Dr. Michele Borba

Dr. Michele Borba

Internationally recognized child development expert and best-selling author Dr. Michele Borba will deliver a presentation for parents and educators from 7-8:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 11 in the Upper St. Clair High School theater.

The program, titled “Unselfie: Raising caring, successful kids in a plugged-in, trophy-driven world,” is free and open to the public.

According to Borba, in our hyper-connected, social-media-saturated society, many people (especially young people) are so obsessed with snapping “selfies” and living a virtual life online that they’re forgetting how to care for the people right in front of them. That resulting “Selfie Syndrome” is leading to an empathy crisis in youth.

Studies show that the antidote to Selfie Syndrome is empathy, and the good news is that empathy can be cultivated in children, starting even before they can talk. In “UnSelfie,” 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, and offers audiences practical ways to activate empathy to raise kids with compassion, courage, conviction to become social change-makers and make a difference in the world.

Borba’s nine-step plan for raising successful, happy kids who also are kind, moral, courageous and resilient provides a framework for learning empathy and is culled from 30 years of research and traveling the world to find the best solutions. Her findings show that empathetic kids will thrive in the future, but the seeds of success can be planted today, one habit at a time.

“This program represents a collaboration between and among our families, community organizations and the school district,” USC Superintendent John Rozzo said. “To truly make a difference for children and adolescents, we will need a sustained partnership that supports, empowers and enriches the lives of families.”

Borba is an educational psychologist whose work focuses on children, teens, parenting, bullying and moral development. Her work aims to help strengthen children’s character and resilience, build strong families, create compassionate and just school cultures, and reduce peer cruelty. She has delivered keynotes and workshops to more than 1,000,000 participants and authored 24 books including “UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World.”

The program was made possible through a partnership between St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and St. Paul’s Episcopal Nursery School in Mt. Lebanon, the Upper St. Clair School District, the USC Parent Teacher Council Wellness Committee and the Youth Steering Committee of Upper St. Clair. Funding for this event was provided by the Community Foundation of Upper St. Clair, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and St. Paul’s Episcopal Nursery School.

Following the event, a book sale and signing will take place in the theater lobby.

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