The psychologist and parenting expert Michele Borba says society’s fixation with the selfie is having some unintended consequences. We talked recently about “selfie syndrome,” ways to flip the focus away from the self and specific activities to build empathy in our children. Self-absorption kills empathy. Narcissism is “it’s all me.” Empathy is feeling with someone. Empathy is always “we, it’s not me.” Let’s redefine success so it’s not just a GPA, but it’s also a kid who has heart.
Dr. Borba’s tips for how to flip the focus and cultivate kindness.
- When your children walk out the door, remind them to do one or two kind things each day.
- Show that you value kindness. Do not just ask, “What you get on your test today?” but, “What kind thing did you do?”
- Praise your kids for being kind in the moment – when they have earned it...
- Make kindness a regular happening. Put a box by your front door for gently used items and when it fills up, drop it off together for a needy family.