Your grandchild has a lot to teach the world about justice 6



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They may have a reputation for tantrums and and refusing to share but, as these kids show commuters in the video below, young children actually have an inherent sense of justice and a surprising level of concern for others.

This need to do the right thing is so strong children will overcome obstacles, such as an adult not noticing them, or swallow their shyness to put things right.

This gorgeous video, which was produced by the Japanese Red Cross, coincides with the results of a study released last month by German and British scientists.

Among the findings, researchers saw young children prefer to return lost items to their rightful owners and that they will prevent a third party from taking what doesn’t belong to them. Furthermore, the researchers found three- and five-year-old children were just as likely to respond to the needs of others, as they were to their own.

“The chief implication is that a concern for others –empathy, for example – is a core component of a sense of justice,” says Keith Jensen of the University of Manchester.

To find out what motivates a sense of justice in young children, Katrin Riedl along with Mr Jensen and their colleagues gave three- and five-year-olds at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany the opportunity to take items away from a puppet that had “taken” them from another.

Those children were as likely to intervene on behalf of a puppet “victim” as they were for themselves. When given a range of options, three-year-olds preferred to return the item than to remove it.

“The take-home message is that preschool children are sensitive to harm to others, and given a choice would rather restore things to help the victim than punish the perpetrator,” Jensen says.

He adds that, instead of punishing children for doing something wrong, explaining the harm it has caused and righting the wrong may be more effective.

Tell us about the little people in your life? Are they kind at heart? 


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Doubly horrible that European migrants to England teach children to go out and steal and pickpocket much like the old Oliver Twist and Fagan tales.

  2. Yes I agree
    My grandson stepped in when a boy was bullying another about his weight verbally telling the boy to leave him alone
    This resulted in my grandson having a can of drink poured over his head.
    He responded by grabbing the boy and a tussel broke out …
    My grandson had to spend the first day of the holidays cleaning at school
    I’m not saying he was right to respond the way he did ..
    However it beggars the question
    Should we allow bullies to get away with it and turn the other cheek ??
    My grandson still thinks he was right to stick up for his friend ???

    1 REPLY
    • You are right Jane>The adult was in the wrong for not hearing the whole story,correcting the right one,
      the BULLY!!!!!!!

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