UnSelfie: Why Empathic Kids Succeed in Our All About Me World, by Michelle Borba Ed. D.
As an avid reader and educator, I am constantly looking for tools, strategies and new resources to help me add to my anti-bullying and social emotional learning (SEL) programs.
I was captivated the minute I started to read UnSelfie. Dr. Michelle. Borba’s stories and analogies are so relatable that you find yourself nodding throughout the book. She is great at pulling in her audience and then giving them something concrete. The book walks you through how you can develop empathy in your child at really any age.
“Mobilizing children’s moral courage to be Upstanders may be our best hope to stop peer cruelty. Kid interventions cut bullying by more than half the time and within 10 seconds, but they must learn to how to step in or get help.”- Dr. Borba
I had not heard about Dr. Borba until I attended last year’s IBPA Conference in New Orleans. She was a Keynote Speakers and the minute she started sharing about her experience she moved the crowd. Dr. Borba was able to make us laugh, cry, and feel empathy. She is engaging, energetic, passionate, funny, witty, and empathetic. She drew in the crowd with her research and stories from all over the globe. She had us visualizing the exercises and we could feel how it was to be part of this Selfie world. The book is a reflection of her keynote speech, and her ability to give such great applicable strategies leaves you wanting more.
“Cooperative caring relationships can also make our children smarter, happier, and healthier, as well as more prosocial, resilient, and empathetic.”-Dr. Borba
In the book, Dr. Borba goes over the research on technology and its impact on empathy. The results will leave you stunned. She then explores the 9 essential habits to develop empathy in your children:
- Emotional literacy
- Moral Identity
- Perspective taking
- Moral imagination
- Practicing kindness
- Moral courage
- Altruistic leadership ability
The goal is to understand these habits and create ways to bring them into your children’s lives. She breaks down each habit into easy to do activities or guided conversations to help your child further work their empathy muscles. Dr. Borba reiterates that empathy is not instilled in our tech heavy connected world so just like any sport or instrument we need to practice daily.
“Kindness is strengthened by practice but doesn’t have to cost a dime, take much time, or require any particular talent. Like any exercise program, regular workouts are required to reap the gains.” -Dr. Borba
Each story will touch your heart and leave a little imprint of empathy and compassion. Dr. Borba also ties in research to support her arguments, but she never overwhelms you with statistics. She gives you a plethora of resources to help you instill these empathy habits without making you feel guilty or embarrassed that your child might be that “Selfie” kid. It is overall a must read for all educators and parents.
Here is a Dr. Borba’s to her book: https://amzn.to/2vqmMtq
Here is a link to Dr. Borba’s profile: https://micheleborba.com/
Until Next Time…
Dr. Kortney Peagram
Founder/Owner Bulldog Solution, Inc.
Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology