Tag Archives: empathy

I wish I could make school safe for all children and teachers…

The United States is home to so many wonderful things…and also, sadly, school shootings. In the wake of this latest school shooting in Uvalde Texas, I want to address my wish…

I’m listening to Governor Greg Abbott discussing the lack of mental health services in the area, gun laws that are inadequate on their own, and various strategies when an event like this happens. Asking why, what, how can’t hurt, but how can we prevent future shooters?

My thoughts are all over the place…warning signs as they look back NOW include: anger, isolation, truancy, animal abuse, social media statements. Did they see any of this prior to the event? Sounds like his grandfather noticed some, but he didn’t recognize them for what they were. Reporters are saying that he was labeled a troubled kid, a bully. Children like this, adolescents especially, are the ones who need our kindness, attention, support the most.

I keep coming back to the early years…if a child has a secure predictable start, with as few adverse childhood experiences(ACES)as possible, they are more resilient in the future. What that means is they can suffer loss, failure, or rejection and have the skills and supportive environment to weather the storm. They are more capable of seeing the perspective of another, seeing what they can learn from a situation, and moving through it to live and learn another day.

And we need to think about the families of children as well. Resiliency, or lack thereof, can be a pattern passed down from each generation. It’s up to all of us to come together with compassion, empathy, and kindness to grow a more resilient tomorrow, and hopefully school shootings will eventually be part of the past…

Please know that one smile, one compliment, one kind gesture can make a difference in the life of another. You could be preventing a tragedy just by being kind…


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Here’s another story…

I hope you liked this one! It had a little of our favorite song in it! (If it’s bedtime, you might wait to listen to the song)

As before, if you wish to purchase a copy, you can visit The Vermont Book Shop!

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I’ve put on yet another hat…

As if providing high quality child care wasn’t enough, I am now a published children’s book author! There is a lot to the way it came to be, and I’m saving it for my personal blog. Find it here

Anyway, the process of writing a story required some research, some editing, and some creativity. I was able to recruit the help of an artist friend who created the illustrations, as well as the digital file to send for publishing, since me and technology don’t always get along.

So without further adieu, Here is the link if you’re interested!

Children and families have been accepting my story with open arms, singing it’s praises and reminding me that we all have something to offer…

And for my locals…shop here!

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Empathy and How to Cultivate It: My notes from listening to Michele Borba

Michele Borba was one of the keynote speakers at a conference I attended this week. She is passionate, dynamic, and empowering. If you ever have the chance to hear her speak, do it!

Anyway, so much info so I’m just going to make a list of highlights that I wrote down, and hopefully you are able to glean some key information from it. Any statistics or definitions came from her presentation and can be found in her book or on her website. She talked so fast, it was tough to note sources. My thoughts will be added in italics.

  • 1 in 5 teens will have a mental health disorder wow!
  • “Unless parents realize it (empathy) can be cultivated, it will become dormant” parents, guardians, caregivers…and it can be cultivated at ANY age
  • Around the year 2000, empathy decreased 40%. Lack of empathy creates exclusion and polarization which is what we are already seeing in society, and if you think it’s no coincidence that this coincided with the smart phone and screens everywhere, you’re not alone
  • The average middle school kid is more comfortable texting than talking to another person
  • Some easy and specific suggestions and her list of habits to use: face to face contact, read picture books to your kids that have a moral dilemma, weave in the 9 essential empathy habits listed here:for more detailed information, I encourage you to buy her book Unselfie
  • “Empathy is transformational. Empathy is a teaching tool” it doesn’t cost a dime and can change the culture of the classroom
  • 66% of kids say we (adults) are too plugged in.
  • A person learns new skills best by doing it, seeing it modeled, not by telling it.
  • “You change the culture with the trickle down effect” she told a powerful story about a teen who changed the culture at his school just by holding the door open in the morning and greeting everyone
  • “Look for the Helpers” Fred Rogers. She says a statement like this, “Galvanizes the good. Share the good with kids everyday.”
  • “What would’ve made the difference?” She responds by sharing lyrics to the Cheers tv show theme song and what happened next was moving beyond words

In closing, you can make a difference.

More to come from the workshop she did following this presentation!

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