating solid foods.  A week or two before our visit, the 2nd graders learn about the topic, and make predictions for what they see when Baby B comes.  Then they get to see B in action, and ask Slaed and I questions about his latest developments.  We love getting to share his exciting accomplishments, and the 2nd graders love to notice how B has changed.  Also, the same toys are shown to Bergen during each visit so we get to see how his reactions to the toys change.  A little baby experiment.

Since the 2nd graders (and teachers) only see Baby B once a month, they notice changes differently compared to Slaed and I who see him everyday (and me all day everyday).  During our visit yesterday, one of the little girls exclaimed, “Baby Bergen has a lot more hair!”.  Indeed when I looked more closely, I realized that B is finally starting to sprout some peach-fuzz!

I wonder what B will  be up to by our next visit…?

month one (almost 2 months old)

month 6 (almost 7 months old)

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