Dr. Michele BorbaInternationally-recognized educational psychologist and parenting, bullying, and character expert, Dr. Michele Borba aims to strengthen children’s empathy and resilience and create safe, compassionate school cultures. Dr. Borba has presented keynotes throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. She has also served as a consultant to hundreds of schools and corporations including the Pentagon and 18 US Army bases in Europe and the Asian-Pacific. She has been an NBC contributor and has also appeared on various TV programs such as Dateline, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, and CNN. Borba received her Doctorate in Educational Psychology and Counseling from the University of San Francisco. She is a former classroom teacher who has worked in regular education as well as with children with learning, physical, behavioral and emotional disabilities, and in a private practice for troubled youth. Dr. Borba has written several books on parenting, education, and youth development including her most recent work, UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World. Borba has received numerous awards throughout her exceptional career including the National Educator Award from the National Council of Self-Esteem and the Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Educational Profession presented by the Bureau of Education and Research.
Theory:Dr. Borba’s book, UnSelfie details nine habits that can be used to nurture children’s empathy. Borba believes that empathy is the answer to many of the problems that hurt our youth today. She sites a 58% increase in narcissism and a 40% decrease in empathy as being key reasons why children fail to be successful in their relationships. In the following video, Borba tells the audience that you don’t learn empathy by looking at a screen and that she believes that creating “unplugged time” and opening one’s heart to “them” are steps to instill empathy in our youth.
Empathy is a Verb - Dr. Michele BorbaDr. Borba believes that many of us suffer from “compassion fatigue” caused by a consistent streaming of negative news stories into our lives. Borba suggests that we practice empathy habits every day until we can live them. She also tells us that to keep our empathy open, we should follow the advice of Mr. Rogers and “look for the helpers” and read the back page of the newspaper in search of good people practicing daily empathy.