UnSelfie: Teaching children empathy
Podcast #103 — Aired August 22, 2016

Do you want your children to be good people? Start with empathy. This week on BetterWorldians Radio, we’re speaking with Dr. Michele Borba, author of UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World. Dr. Borba will explain why empathy is essential and how parents can help their children be happier and more resilient.

 

 

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Dr. Michele Borba
Author, UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World

Dr. Michele Borba appears regularly in national print and on radio and television as a go-to expert regarding child and teen issues. She is an educational psychologist and expert in bullying, character development, child behavior and empathy. Borba is an NBC contributor who has appeared 130 times live on the TODAY show and countless other shows.

 

Episode Transcript

Gregory Hansell
Hi welcome to BetterWorldians Radio. BetterWorldians Radio is a weekly broadcast whose mission is to uplift and inspire you to make the world a better place. Im Greg Hansel, BetterWorldians Radio is brought to you by BetterWorldians Foundation and is Co-hosted by the family team that created the popular social game on Facebook called A Better World. It rewards players for doing good deeds while helping to raise money and awareness for charities. To date, over 40 million good deeds had been done in the Better World by more than four million people in over 100 countries. Good deeds includes expressions of gratitude, acts of kindness, and sending notes to real world sick kids, just to name a few. This week on BetterWorldians Radio, we welcome Dr. Michele Borba, author of the book, UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World. Dr. Borba appears regularly in national print and on radio and television as a go-to expert regarding child and teen issues. She is an educational psychologist and expert in bullying, character development, child behavior and empathy. Borba is an NBC contributor who has appeared 130 live episodes of today show and the countless other show as well. Dr. Borba, hi thanks for joining us today in BetterWorldians Radio.

Michelle
Oh, youre so welcome. Im just so impressed with what youre about and what you do and bravo to you.

Gregory Hansell
Well thank you so much for saying that. We were so impressed here at the studio with UnSelfie and Im really excited to jump in and chat with you about it.

Michelle
Oh, thank you. Thank you. This is my passion. Empathy is the basis for really a better world and Im just so glad to be able to talk to you about it.

Gregory Hansell
I couldnt agree more. So you say that empathy is what kids really need to be happy and successful. Why is empathy so important?

Michelle
Well oh, let me count the ways. First of all, I think we are looking at new science that we may have kinda fail to put on the back burner for just quite a while. So lets start and look at it. I did a Wall Street Journal article just two weeks ago and what those researchers did that the general article quote it, would survey over 2000 students and look at them in depth and the first thing they discovered is that children who are actually more popular and better liked by their peers, are kids who are better at taking perspective taking. And thats the cognitive side of empathy. Number 2, the Harvard Business Review, Forbes business, all say that one of the top employee ability factors right now, where our kids leave college or whenever to get out there in the world are employers who can take the clients or the customers point of view. Thats getting into somebody elses shoe. Its actually the basis of real happiness because this is whats gonna sustain relationship. Not the kind of brand you own or the dress size you wear but who you are inside and be able to feel well with others is also highly correlated to better mental health, reducing stress, and this is what activates our kids courage, their character and unfortunately its kinda dimming these days, this thing called empathy because were not really prioritizing it as a culture or as a group of parents and thats what I really wanna tune it up and have people be aware of what Unselfie is all about. This is practical proven ways that we can make a difference on our kids lives, by cultivating empathy.

Gregory Hansell
Thats amazing research. You know, I know in the book, you talked about selfie syndrome that the kids are experiencing today and its a big part of why were not cultivating empathy. Can you speak a little bit about that?

Michelle
Oh, thank you for that. Because the first thing we have to do if we wanna make a change in our parenting or in our educational program just realize, we have a problem right here in University. University of Michigan and several other very topnotch researchers, have been over the last 30 years, looking at 72 different studies and what theyve been actually doing is looking at incoming college freshman for 30 years.Pro, regardless of boys or girls or west coasters, east coasters,or Ivy League or Community College, kids are always given the same little simple task when they walk in, and that is to asses how well they care about others. And what weve discovered is around the year 2000 was stating a noticeable depth, the most pronounced depth 40% in empathy and at the same time a 58% rise in narcissism.

Gregory Hansell
Wow.

Michelle
Well, self absorption are thinking all about me not we kills empathy because empathy is dealing with someone. Its all about we.And thats why we better really get the handle on this because the benchmark of civilization, benchmark of everything that youre about, of service, giving to others, charity, citizenship, is all empathy and thats why we are concerned about it; and thats why I wrote Unselfie.

Gregory Hansell
You know its amazing, I didnt realize that was the year 2000. Because obviously thats years before the introduction or at least the prevalence of mobile devices..

Michelle
Yeah

Gregory Hansell
You know, cameras with phones, Im sorry, phones with cameras. Im wondering, has then the numbers gotten worse? Has the situation improved or has it gotten worse?

Michelle
What they are doing, I cant answer that because they are still continuing to track it. But other things have also go along simultaneously that are really interesting. Social psychologist for instance have been looking of google search of books that had been publish for over 1500 years. And what they wanted to do is look and track the kind of word usage in books. For instance, how often do we talk about courage, and compassion, and we as suppose to me; and what they found around the year 2000, the same thing happened. Books became more and more about me not we. Musical lyrics, another group tracked that and what they found is around that time, you know? Two heart beats as one, a side of one out the window, and it was all about; lets all stand up and just do it because its the right thing to do and me, or just do it, became the old mantra or Im worth it, became the mantra and even advertising.

Gregory Hansell
Hmmm

Michelle
So its really fascinating that its just not one element like parenting thats switching, but the culture is switching and even so, what we need to realize is the research is clearly on our side, that it says that our children are hard wire to care but unless we cultivate it, it will lie dormant. And thats the whole thing thats happening. A lot of our kids are in heavy sleep mode unfortunately, when it comes to compassion and concern about others because theyve been raised to think about we not me.

Gregory Hansell
Uhuhmm, Uhumm

Michelle
Excuse me, the opposite. Theyve been raised to thing about we.. me not we.

Gregory Hansell
Right right right. You know, I felt one of the most powerful illustrations of how empathy can really impact a life was a story of a child in Rwanda that had receive the backpack. Woud you share that story with us?

Michelle
Oh, if I can get through without crying. Yes, I was working, when I wrote Unselfie, I actually flew all over the world to gather the best information and the time in Rwanda, I was working as a goodwill ambassador to a program called, One Laptop per child. To try to get rid of the education divide in various third world countries; the very impoverish countries. And so I was in that, an orphanage for deaf mute children who had been abandoned by their parents, their grandparents had been slaughtered by genocide and I was delivering very very simple, really low cost backpacks to every child and theyve been backed by kids by United States. So we were bringing them in and giving them, (-27:04)_____ to these children. And what was in those backpacks was so so simplistic. A pencil, a stick, a gum,a little stack of candy, a ruler, a little notebook, and a handwritten note by a child. So I was giving out these backpacks and oh, the kids was just enamored with them; couldnt wait to see what is inside and flipped them upside down, and where the joy. And I watch one little boy in the very back of the room. He pulled everything out of the backpack, and he kept pulling and pulling and pulling and he was becoming so so frantic and I kept watching him going, what does he need? Like another notebook? Or its another pencil? More gum? No! I finally discovered what he was looking for when he pulled it out. It was a handwritten note from the child. He pulls his note and he looks at it and he starts to, and Im at this point behind him. And the note was so simple. He reads it and you know, Hello, my name is Erick. I live in Minnesota and I hope you like what I put in this backpack. I was thinking about you when I packed it. From your new friend Eric from Minnesota. Well this child picked up the note. Holds it to his chest and starts to sob. And then he looks at me and signs the word for love and makes a sign of a heart. He looks at my tears cause Im a basket case. He looks.. He is, I would clearly in sync with him and it was my moment ago.. Oh! Human connection is all that child wanted. Nothing else but the human connection. But the other thing that I realize is, Oh my gosh! I wish Erik had been there to see the power of his gesture on that child. Because all of research says, Empathy is transformational and it always starts with one moment. Its not the 50 000 things you donate or all the coins you send to Africa. Its the personal stuff we do, face to face connection with helping our children to deliver one canned good to someone in need or one backpack to someone in need. Its transformational not only to the receiver but to the giver because they deliver it. They gets a helpers high and its actually the best way to instill empathy. They could never go back to where they were and they wanna keep giving.

Gregory Hansell
Yeah, thats incredible. Its incredible. You know, its just amazing story because you think whats happening here, you know, when is this child looking for and you realize that its just the fact that someone else cared. Its someone reached out and cared. And brought tears to his eyes and made him realize, Im loved. I feel loved. Its genuine.

Michelle
Yeah. Im never forget that moment. I just cant even get through it. Because it was so profound and every research confirms that same thing. What all of us need, particularly children more than anything else is just approval. Just to know that somebody cares and to know theres human personalisized connection. And I see here that, thats whats dying to day. Yes, our kids are connected but theyre connected digitally. They would rather text than talk. And the gateway to empathy is actual, chapter 1, What I tried to do was come up with. So what are the 9 habits that kids really need that we can instill in children, and the gateway is emotional literacy. Being able to read somebody else emotion go, Oh! shes frustrated because of her voice tone or her body language, or her facial expression, or oh, hes sad or oh, he so joyous, and you dont ran that facing the screen or circling an emoji.

Gregory Hansell
Uhum. Uhum.. So what are some more of those different strategies that help with emotional literacy?

Michelle
Well, first we need to talk feelings far more to our children. And a Yale cognitive studies from, even says that we need to start at a much younger age. This isnt something that you do when the kid is 13. Youd start with a child at 6 months and one year. In fact, the best toy that you can ever give an infant is your face. They dont need anything else. Just make funny faces, make funny food noises and they respond right back by mimicking, that how empathy begin to form just by recognizing the face exist. Talkie motion. But please talkie motion far more to your sons than to your daughters. We already discovered that we are very good at talking emotions at age 2 to our daughters but not nearly as much to our sons by age 5. The pink blue divide is already huge. With our sons walking into kindergarten not knowing emotions and how to label them. And as a result theyre handicap in learning empathy cause you cant feel with someone unless you know how they feel. You can taught to use books. In fact Chapter 4 is my favorite X feature. Its called moral imagination. And York University clearly found that those people who read fiction and were not talking Fifty Shades of Gray, were talking To Kill Mocking Bird or Stone fox or Charlottes Web, those emotionally charged book, help elevate our hearts. And what we find is that we unfortunately not even reading picture books, nearly enough to our children. Were skipping them because we want them to be advanced in achievement. So were sending them to the chapter books. Chapter books, dont have emotionally charged images, nor do they have emotionally charged words or vocabulary. So dont stop reading out loud to your kids. Keep using them. Films, they discover the same thing like Dumbo, like for the teens Swindlers list. I dont care what it is but if it resonate with your child, use it then stop mid way and start pointing out. Oh my gosh, what would you feel if you were him? Oh my gosh, how would you, what does he need in order to feel better? Its just a 30seconds conversation but it helps your child start reflecting. The key is the empathy building, its not a one time luxur. Its not a worksheet, its not a program and for heaven sake, its not an app. Its just using natural moments to intentionally tune up children emphatic capacities. And thats how we can make a difference to our kids lives. Unselfie has 300 ideas in them. Dont use them all or your kid will never let you read another book. But choose a couple that you think will work for you and your family, and keep doing them until they become a ritual or a habit or a routine.

Gregory Hansell
There are so much great stuff there. Its funny. But I want to tell you at lunch before the show, I was at a neighborhood cafe and I happen to come across again that line about, how you know, were pushing our kids too quickly pass the picture books but not seeing the emotion exemplified in those faces that are helping kids with their emotional literacy at that young age. And I love that so much, that I actually, even though I read picture books to my son, I went right out and I bought him a picture book. And I think, thats a great tip for parents because a lot of times we think, Oh, the world is so competitive today, and kids need a leg up and we gotta get them right into the books and write this down to the computers, and thats all well and good but if they dont have that healthy emotional life then you know where they really headed.

Michelle
Well exactly, a yay for you dad. But the other thing is just to affirm it all, youre still making your child smarter as well as nicer by reading the picture book because where the highest correlations to achievement is vocabulary and it also is very highly correlated to IQ. So which of the two things? The chapter book or the picture book has better vocabulary? Stronger vocabulary? The picture book. It also has moral dilemmas in it that the chapter book may be missing. Its richer context. Yes, you can do both but for heaven sake, dont stop reading out loud. In fact the age we stop reading out loud to our children is around the age of 9. And around the age of 9 when our kids stop reading for pleasure. Keep reading to your children.

Gregory Hansell
Wow. So let me ask you this. How can we help our kids understand the emotions and needs of others. Obviously thats at the core of empathy. How do we help them develop those skills.

Michelle
Martin Hoffman, theres so many incredible gurus out there, that had studied, their at rise work has been researching and doing scientific analysis of exactly finding answer to your question. Martin Hoffman, NYU,and I adore his work. What he says is discipline. Discipline, the right discipline that would be Chapter 4. Its mind boggling and we dont do it nearly enough. What we do right now as discipline is about, is teaching. Its helping your child not only learn right from wrong; yes be better behave, but Martin Hoffman says its also crucial because it will help your child understand the perspective of others. We do a lot of time outs. But okay, time out is good because it will help your child stay calm and you. But the critical thing Martin Hoffman says, is the one to two minutes after. Pull the child aside when youre both calm and now discuss what happened there? Oh my gosh, how would you feel if that happened to you? What does your friend needed in order to feel better? And then Martin Hoffman says, the greatest question is the disappointment question. Youre not robbing your childs self esteem. Youre actually helping your child build empathy and be better behave. A disappointment question is, Im disappointed in that behavior cause I know youre a caring person and in this house, were all about social responsibility. So lets figure out what you gonna do next time to turn that around. They found that thats a critical question, also Im disappointed statement with a period (17:42)____ as well , because our kids want to behave well. But a big thing we may not do is discussing what to, how to do it the right way. What you expect. See, the second habit of empathy is moral identity. The first one is lowing the emotions and reading them, thats emotional literacy. But the second one is, empathy needs a moral rhetor. Altruistic individuals we find are individuals raised in households that expects caring, expects social responsibility. And that discipline, I am disappointed because in this house we stand for being respectful or being kind or whatever. Tune it up in yourself and in fact, one of the things I did when I was writing Unselfie, was interview dozens of kids, who teachers said were really altruistic change maker kind of kids. Well, how do they get that way? And as I ask them all, they all said, it was how I was raised. I watched my daddy, he was always kind, or I watch my mom and shell always bake an extra cookies and well go deliver it to the neighbor next door, she was sick. But they also, says the kid have the moral mantra. And they didnt call it a moral mantra. They said we call it a family motto in our house. And I say, whats your motto? Oh, in this family we always are kind, not hurtful, or in this family we always do the right thing, or in this family we always stick up for others. And they began to describe that they sat down at the family and they brainstorm it. One little guy said, my daddy he put it off in the computer in a piece of paper. Its faded into the sunset but its still on the refrigerator. One girl said that, My grandma needle-pointed me a pillow with were the caring Curlings family and when I went of to college, it was the one thing and the only thing I wanted to bring with me because it was who I was. So dont overlook the simple stuff. Just repeating that, your children know what you stand for. Theres a whole section in Unselfie on how to develop a family mantra or motto and kinds of mantras that other families are using. But mantra are always simple, theyre sticky and theyre memorable and you can use them at age 3. In fact the great question you can ask your child is age 3 is, what we stand for in this house?

Gregory Hansell
Yeah

Michelle
And if your child can instantly say, you want me to be kind mom, so it just means youre just tuning it up early enough.

Gregory Hansell
Yeah. Yeah thats great. Thats great. Well Michelle, I wanna jump more into this in just a minute but Im gonna take a brief break and tell our listeners a bit more our game in Facebook called A Better World. A Better World encourages habits of goodness, positive mindsets, and giving to social causes to make a positive difference in the world. Players do things like express gratitude, share acts of kindness, and get well notes to real world sick children and more. You can find out more at ABetterWorld.com. So now lets get back to our conversation with Dr. Michelle Borba, author of Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in our All-About-Me World. So Michelle, I know you also site mindfulness as one way to help kids get control of their emotions. Mindfulness is a recurring theme here in BetterWorldians Radio. Weve done a lot of shows about mindfulness. Can you tell us, how mindfulness helps with empathy and emotions?

Michelle
Oh yes because, well first of all science proves it. And I am so glad that you are talking a lot about it because its so simple. But what theyve done, I was into that actually, researching with monks who have the highest compassion known to men. When they actually put them on MRI and smooth them to Wisconsin to figure out, why are they so calm and why are they so compassionate? And its because they do so much mindful breathing and just thinking about compassion kind thought. We can do the same with our children but why is it critical? First, theres something that we gonna keep in mind, its called, The Empathy Gap. Though our kids may have empathy and though they may care, theyre concern about that little boy over there suffering. A lot of them dont step into care because of a couple of things. When stress builds. Many of our kids and adults dialed down their empathy to be in survival mode. Cause they need to protect themselves. So one of the critical chapters in Unselfie is, how to help your children learn to handle the stress; the stress thats part of life. And how to do de-breathing or simple ways to do mindfulness, that you can start in age 3, 4 and 5. And then keep going when your child is a teen or as an adult, or you can do it together. Because what will happen is, it helps your child not only learn to be resilient and to be able to handle the stress, but also keep their empathy open. One of the things that we also got to keep in mind is that, our children were being exposed to so much doom and gloom these days. I mean, just think about the images that theyre watching live from Nice to Orlando, to 9/11 when they were younger,

Gregory Hansell
Uhuhmm

Michelle
to ISIS beheading, just extra ordinarily tragic.

Gregory Hansell
Yeah.

Michelle
And what happens if they continue to see only the doom and gloom? They develop a mean world syndrome. So they see the world as a mean, a world, a place. So why should I be good? Why should I do what you are suggesting they do to make a better world? I cant make a difference. So one of the other ways you can help your child is open their hearts.

Gregory Hansell
Hmmm.

Michelle
Is cut out the good news reports that are right at the back page of the news paper or cut out the articles about phenomenal children who are just ordinary kids made an extraordinary deeds and read them, right before they go to sleep. Little kids, itll help get rid of the nightmares cause theyll think of the good stuff. Big kids, it is a great thing discussed at dinner hour and theres fabulous stories but theyre always hidden at the back pages. Forget the front page. Go to the back page and what youll discover is compassion fatigue isnt so likely. They keep their empathy open. Its kinda like what Mr Rogers used to tells the kids.

Gregory Hansell
Yes.

Michelle
Look for the helpers, the compassion, the courageous, cause theyre always there. And they are and when we help our kids find them. It helps them develop that mindset and keeps their hearts open.

Gregory Hansell
It so funny that you happen to say that. I was just thinking that we did a show a couple of years ago with two life long friends of Fred Rogers and that famous quote came up and I think its one of the most powerful things that people can look at today. To really look through that doom and gloom and see the kind of, the silver lining. You know?

Michelle
Yeah, I think its so critical for our children. The other thing thats happening is that our fear is going down to our children. So we need to not only protect our kids to those images but make sure that.. because it will desensitize them. Thats what clearly the research says and that numbs down their empathy and it boost up their stress. But the other thing is weve got to protect ourselves from it. Weve got to protect our stress at bay and be able to do maybe yoga with our daughters or mindfulness as a family together. Those are proven practical strategies otherwise our children catch our fear,our biases, our concerns and they begin to see the world based on how we see the world.

Gregory Hansell
Thats amazing. You know, I thought, I dont think people think enough about how their everyday actions are passing down to their kids. And you know we are all just trying to make it through a very stressful world together. And so we have to kinda be on guard to say, its not just about our own health, our own lifestyle, our own livelihood, but its also our children.

Michelle
Yes. Isn't that the case? Cause there is no repeat, then there is no take back when it comes to parenting. You only got this time, one time, to do it right. And what we can do though is realize this doesnt have to be so difficult. It just needs to be intentional. Raising a good kid is what this is all about. But we need to just look and say, that hey! Science said that we can cultivate empathy. We have define success so darn narrowly these days as a great writer in SAT score, that we overlook the other side of the report card. And thats their caring, kindness, helping them practice and realize that they are a caring person. Praising them so that when they, the first question out of our mouth isnt what likely to be, What did you get? But what kind things did you do today? When they walked in that door. Just those everyday little moment that we may be overlooking were so powerful and how we make a difference in our childrens lives. So we start raising them to think we not me.

Gregory Hansell
Hmm. I really love the idea of moral courage that you discussed in Unselfie. How can we help our kids find their inner hero.

Michelle
Oh thank you for that one. Because my own background was all about bullying prevention and stopping school shooting. What I finally realized along the way is that 85% of kids arent bullies are victims or bystanders and their watching. So one of the most interesting dateline special I ever did,was when producer asked me to teach kids who are bystanders, how to step in and be up-standers. The Chapter 8, is all about those strategies and the first couple of things to keep in mind is that, your up-standing ability, step up, speak out, do,you know help another is mobilized first by your empathy. So every time I saw a child who step in, it wasnt that they first have the courage, it was that they first have the empathy. So we gonna first build the emotional literacy so that they can read, oh! he look stressful, oh! he looks upset, because without that, kids will not step in and use their courage. Second of all, youve gotta instill that altruistic viewpoint that says youre a caring person and develop a caring mindset because people whore altruistic have a sense of, thats who I am, because a parent has embedded that in them. And then what we need to do is teach them the actual skills. Dont assume that your child knows how to step in. For instance, I keep this skill buster. B U S T E R, cause I discover that kids remember this stuff more with acronym as suppose to, remember the best best best best. No, you gonna give them a repertoire. The first one is just B - Befriend a child who looks like they are being picked on or bullied. And be friend, you dont have to speak up to the bully because most kids said thats the hardest known to man. All you have to do is stand a little closer to the victim. Why? Youll actually draw the audience closer to that child as suppose to the bully and that bully is the kid that wants an audience. So flip it. You can be quiet like Rosa Parks. You dont have to be an extrovert. She never said a thing as she changed the world. Gandhi was extremely shy, he changed the world. Shimler was somebody who we would have thought, he wasnt the kind of empathetic, courageous person but he was. Dont be assumed that the childs temperament is going to mean that theyre courageous or not. Teach them. You can also use a distraction. Which is enormously helpful. If you think stuff is going down it is a great thing to teach a teen. And youre got a lot of peer pressure and its tough to stand up to the other kid. Ive watched the most brilliant thing of a kid. A teen actually throw his back pack on the ground and looks like it was an accident. It was totally intentional. He spread everything out and yell, Oh my god the bells gonna ring, I need help. What did he do? He got all the kids away from a pipe that was about to break out and help him. So you can also go and tell. You can sneak out. Go around the corner and find an adult or somebody else. But if you stand there, youre just as much to blame because you are giving that boy the audience he craved.

Gregory Hansell
Yeah.

Michelle
Its talking to kids and giving them the skills so they can step up, speak out, and allowing them from a much earlier age. We have got to stop rescuing them. If we want a courageous child, then they need to learn to speak out and be assertive.

Gregory Hansell
Yeah, thats amazing. Thats amazing. I love that idea that, you know, sometimes just standing with the victim, you know, and just being there for them and letting them feel cared for is the best thing you can do. Yes I think the other thing is when Ive interviewed so many children who were in, who had watched bullying and they were developing major stress themselves and compassion fatigue cause the felt nobody cares. What we did is we brainstorm and theres a section in the book called hgart. HGART. Five things you can do to support a victim or somebody after the fact. Because an empathetic child, if they cant help at the moment, they become very guilty. So you always tell them, hey you know what? You may not be able to help then but you can always help afterwards. You can go up and say, you didnt deserve that. Would you like some help? Ill go and help walk you to the teacher. You can call that person or you can say that happened to me, or Ill sit next to you during lunch. Theres so many things that in the spur of the moments, kids dont have those empathetic strategies. To help your child develop them so in the heat of the moment, theyll know what to do and theyll keep their empathy open and avoid that darn empathy gap where they dont step in and their guilt opens up or they dim their empathy down.

Michelle
If, the FACE, if you give me each one, I will help you through it.

Gregory Hansell
I will give it to you right now.

Michelle
Alright, do it and well talk it through. Because remember, each one of the things in there is an acronym and a lot of these I picked up also from going in and out of schools all across the country. Simple ideas that dont cause a dime. Must model it. Heres one key, Im gonna teach you FACE but tell your child the strategy. Show your child the strategy. UCLA says, if you really wanna teach a new skill to a child, show it. Dont tell it. Modeling is far better.

Gregory Hansell
So you had FACE, Feelings, Analyze, Care and Empathize.

Michelle
Yes, first thing is you always face the child. So you face, which is the same thing is turn, look at the person and ask yourself, how does that person feel? Thats gonna take a long time unless youve gone through a lot of emotional literacy. So maybe to the first year with a young child youre just doing FACE. In fact a really interesting strategy you can always do with FACE is, teach your child from a young age, always look at the colors of the tucker sign because our kids are used to texting and looking at the screen. If you look at the color of the tucker sign, two things happens. You are more likely to be able to look and analyze facial expression. And the second thing, you start holding your head up. And out on the playground you also would be able to use more strong, confident body language and that means youll less likely to be picked on and victimize, so it says University of Toronto studies. Simple strong body language. A - is analyze, get behind it and say, wheres the person coming from? What does he really mean to say? What are the feelings or thoughts behind these words? Thats a great thing for a teen to be able to say and ask himself. Keep going, go and see.

Gregory Hansell
C- is care.

Michelle
And thats what you wanna do, you wanna be able to show some way and you could be a smile. For some kids, thats all they can do. It could be, what else can you do? It could be, what can I do for you? It could be youre putting your hands on their shoulders, or you could be nothing more than answer story that happens to you but you somehow let the person know, until finally what you do is you empathize with them. That happened to me or Im so sorry, I did how your feeling. Can I help you do something? Can we do it together? What your doing is your giving the children the strategies. And if you do that over and over again, particularly as a parent. You do that in your encounters with your child. Whos maybe walked in the door and hes crying. Use the same thing there, what will happen is youll be the model. So your child can now copy it and be able to do it with the peer.

Gregory Hansell
Well this has been such an incredible show. And theres just so much to cover. But I have actually just one question left. We ask it almost every week to all our guest. And this case, the question is, how do you hope the lessons learned in Unselfie can help make the world a better place?

Michelle
Oh, my heart is pettering and pattering. The lessons learned is we are a weak world. We are a we world. We are becoming smaller in a world and our children need bridges so that they expand the horizons. More than anything else, what I really hope that Unselfie does is help parents raise good people because the best help we have for a civilized society, a humane world, that cares about one another is to boost empathy and we know we can cultivate it. But we just needs to be a lot more deliberate and start a lot earlier.

Gregory Hansell
You can learn more about Dr. Borbas wonderful work by going to michelleborba.com. Dr. Borba thank you so much for joining us today in BetterWorldians Radio.

Michelle
You are so welcome. Thank you.

Gregory Hansell
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