9 habits of empathetic children: Michele Borba (Part 1)

Today’s teens are 40 percent lower in empathy than three decades ago. Narcissism rates have increased 58 percent in the same period, and Michele Borba, Ed.D., call it the “Selfie Syndrome. And self-absorption kills empathy. We need to raise Unselfies, not selfies”.

Borba, an internationally renowned consultant, educational psychologist and recipient of the National Educator Award, said that empathetic children share nine habits.

According to Borba, empathy is a skill that can be cultivated and teachers need to train students to do so. Borba describes these nine habits in her book: “UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All- About -Me World”.

Developing Empathy

Habit 1: Emotional Literacy

The ability to identify an emotion in yourself or others. According to Borba, “it’s the first, and arguably most crucial, of the nine essential habits of empathy from my latest book “UnSelfie”. The habits are the tools that will give your child the empathy advantage for future happiness and success. And emotional literacy is the essential key to unlocking empathy”.

Habit 2: Moral Identity

First, as a teacher, be a role model of integrity. “What you do in those ordinary moments may be powerful images for your children to deposit in his identity bank”.

Next, help children develop ethical codes so they are more likely to adopt caring values that guide their integrity and activate their empathy.

Habit 3. Perspective Taking

“Perspective taking is the ability to understand another person’s thoughts, feelings, wants, and needs. I like to call this essential habit the “gateway to empathy,” because it helps us step into another’s shoes, feel what another human being is feeling, and understand the world from his or her point of view”, says Michele Borba.

And in today’s selfie-absorbed world, that strategy is crucial. After all, the world our children live in is “WE” not “ME” and self-absorption kills empathy:

Habit 4. Moral Imagination

A child’s inner value system, or moral identity, can inspire empathy, shape character, and motivate compassion. A key step is helping students define themselves as people who value others.

Handling elevating, emotionally-charged images in literature, film, audiobooks, comics, questionnaires, mind maps, drawing tool, news and images as a source of inspiration help children become more empathetic.

How Eldventir can assist students to battle Syndrome Selfie?

Eldventir SEL Platform has two multilingual programs designed for Elementary and Middle Schools` students that foster social-emotional development and addiction prevention. The platform promote an intuitive and gamified learning management system for developing SEL in the classroom.

Get started with Eldventir SEL Platform, the Empathy module it`s free contacting paula.sanchez @visionaria.com promptly.   

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