Posts Tagged ‘empathy’

Healthy Attachment is the First Best Anti-Bullying Program

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Healthy Attachment is the First Best Anti-Bullying ProgramHow perfect that October is Bullying Prevention Month and Attachment Parenting month — since healthy attachment is the first best anti-bullying program! Healthy attachment is the wellspring optimal brain development, especially the social brain circuitry that governs such anti-bullying capacities as self-regulation, empathy, trust, emotional and cognitive flexibility, and imagination.

As I’ve written about in a prior post about the origins of empathy, my opinion (in agreement with many others) is that even the very best school-based anti-bullying or conflict resolution program puts the change lever in the wrong place — that is, way too far down a child’s developmental timeline: (more…)

Raising Peacemakers Amidst the Carnage

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Like so many of you, I’ve been stunned and saddened over the carnage in Aurora last weekend. I cannot shape my mind around any adequate words to address the sense of loss, of anguish, of sorrow — particularly for the families of victims, but also for all of us whose sense of safe-home has been a bit further eroded. Our human instinct is to do something, yet we do not know what.

It reminds me of a parable I share in the epilogue of my book: Three villagers are strolling along the bank of their community’s river, and suddenly to their dismay they see a child, then another, then many children, being swept past them in the water’s swift current. {Read more at mothering.com…}

Empathy: An Organic Anti-Bullying Program

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Mother who choked alleged bullyThis morning on The View they shared the story of a mother who was arrested for throttling a boy who had allegedly texted unspeakably awful things to her daughter (including — and I’m surely not getting this exactly correct, so pardon my paraphrase — “you’re so ugly I wouldn’t even rape you”). Evidently his tirade of abusive texts had been going on for some time, and the daughter had made anguished comments to her mother that hinted at possible self-harm. When Mom and daughter happened to see this boy at the mall one day…and evidently with sangfroid he reported he was not going to stop the cyber-bullying…well, if you’re a mother, you can probably imagine how she felt as she ended up with her hands around his neck.

That very ability, to imagine it — the feelings of a mother whose child is being mercilessly bullied and whose repeated attempts to get their school’s attention and help, to no avail — that is empathy: (more…)

The Roots of Conscience: Attachment, Pleasure, Then Empathy

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

[Excerpted from Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers, by Marcy Axness, PhD]

Connection and Conscience: The Foundations of Peace

Whenever a heinous, violent act is committed, there is talk of a lack of conscience in the perpetrator. The question of what builds a conscience has long engrossed philosophers, psychologists, and even Disney imagineers (who decided Pinocchio’s conscience looks a little like a cockroach, carries a watch fob and goes by the name of Jiminy Cricket). James Prescott’s massive, cross-cultural study of the root causes of violence, together with the body of bonding and attachment research, point clearly to the fact that (more…)

At the Heart of Humanity: Cultivating Empathy Through Attachment

Monday, March 26th, 2012

The subject of empathy — and whether it’s an endangered trait — has been on many people’s lips and pens in the wake of unspeakable events in the past several weeks, on US soil and US-occupied soil. As Steve Taylor wrote in Psychology Today,

To a large extent, all human brutality – all oppression, cruelty and most crime – is the result of a lack of empathy. It’s a lack of empathy which makes someone capable of attacking, (more…)