For the next few months, I am going to do a brief recap of some powerful parenting (with educational topics) books I’ve read.
Sometimes reading quotes from books helps shift my mindset on certain topics and gets me focused on what’s really important when raising children.
Book Title: UnSelfie
Author: Michele Borba
In our hyperconnected, social-media-saturated society, many of us (especially young people) are so obsessed with snapping “selfies” and living virtual lives online that we’re forgetting how to care for the people right in front of us IRL (that’s “in real life”). The resulting Selfie Syndrome is leading to an empathy crisis among today’s youth – teens today are 40 percent less empathetic than they were just a generation ago, and narcissism has increased 58 percent during that same period.
But there is a solution: Studies show that the antidote to Selfie Syndrome is empathy. And the good news is that empathy can actually be cultivated in children, starting even before they can talk. In UnSelfie, esteemed educator Dr. Michele Borba presents new and compelling research that explains how to impart this key skill to kids – whether it’s teaching toddlers how to comfort one another or giving teens the tools to stand up to bullying – and why empathy paves the way for future happiness and success.
Caring about others isn’t just about playing nice; it’s a skill that’s vital for children’s mental health, leadership skills, and continued well-being, today and tomorrow. Dr. Borba’s nine-step plan for raising successful, happy kids who also are kind, moral, courageous, and resilient provides a revolutionary new framework for learning empathy. Empathetic kids will thrive in the future, but the seeds of success can be planted today – one habit at a time.
How do we measure success with our children? In the book, Unselfie by Michelle Borba, a study found that when asked, a VERY high percentage of students reported their parents found it was more important for them to score high on tests than the importance of them being kind to others or being a good hearted individual.
Top Ten Quotes:
- “If your child had only your behavior to watch, what would he see? Which of your behaviors does he copy most? Smoking a cigarette? Gossiping? Reading a book? Exercising? Singing? Drinking? Telling racial jokes? Swearing? Is it an image that you want your kid to copy? If not, what can you do to improve it so your kid has a better example?”
- “What would you like your greatest legacy to be for your child? What will you do to ensure that your child attains that legacy? Write a letter to yourself describing your hopes and dreams for your child—the legacy you would like to leave. Reread your letter often.”
- “No behavior problem is just the kid’s problem; it’s also a family problem. To help your child best, you need to step back and look at the big picture and ask, “What are all the factors that might be causing my child to misbehave?” The place to start is by taking a good, honest look in the mirror. The image you project can have an enormous influence on your child’s behavior. After all, our image is reflected back to our kids, and what they see is what they copy. Before you start planning how to change your kid’s behavior, take a serious look at your own.”
- “Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands.”
- “We are all humans who share the same fears and concerns, and deserve to be treated with dignity.”
- “In today’s world, empathy equals success, and it’s what I call the Empathy Advantage that will give our children the edge they need to live meaningful, productive, and happy lives and thrive in a complex world.”
- “This culture, “is all about self-promotion, personal branding, and self-interest at the exclusion of others’ feelings, needs and concerns…It’s permeating our culture and slowly eroding our children’s character.”
- “While we may be producing smart, self-assured generation of young people, today’s kids are also the most self-centered, saddest, and stressed on record.”
- “Empathy can be instilled, and it is composed of teachable habits that can be developed, practiced, and lived. Empathy is what lays the foundation for helping children live one essential truth: We are all human who share the same fears and concerns, and deserve to be treated with dignity.”
- “The most effective strategies are meaningful experiences that touch kid’s hearts with a caring adult close by.”
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