Reviews

In the play/movie South Pacific, Lt. Cable sings a sad song called You’ve Got to be Taught (to hate and fear), referring to his own biased upbringing. In Lynne Azarchi’s new book, The Empathy Advantage, I learned that we can also be taught the opposite: EMPATHY, which I thought was part of our DNA and difficult to learn. Am I happy I am wrong in my assumption! With this book’s guidance, I now have a tool in which to upgrade my empathy meter so that I am even more aware of opportunities for compassion, respect and empathy. How I wish I had such a book when I was in college and majored in Education decades ago.

This 265 page book, with 33 pages of Appendices, Notes and impressive Bibliography is filled with helpful information for parents and especially teachers, who may have noticed since the advent of the Internet and less face-to-face communication, that young persons’ empathy meters need a boost, requiring more actual exercises and actions that children can learn to upgrade their own empathy level.

The author is the executive director of Kidsbridge Tolerance Center outside of Trenton, NJ. As About the Author notes, this nonprofit organization is “dedicated to fostering bullying prevention, diversity appreciation, empathy, and empowerment for youth.” Quite a heavy roster to tackle, but if her book is any indication of her commitment, passion, and dedication to providing the empathy advantage, as her title says, then this game changer for the already thousands of children that have attended the center can become a wonderful tool for the parents and teachers who use it.

The 21 chapters in the book cover the science and biology behind empathy, parent tips, teaching children at home and at school, from infancy through high school and college. One critical chapter, Chapter 12, tackles the importance of empathy to prevent bullying, a main focus at the center. Often referring to her own challenges with her children, Lynn tackles such related topics as self-compassion, active listening social media issues and empathy, the importance of pets as role models for learning empathy, and much, much more. The goal is to have children feel what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes and experience compassion and empathy for their experiences.

The range of topics; the amount of research in the pages; the helpful charts, lists and photos; plus the passion of Lynne’s commitment to teaching empathy is palpable….and contagious. Now I want to learn how to practice more compassion, respect and kindness, all of which Lynn covers in her book.

With the help of Larry Hanover, a skilled writer, Lynn Azarchi has produced a book worthy of your attention, whether you are a teacher, a parent, or just a person who likes children and can use the techniques and ideas in this book to enhance your ability to listen to children and develop your own brand of compassion and empathy.

The Empathy Advantage is published by Rowman & Littlefield publishers and costs $ 29. A paperback version is in the works. Get your own copy to ramp up your empathy factor!

Ellensue Spicer-Jacobson, GOODREADS Reviewer

More Reviews at GOODREADS


“So proud of our local author, friend and ally Lynne Azarchi, Executive Director for Kidsbridge Tolerance Center for her book The Empathy Advantage. It is inspiring to read about her childhood experiences and how she used these challenges to motivate her to create more empathy in the world, and train children to have empathy.

Azarchi’s excellent book has so many wonderful ideas of how to train kids in empathy from infancy to adulthood. It offers suggestions for exercises, individual, family and school activities, books, media, and programs to develop empathy.

There are so many wonderful ideas in this book and I wish every parent, teacher, principal and superintendent would read it and put it into practice for a better world.”

Kani Ilangovan, MD LLC Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist


“The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and far too many others can be our impetus as parents, caregivers, and educators to work toward a future of racial acceptance, diversity appreciation, and equal protection under the law,” writes Lynne Azarchi at the start of her book “The Empathy Advantage.”

After quickly adding that eliminating bias, discrimination, and hate is hard work for individuals, families, and communities, she states that “it is the existential work necessary for our nation if we are to increase kindness and respect and achieve greater social justice and equality.”

U.S. 1 Review
https://www.communitynews.org/princetoninfo/artsandentertainment/off-the-presses-the-empathy-advantage/article_1feeeb30-d919-11eb-9232-7731f51afa6c.html


Just like the What to Expect When You’re Expecting books, this is one you can refer to for years to come… If you know a parent who is struggling right now, or maybe you are wondering how to get your child to be kinder to others, I highly recommend this one.

Stranded in Chaos blog review
http://www.strandedinchaos.com/2020/12/book-review-empathy-advantage.html


roblev    Review via AMAZON AUTHOR CENTRAL

Wish I had this book when I was raising my kids!
February 15, 2021
Lynne Azarchi has done a magnificent job pulling together relevant data and integrating it seamlessly into a self-help book for both parents and teachers. Almost every page has a revelation like, Bullies themselves can get bullied and why, or a creative tip like making simple puppets and using them to act out scenarios that serve as a launching pad for empathy discussions with your child. The developmentally appropriate information makes this book a keeper from the day your kids are born until the moment they become emaciated . Highly recommended for all parents & teachers, especially those who are struggling to make youngsters more sensitive, civil, respectful human beings.


“…This book… will benefit all children, including those with disabilities and special healthcare needs… the main message is that empathy can be taught….and make {children} successful, in school, relationships, jobs, and life.”

https://reader.mediawiremobile.com/epmagazine/issues/206792/viewer?page=15


“…a guide for you to understand not only how to teach your child to have empathy, but why it’s important and how it will help impact their life in a positive way.”

The Indie Express


“Backed by science and truly instructive, Azarchi’s inspiring book couldn’t come at a better time.”

Candace Smith


The wisdom and practicality of this book is summarized by this line from Chapter 1:  “Without empathy, we cannot understand diversity or people different from us.”  Empathy is the most basic and essential life skill. It makes classrooms and families humane places. As Lynne Azarchi shows, empathy can be taught.  Most importantly, Lynne can teach it, and that is exactly why this book belongs in every home and classroom- now more than ever.

Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D.
Director, Rutgers University’s Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab and has co-authored Emotionally Intelligent Parenting and The Joys and Oys of Parenting.


“Surely, there is no role as influential as that of a parent, nor responsibility as profound as modeling behaviors that build empathy in children. Lynne Azarchi, gently and methodically, empowers parents to teach kindness by creating opportunities that foster empathy. Early conversations about how it feels to walk in the shoes of another underlie a child’s successful journey into a compassionate and fulfilling adulthood. Azarchi shines a light upon the importance of a foundation in empathy – not only to help youngsters deal with the social and emotional challenges of growing up, but to enable them to live and thrive in the tolerant society they will create in the future.”

Dr. Helen Boehm
Parenting Across the Digital Divide: A National Conversation on the Impact of Technology and Media on Our Families


Lynne Azarchi, Executive Director of Kidsbridge Tolerance Center, introduces to the reader recent research on empathy and social-emotional learning. This book shares activities that help parents, caregivers and educators develop children’s ability for human connection while acknowledging the strength in diversity, as well as practicing equity and inclusion.”

Yonty Friesem, Ph.D.
Founding Director, MA in Civic Media, Columbia College Chicago


The time has never been more ripe for parents and educators to explicitly teach empathy. The Empathy Advantage is timely and provides evidence-based guidance for parents and educators on myriad ways to promote empathy among children and students.  Recent evidence suggests that not only can empathy be taught, but now more than we ever, it is clear that empathy needs to be taught.  As Azarchi notes, evidence is mounting about the decline in empathy among children and young adults.  Parents and educators should not be complacent about this decline.  The data are clear that social-emotional character skills are associated with higher personal and academic achievement, as well as lower levels of bias towards others.  Plus, these skills create a pillar upon which bullying prevention skills can be improved.  The capacity for empathy builds one’s ability to care, give respect, provide support to others, and to be kind.   Now we know empathy can be taught and Azarchi provides guidance on just how to do that.

Nadia S. Ansary, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Psychology
Rider University