Michele Borba, is
an internationally renowned educational psychologist and an expert in
parenting, bullying, and character development. She is an award-winning
author of twenty-two books translated into fourteen languages. One of the
foremost authorities on childhood development in the country, she is a
regular NBC contributor who appears regularly on Today and has been
featured as an expert on Dateline, The View, Dr. Phil, NBC Nightly News,
Fox & Friends, Dr. Oz, and The Early Show, among many others. She lives in
Palm Springs, California, with her husband, and she is the mother of three
“Empathy is the root of
humanity and the foundation that helps
our children become good, caring people. But the Empathy Advantagealso
gives them a huge edge at happiness and success.”Michele Borba,
Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World
9 proven and teachable habits to nurture children’s empathy and why
developing empathy is key predictor to help kids succeed in our global,
Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World
Michele Borba, introduces a revolutionary but simple idea that will
our kids’ lives: that empathy—rather than being a nice “add-on” to our
development—is in fact integral to their current and future success,
and well-being. And empathy is a quality that can be taught—in fact,
quality that must be taught, by parents, by educators, and by those in a
community. What’s more, it’s a trait that kids can cultivate and
riding a bike or learning a foreign language because it’s comprised of
But why should we want our kids to empathize? For starters, the ability
to empathize affects our kids’
future health, wealth, authentic happiness, relationship satisfaction,
and ability to bounce back from
adversity. It promotes kindness, prosocial behaviors, and moral courage,
and it is an effective antidote to
bullying, aggression, prejudice, and racism. Empathy also prepares kids
for the global world, and gives
them a job market boost. Empathy is core to everything that makes a
society civilized, but above all, it
makes our children better people and it’s why we must raise empathetic
children. But how? Nine essential
competencies comprise empathy. With practice, they can become habits
that children will use for a
PART ONE – DEVELOPING EMPATHY
Empathy Habit 1: Empathetic Children Can Recognize, Understand And
Chapter One: Teaching emotional literacy
Empathy Habit 2: Empathetic children have a Moral Identity to Guide
Their Empathetic Urges
Chapter Two: Developing an ethical code; Chapter two.
Empathy Habit 3. Empathetic Children Understand The Needs Of Others
Chapter Three: Instilling perspective taking and learning to walk in
Empathy Habit 4: Empathetic Children Have A Moral Imagination
Chapter Four: Using reading and films to feel with others and
PART TWO – PRACTICING EMPATHY
Empathy Habit 5: Empathetic Children Can Keep Their Cool
Chapter Five: Managing strong emotions and mastering self-regulation
to reduce distress
Empathy Habit 6: Empathetic Children Practice Kindness
Chapter Six: Developing and exercising compassion every day
Empathy Habit 7: Empathetic Children Think “Us” Not “Them”
Chapter Seven: Cultivating empathy through teamwork and collaboration
to achieve shared goals
PART THREE – LIVING EMPATHY
Empathy Habit 8: Empathetic Children Stick Their Necks Out
Chapter Eight: Promoting moral courage to speak out, follow your
heart, and do what is right
Empathy Habit 9: Empathetic Children Want to Make a Difference
Chapter Nine: Growing “Changemakers” and Altruistic Leaders
Here is a sampling of what you’ll learn in Unselfie:
Why focusing on self-esteem, praise, and trophies boosts narcissism
and derails empathy
Why too much competition shrinks empathy and how to help kids be
collaborators and think WE
How to instill an empathetic mindset so kids see themselves as caring
people who want to help
When it is too soon—and too late—to talk to kids about race,
diversity, and “otherness”
Why self-control is a better predictor of adult wealth, health and
happiness than grades or IQ
Why time out and quick-fix punishments can be lethal to
empathy-stretching and a better plan
How to cultivate the kind of optimism that helps kids handle adversity
and have less stress
Why reading literary fiction makes kids not only smarter but also
kinder and activates empathy
What the real danger of the Internet is (hint: it’s not what you
think); why face to face so crucial
How to help kids stay in control and find courage in key moments based
on Navy SEALs tactics
Why mobilizing compassion is the best bullying antidote; how to teach
kids to stand up to bullies
How to cultivate a charitable spirit in kids from a young age and best
ways to nurture empath
By SHARON JAYSON
In “UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World,”
her 23rd book, Dr. Borba combines scientific research with tales from
real-world families and offers concrete tips on how to cultivate
kindness. We talked recently about “selfie syndrome,” ways to flip the
focus away from the self and specific activities to build empathy in our
children. Here is an edited excerpt of our conversation
Is Selfie Culture Making
Our Kids Selfish?
Following are some of Dr. Borba’s tips for how to flip the focus and
"When your children walk out the door, remind them to do one or two kind
things each day.
Show that you value kindness. Do not just ask, “What you get on your
test today?” but, “What kind thing did you do?”
Praise your kids for being kind in the moment – when they have earned
it: “That was being kind because you offered your toy to your friend.”
Make kindness a regular happening. Put a box by your front door for
gently used items and when it fills up, drop it off together for a
"A new book called “UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed In Our
All-About-Me World” by Michele Borba makes a strong case for empathy as
a tool that can be taught to kids, positioning them for success.
“[Empathy], the trait that allows us to feel with others, has the
reputation of being ‘touchy-feely,’ but new research reveals that
empathy is far from ‘soft,’ and it plays a surprising role in predicting
kids’ happiness and success,” writes Borba. “The problem is that empathy
is widely underestimated by moms and dads, as well as the general
public, so it’s low on most child-rearing agendas.”"
There are dozens of ways to use literature and movies to cultivate
children’s empathy, open their hearts to care about others, as well as
to expand their cognitive development and enhance academic achievement.
A big secret to cultivating this habit is to make the activity fun as
well as meaningful to children while matching material to their
abilities and interests.
something more is at stake: our children’s empathy and emotional
intelligence. As I researched and wrote, UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids
Succeed in Our All-About-Me World I was struck staggering statistics
that show a forty percent drop in our children’s empathy levels within
the last thirty years. And interestedly is that the biggest dip happened
around the year 2000-about the same time computers, Tablets, Smartphones,
and all the rest became central in our children’s lives."
"Of course we want our kids to be compassionate and sensitive to other
people’s feelings. The problem is that many kids’ “empathy potential” is
greatly handicapped because they don’t have the ability to identify and
They have tremendous difficulty feeling for the other person simply
because they may not recognize the other person’s hurt, elation,
discomfort, anxiety, pride, happiness, or anger.
What these kids need is an education that provides stronger emotional
intelligence: an adequate vocabulary of feelings and then the
encouragement to use it. Once kids are more emotionally literate and can
understand their own feelings their empathy will grow, because they will
be far more capable of understanding and feeling other people’s concerns
and needs. "
"Learn these simple steps and more in my book UnSelfie: Why Empathetic
Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World.
Model calmness. Your child’s best template for learning self-regulation
is you. So how do you act in front of your kids after a hard day? When
you’re driving with your children and another car cuts in front of you?
When the bank says you’re overdrawn? Your kids are watching, so make
sure your behavior is what you want them to copy..."
by Carrie Goldman "Michele has traveled far and wide to study practices
of empathy and the horrific results of a lack of empathy. Among other
places, she visited an amazing camp that brings together young
Palestinians and young Israelis, with the goal of teaching them to see
each other as human beings instead of as stereotypes. In Unselfie, she
shared the following conversation from her visit to this camp:"
"The problem is that empathy is widely underestimated by moms
and dads, as well as the general public, so it's low on most
1. Be an emotion coach....
2. Use the 'Two Kind Rule.'...
3. Talk feelings....
4. Capture caring moments...
5. Teach: 'Always look at the color of the talker's eyes.'...
6. Read books...."
One Surefire Way to Reduce Bullying
Susan Newman "Selfies” dominate our culture, and the stress caused
by the drive to succeed undermines the development of empathy—the habit
that actually gives children an edge or what Michele Borba, Ed. D. calls
the “Empathy Advantage.”"
"Empathy is not an inborn trait," Borba writes. "Empathy is a quality
that can be taught — in fact, it's a quality that must be taught, by
parents, by educators and by those in a child's community. And what's
more, it's a talent that kids can cultivate and improve, like riding a
bike or learning a foreign language."
Borba is speaking Wednesday at Glenbard South High School, and I spoke
with her in advance of her appearance. The following is an edited
by Jill Suttie
"According to Borba, low levels of empathy are rampant in our culture,
and in kids that’s associated with bullying, cheating, weak moral
reasoning, and mental health issues, like anxiety and depression. Her
book is a call to parents, teachers, and other caring adults to help
encourage children to develop empathy and generosity toward others, and
it’s full of research-based tips on how to do so...
1. Help kids develop a moral identity...
2. Give kids “do-overs”...
3. Encourage empathy through stories...
4. Support empathy education in school...
5. Examine your values...
6. Be mindful of social media use...
7. Help kids find their inner hero...."
Kids playing in the summer is an essential
and these are some tips.
America's kids are more self-absorbed than ever. If their
constant gaze into the selfie camera isn't proof enough, plenty of
statistics and news stories point to a fall in empathy, a rise in
narcissism, and an epidemic of bullying and cruelty. You want your kids
to stop with the "me me me" and start thinking "we".
Loerke Empathy is the ability to feel with another human being. And
we're getting worse at it. Parenting expert Dr. Michele Borba, Ed.D.,
explains how you can help your child learn to be more empathetic.
Fortunately, empathy can be taught and cultivated. But we have to put
our phones down to do it. "Empathy starts with face-to-face
interaction," Dr. Borba said. Here, her top tips for helping your kid
* Read (and talk) more...
* Teach kindness...
* Emphasize eye contact....
* Share good news. ...
* Establish your family values....
* Do as you say...."
How to Activate
Kids’ Empathy - Michele Borba
"Michele Borba, Ed.D. is an internationally renowned educator,
award-winning author, and parenting, child and bullying expert. She is
recognized for her solution-based strategies to strengthen children’s
behavior, character, build strong families and reduce peer cruelty. A
sought-after motivational speaker, she has presented workshops and
keynote addresses throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia
and the South Pacific and has served as a consultant to hundreds of
schools and corporations including work on US Army bases in Europe and
Empathy is a Verb
| Michele Borba | TEDxTraverseCity
Educational psychologist and author, Michele Borba, shares her
decade-long journey to discover how to optimize human potential.
Surprisingly, it was children from Canada to Rwanda who offered the
three best ideas to cultivate empathy. The best news: if applying those
simple strategies together we can revolutionize society and build the
best investment for our future: human capital.
Did you know that kids today are 40 percent less empathetic than 30
years ago? Dr. Michele Borba is an internationally known expert and
award winning author on children and teens. She has authored 22 books -
and her latest, "Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our
All-About-Me World" is all about raising kids to be empathetic in a
world obsessed with "me." She talks about the causes for lack of empathy
in this generation - and touches on some of the nine ways you can
reverse it and make a more productive child.
Want happy, successful kids? Teach them empathy
What do kids really need to be happy and successful?"
Hundreds of parents have asked me the question, and my response
surprises most. "Empathy" is my answer. The trait that allows us to feel
with others has the reputation of being "touchy-feely," but new research
reveals that empathy is far from "soft," and it plays a surprising role
in predicting kids' happiness and success. The problem is that empathy
is widely underestimated by moms and dads, as well as the general
public, so it's low on most child-rearing agendas.