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UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World
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UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,821 ratings  ·  273 reviews
Bestselling author Michele Borba offers a 9-step program to help parents cultivate empathy in children, from birth to young adulthood—and explains why developing a healthy sense of empathy is a key predictor of which kids will thrive and succeed in the future.

Is the Selfie Syndrome Undermining Our Kids’ Future?

Teens today are 40 percent less empathetic than they were thir
...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Touchstone
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  1,821 ratings  ·  273 reviews


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Trevor
Jun 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: psychology
I feel like I’ve drawn the short straw on this book and I’m now going to have to argue against empathy – hmm, won’t that be fun.

I’m not totally sure if the thing that put me off this book first of all was the almost gormless tone. This is my second self-help style book in a row now and this one was a particularly poor example of the genre. The problem here was that she has a Ph.D. – so, I wasn’t expecting this to be quite so simpleminded, in fact, I was expecting quite another kind of book here.
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Ashley Thompson
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
While I wholeheartedly agree with the concept of raising children to be empathetic, and do so with my own child, I found this book to be weighted down with lists, acronyms, and various things for parents to remember and do. So much so that it is impractical for most parents to even attempt to implement. One acronym list is enough, not one for every chapter. More editing in terms of "takeaways" is necessary for this book to be at all practical for parents.

Many of the points are spot on and based
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Jason Scott
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
Audiobook. I almost gave up on it after the intro thinking this was one of those "here is how to make your kids better than other people's kids" books targeted at the type A crowd (and I almost gave up on it later when she mentioned being on Dr Phil :) ). But I was more than pleasantly surprised by the content.

The premise is that teaching empathy (and self-regulation and resilience) to your kids is more beneficial to their happiness, success and well-being than achievements. She gives lots of ex
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Sarah Hadd
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
The trouble with a book like this is that the audience isn't likely to be parents who aren't already trying to raise empathetic kids. No parent who lets social media and TV raise their kid and doesn't care what their kid hears and witnesses is gonna pick this up and say "this looks like a good read."
I found myself skimming quite a lot of this book because so much of it was common sense. Ask the child how they think their friend feels? Yeah. There were a few fun suggestions but way too many acron
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Stephanie  Weatherly
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Easy to implement strategies..I enjoyed this read. Will definitely be utilizing strategies both at school and at home with my own kids.
Amie
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I’m not saying empathy isn’t important, I just didn’t like the book.
A few of thing things that really bothered me:

The author seemed to think empathy was the ONLY important thing, but also didn’t spend a lot of time on using empathy as a conflict resolution, ie, seeing things from another’s perspective *when you have already developed an opinion*. She talks about standing your ground when you disagree, but that’s not empathy. That’s an element of self confidence.

So many acronyms. A life time of
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Rebecca McPhedran
Michele Borba writes an amazing book that outlines a nine step program to help parents, and teachers, raise empathetic humans. A great read with strategies to help you tap into the empathy of your kids.
I really liked this book, and found some great strategies and stories to use with both my son and my students. if you are interested in social sciences or the psychology of kids, read this book.
Liv
More of a “how to teach your kids to be more empathetic” book, but incredibly interesting nonetheless. Interesting, and depressing studies, statistics and commentary on the “me” society of today’s world. I would say this is a must read for everyone.
Kyle Nicholas
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
I did not finish this book. I was totally on-board with everything said in it... until the feminist author started in on blaming "violent video games" for the decline of empathy in society. I'm sorry, but we had video games starting in the late 20th century that depicted violence graphically. What did we have before that? WORLD WAR II. Oh, and a slew of other wars where actual people died. Nope, no empathy problem there. It was only after the invention of the Playstation that led to everyday vio ...more
KrisTina
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
Quoting Kara - a goodread reviewer- "I had really high expectations for this book, and it just did not deliver. It was an alphabet soup of acronyms, lists, and tips. The book is anchored around nine habits, but I couldn't even tell you want any of the nine are because each chapter included multiple lists and tips." So for an acronym heavy book here is mine - DON'T READ IT. Actually, that doesn't stand for anything - that's just my final thought with this book. So so so repetitive and statistics ...more
Mehrsa
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I am not sure there's anything new here. I know we're all in freakout mode about selfies and technology, but the advice in here is pretty ancient: teach your kids empathy and how to not be a-holes. There were some good hints in there about helping kids label emotions, but I believe most parents are already aware of how to make their kids kind. The problem is that maybe some parents don't aim to make their kids kind, but make them winners. That too is an ancient decision.
Kathy Mathey
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Powerful must-read for parents and educators...
Ericka Clouther
I appreciate the general concept of a parenting book about teaching children empathy. Empathy is definitely one of the fundamental values in our home. My only complaints were that 1) I don't like the entire concept of discussing it in terms of giving your children some advantage in the marketplace. Admittedly the author didn't spend too much time on this so I suspect it was an editorial marketing suggestion? Complaint 2) The chapter attacking millennials. I'm Generation X but I know more Boomer ...more
Joyce Yattoni
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it, but quick read it was NOT. I enjoyed the many anecdotal messages of empathy the author encountered around the world. Grabbed some ideas for my own classroom on cultivating a culture of empathy. I would love to do a bookclub with parents in our community with this book. The hook: Are you concerned with bullying in our schools? Would you like to see change? 😬
Jessica Chandler
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Whether your circle of influence with children is at home or in the classroom, this book is a must read for anyone with children in their life. Dr. Borba unpacks the brain science behind empathy, explains the empathy gap, and dispels our fears by reigniting hope through practical action steps of how to movie from a “me” to “we” mindset.
Justin Patchin
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Parenting expert and educational psychologist Dr. Michele Borba released a new book last week. This by itself isn’t newsworthy (she has, after all, published roughly a book a year for the last quarter of a century). But this latest contribution has the potential to have a significant impact on parents and their children.

I’ve followed Dr. Borba’s contributions over the last several years and find her to be a caring and committed commentator on all things parenting. She doesn’t purport to be omnis
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Tara Gibbs
Mar 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is packed with interesting stats and information on what clearly seems to be a more disconnected culture among our young people and the effects that is having. As electronics replace face-to-face interaction more and more among our young people, the results continue to develop among our kids. Borba focuses particularly on the trait of empathy, why it is vital to society, how the lack of it harms our society at all levels, and how the ability to empathize can help our children thrive th ...more
Deb
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book has many good ideas about how to help children be empathetic-- maybe too many. It's a little overwhelming and perhaps overly and unneccessarily complicated.

The number of acronyms throughout practically drove me crazy. Each time I saw another, I felt strangely compelled to try to remember and then slight disappointment in myself when I realized there was no way they would stick. After a while, I felt annoyed every time she listed another. Eventually, I began ignoring them and tried to f
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Melody
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a must-read parenting book; we live in a world where kindness and empathy are under-valued and yet desperately needed. The author makes a clear case for why kindness is not only the right thing to teach kids, but also positively impacts all areas of their lives, including both happiness and success. But the best part is that she gives specific, concrete strategies for practicing kindness and empathy with your kids and integrating them into your family's life. Unlike many parenting books, ...more
Kara
May 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018-books
I had really high expectations for this book, and it just did not deliver. It was an alphabet soup of acronyms, lists, and tips. The book is anchored around nine habits, but I couldn't even tell you want any of the nine are because each chapter included multiple lists and tips. I was hoping this book would have practical tips to implement or use to instill empathy in my children, but as one other reviewer noted, this book would be impossible to implement as written. That said there were a handfu ...more
Nicole
While nothing about this book is revolutionary to me as an elementary school counselor, I'm extremely glad that this book exists and is geared toward parents. The one caveat about that though, is that I fear that the book is preaching to the choir, and that the people who are reading it are already attuned to the need for empathy in our children. Regardless, I definitely added a number of tools that I can use in my practice, as well as with families, and am excited to see how I can integrate som ...more
Meghan
Jul 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Biggest take-away was that empathy can be learned and strengthened...you know this intellectually but the book really drives it home. There's plenty of examples on how to do this throughout, so many, in fact, that it's a bit overwhelming. The author has great stories interspersed but with so many acronyms and examples it's hard to sort through what to do. I think I'd need to read through it again and use it as a reference. A lot of the acronym examples for teaching/surviving stress/learning empa ...more
Mimi McDonnell Black
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
I really love the fact that this book focuses on empathy and I agree with the author that this skill is lacking among children today. However, I thought that a lot of what she had to say was common sense, and she made a lot of her recommendations more complicated than they needed to be by turning them into acronyms. I could see people giving up on reading this book and that's unfortunate because the subject matter is so important.
Stacy
Feb 02, 2017 rated it liked it
It's sad that a book like this would have to be written. It's infinitely sadder that there are certainly a large number of parents who will read this book and say, "aha!" While there were some good pieces of advice within these pages, I found more "duh" moments than "aha" moments, but perhaps I'm too old to truly understand the selfie generation. They were coming of age while I was busy raising an empathetic family (or at least trying to).
Jennifer
This highly readable, hand-on practical treatise on how to develop empathy in children is a must read for parents and teachers alike. While it went on a bit too long and there was some repetition, the lists of anecdotes, activities and advice are well worth the price of the paperback. Mine is full of underlines and highlights, and I feel armed with plenty of advisory ideas to start the school year.
Kristin
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I really enjoyed this book and the way the author organized her thoughts. Would I recommend it to all parents? Not necessarily. However, I found it useful as a mom with a school aged child; it was helpful to work through the ideas presented to see what I’m already doing to encourage empathy in my children and I picked up a handful of ideas that I think would be easy for my family to implement.
Jessica Cabeen
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One. Day. Read. Yes, start to finish I couldn't put it down. From the research to the practical application, #UnSelfie helps the adults learn more about the barriers kids today have at reaching their best selves and how we can help bridge that gap.
Kayla
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Great read- there’s lots of advice and ideas for parents and teachers, and ideas for every age group too. At times it was a little redundant, but overall it accomplished what I was hoping for, and we have already started applying some of it at home.
Stacey Miner
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
THIS book is the one everybody needs to read to answer the question about how we fight the bullying epidemic. So much useful information! So many good ideas. Were I rich, I would buy a copy to give to every educator (teachers and principals) in my district. Board members too. 10/10 recommend.
Joe Schrock
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding book that captures much of what is missing in our culture. A must read for parents and anyone else that deals with children. It wouldn’t be a bad read for leaders of all stripes, especially political ones.
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“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.” 1 likes
“Empathy is the one human capacity that allows us to link minds and hearts across cultures and generations to transform our lives.” 1 likes
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