Is the Selfie Syndrome Undermining Our Kids' Future?
Teens today are 40 percent less empathetic than they were thirty years ago. Why is a lack of empathy--which goes hand-in-hand with the self-absorption epidemic Dr. Michele Borba calls the Selfie Syndrome--so dangerous? First, it hurts kids' academic performance and leads to bullying behaviors. Also, it correlates with more cheating and less resilience. And once children grow up, a lack of empathy hampers their ability to collaborate, innovate, and problem-solve--all must-have skills for the global economy.
In UnSelfie Dr. Borba pinpoints the forces causing the empathy crisis and shares a revolutionary, researched-based, 9-step plan for reversing it. Readers will learn:
-Why discipline approaches like spanking, yelling, and even time-out can squelch empathy
-How lavish praise inflates kids' egos and keeps them locked in "selfie" mode
-Why reading makes kids smarter and kinder
-How to help kids be Upstanders--not bystanders--in the face of bullying
-Why self-control is a better predictor of wealth, health, and happiness than grades or IQ
-Why the right mix of structured extracurricular activities and free play is key for teaching collaboration
-How to ignite a Kindness Revolution in your kids and community
The good news? Empathy is a trait that can be taught and nurtured. Dr. Borba offers a framework for parenting that yields the results we all want: successful, happy kids who also are kind, moral, courageous, and resilient. UnSelfie is a blueprint for parents and educators who want to kids shift their focus from I, me, and mine...to we, us, and ours.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-05-02
- Reviewer: Staff
Parenting expert Borba (Building Moral Intelligence) traveled the world and researched for decades before writing this fresh and powerful primer on raising caring kids. The book came into focus, she explains, while she was visiting the Cambodian killing fields outside Phnom Penh. Her resultant goal—find out what causes inhumanity and how to stop it—led her to visit Dachau, Auschwitz, and Rwanda, as well as school classrooms. By consulting current research, she discovered that a strong sense of empathy is not only a moral imperative, but also an advantage in attaining health, happiness, and career success. In separate chapters, Borba presents nine essential empathetic skills: emotional literacy, moral identity, perspective talking, moral imagination, self-regulation, practicing kindness, collaboration, moral courage, and compassionate leadership abilities. In each section, she provides a wealth of exercises, activities, and age-by-age strategies to help parents nurture empathy—a trait, she stresses, that is not innate but can be taught and developed. With narcissism and self-absorption on the rise in our digital age, she argues, this trait is in danger. Her thought- provoking and practical book may very well tip over the parenting priority applecart—and rightly so. Agent: Joëlle Delbourgo, Joëlle Delbourgo Associates. (June)