Could babies cure bullies?

Nov 17, 2010

Bullying has been around for a long time, but with the advent of social media, it’s harder than ever (or impossible) for kids to escape. Suicides linked to cyber-bullying get a lot of media attention, but not much is said about treatment options for the bullies themselves. The usual response is to get tough and punish the offenders. But are there kinder, gentler approaches that might be more effective? A growing body of research posits that there is a biological basis for compassion and that perhaps humans can augment that instinct. In Canada, they’ve made good on this theory with positive results, discovering that even mean-spirited kids turn nice when face-to-face with a baby. While it may not be a cure for bullying, it’s got psychologists thinking in new ways. Are there clinical, compassionate solutions for bullying? What’s the best way to treat bullies, so they stop treating others so badly?

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