The first book I read in 2019 was Unselfie by Dr. Michele Borba. On Wednesday evening I was lucky enough to hear her speak at Darby High School. (I might have gotten my picture taken with her, too!)
If you're looking for a quick read that is relevant to the work we do each and every day and that is also relevant to our personal lives than you definitely want to read this book.
Michele explains that empathy is, "seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another. She shares the 9 Habits of Empathy with the goal of raising children who have moral courage and who are altruistic leaders.
As I listened to Dr. Borba speak, I frantically took notes and starred things that I want to try with my own kids at home.
Here are my top 10 take aways:
1-There are three kinds of empathy-affective empathy in which you feel how others feel; cognitive empathy in which you try to understand others; and active empathy in which you take action to help others.
2-Middle School Students expressed that they're more comfortable texting than talking.
3-For the first time ever, 3 and 4 year olds are being diagnosed with depression!
4-66% of kids report that they think THEIR PARENTS are too plugged in. They say they think their parents care more about their devices than them. We must give kids our presence.
5-We must teach children to stand with their head up and to look people in the eye.
6-Every kids needs a mantra! Michele explains that kids need to rehearse who they are and what they want to do and as parents we can help them create these ideas by developing a family mantra. Form your mantra by deciding how your family want to be described by others and what matters to you.
7-How we praise matters--praise with an -er at the end. For example, "You are such a helper. Thank you for putting your laundry away!" or "You are a comforter. You really took time to make your sister feel better when she was sad!"
8-TURN OFF THE NEWS-live images of things like terrorists, murders and school shootings lower our children's empathy and raise their stress levels. Instead show children the good side of the world. Expose them to stories of people, especially children, doing good things.
9-Ages 14-16 are the key ages for moral identity formation.
10-Teaching kids to breath is so important. Below is a picture of children in a kindergarten class practicing deep breathing by taking their stuff animals for a ride. The key to breathing is to inhale slowly and exhale twice as long as you inhale.
On Friday I traveled two hours west to visit the teachers and administrators in Fort Recovery School District. This small district has about 900 students and 70 teachers total. They are working with Focus3 for R Factor training and I got to be a part of their journey.
It was so exciting to work with a group of people who are just starting their R Factor journey. The teachers and staff were so excited to work to become the best versions of themselves. As part of the day, I spent time with the elementary staff training them on R1: Press Pause. Every time I do an R Factor training, I’m reminded of how complex each R is. I was reminded that press pause is so much more than just slowly down and pausing. Here are the highlights from my Press Pause PD on Friday:
1-When we Press Pause can use these four questions to help us see the EVENT with clarity and courage:
2-Do not fall into these three common Below the Line traps:
As I left the team from Fort Recovery, I asked them to choose one thing that they learned during our Press Pause PD that they would work on for the next few weeks. Their take-aways were inspiring and reminded me that no matter how long we have been using R Factor, we need to continue to review and build our skills. If we want to get better we must continue to get our reps in.
Do you fall into any of the common Below the Line traps?
Do you press pause so you can see Events with clarity and courage?
“Failure is a feeling long before it’s an actual result.” From BECOMING by Michelle Obama.
Let that quote sink in for a minute. “Failure is a feeling long before it’s an actual result.” How many times have you planted a suggestions of failure in your mind or in the mind of someone else long before you or they have even tried to succeed? What would happen if we listened to these feelings of failure? Can you think of a time you let the feeling become the result?
How about your students, friends or family? Do you ever plant the seed of failure? Unintentionally of course, but our words have power! Choose wisely. And, choose wisely about what you listen to.