April 30, 2017 at 12:16 pm #74081
I had the opportunity to see Mrs. Borba,Ed. D., an educational psychologist with expertise in parentig, bullying and character development, in the latest version of THE LEARNING AND THE BRAIN conference in Washington DC, the past 7th, 8th and 9th of april. A passionate woman, keynote speaker and author of 20 books, talked about her latest book called UNSELFIE: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in our All-About-Me World. Dr. Borba says that teens are 40% less empathetic than what they were 30 years ago, which has lead to what she calls the “Selfie Syndrome”. Immersed in their own world, in a time when digital connectedness is higher than ever, they appear to be less connected to people than ever, which is a paradox…This lack of empathy to others has affected their ability to collaborate, innovate, problem-solve, work cooperatively and create lasting relationships.
To reverse this “Selfie Syndrome”, she proposes a research based 9 step plan which consists on the following:
1. Foster emotional literacy
2. Create moral identity
3.Show perspective taking
4. Promote moral imagination
6. Practice kindness
7. Foster collaboration
8. Promote moral courage
9. Teach altruistic leadership abilities
Her lecture was an amazing one, full of real life anecdotes and simple but powerful phrases that led to a standing applause from the public. A very inspiring book, in a world full of selfies…
December 31, 2017 at 11:07 pm #82465
Thank you for posting about this powerful book. I agree with your comments, and with Borba’s nine-step plan to reverse the “Selfie Syndrome.”
I would like to share here a model and two exercises I have used to begin to foster emotional literacy in my work with teens, in hopes others may find it helpful as well.
Many teens are not taught the core competencies of Emotional Intelligence (EI). I believe that “awareness leads to choice” so have taught teens five core competencies: Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Self-Motivation, Empathy and Relationships. It is important to note that these competencies are built as in a pyramid, starting with Self-Awareness at the base. It is also worth explaining that three of the five competencies, or 60%, of emotional intelligence is about the self. Learning to control and manage the self comes before relating to others.
Being self-aware includes identifying and naming the emotions a teen experiences. Providing a list or chart of many emotions helps them choose more accurately. Inviting them to write or share to identify their emotions helps them to grow in their experience with the self-awareness of their feelings.
Self-regulation is a challenge for many teens, especially around peers. Often, teens will say things without regard for how their words impact themselves or others. Teaching a model that helps them to self-regulate, to pause and think about their words, before they say or type them, can be helpful.
I use a Stoplight Model to help them self-regulate. It works like this. When they are feeling emotional, they visualize the yellow light indicating caution, slowing down. Next, visualize the red light to stop, and think about what they are about to say and ask themselves if what they are about to say will have a positive result, or will be kind to themselves or others. Finally, visualize a green light indicating they are ready to say or type their thoughts.
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