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Michele  Borba

Michele Borba

Renowned Educator, Parenting, Child Development & Bullying Expert


Dr. Borba is an internationally-recognized educational psychologist and parenting, bullying and character expert whose aim is to strengthen children's empathy and resilience, and create safe, compassionate school cultures. A sought-after motivational speaker, she has presented keynotes throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific and served as a consultant to hundreds of schools and corporations including the Pentagon and 18 US Army bases in Europe and the Asian-Pacific. Read More >

In our hyper-connected, social-media-saturated society, many of us (especially young people) are so obsessed with snapping "Selfies" and living a virtual life online that we're forgetting how to care for the people right in front of us IRL (that's "in real life"). That resulting Selfie Syndrome is leading to an Empathy Crisis in youth—teens today are 40% less empathetic than just a generation ago; narcissism has increased 58%.

But there is a solution: 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, esteemed educator Dr. 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 Changemakers and make a difference in our world.

Caring about others isn't just about playing nice; it's a skill that's vital for children's mental health, leadership skills, and continued well-being, today and tomorrow. Dr. Borba's 9-step plan for raising successful, happy kids who also are kind, moral, courageous, and resilient provides a revolutionary new 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.

Dr. Borba is the award-winning author of 22 books translated into 14 languages including Nobody Likes Me, No More Misbehavin', Don't Give Me that Attitude!, 12 Simple Secrets Real Moms Know, Building Moral Intelligence, Esteem Builders, Parents Do Make A Difference, The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, The 6 Rs of Bullying Prevention, and Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed In Our All-About Me World.

She is a regular NBC contributor appearing 135 times on the TODAY show, featured on three Dateline specials as well as Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Dr. Drew, The View, NBC Nightly News, The Doctors, Fox News, The Early Show, CNN and others. Dr. Borba has had a wide range of teaching experience, including work in regular education and private practice with children with learning, physical, behavioral and emotional disabilities She received a Doctorate in Educational Psychology and Counseling from the University of San Francisco, an M.A. in Learning Disabilities and B.A. from the University of Santa Clara, and earned a Life Teaching Credential from San Jose State University. She lives in California with her husband and has three grown sons.

A sought-after motivational speaker, NBC contributor, and award-winning author of 22 books, Dr. Borba’s expertise comes from a career of working with more than one million parents and educators worldwide. Her latest book, Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About Me World, presents a revolutionary new framework for activating empathy. Dr. Borba dispels the myth that grades, scores and IQ are the quickest road to achievement and happiness. Instead, the “Empathy Advantage” and the skills it ignites, are what we really need to succeed in school, the workplace and relationships.

Dr. Borba has brought her inspiring expertise and universal insights to parents, educators, child-focused organizations, and corporate and Fortune 500 events. As one prominent parenting expert wrote, “Her advice doesn’t only apply to our children – we would all do well to follow Borba’s advice.” Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Tips for Raising Your Child To Be More Successful

You Are a Difference Maker

Simple Ways to Boost Children's Character

How to Activate Kids' Empathy

12 Keys to School Safety

6Rs to Prevent Bullying

Speech Topics

The 9 Essential Habits that Unlock the Power of Empathy

The “Selfie Syndrome” is leading to an empathy crisis in youth. Teens today are 40% less empathetic than just a generation ago; narcissism has increased 58%. This isn’t just a crisis of character. Dr. Borba explains why cultivating empathy is essential to creating caring children, compassionate schools, just communities and a civilized society. She shares her nine-step “Unselfie” plan to stop the Empathy Crisis and creative ways to raise successful, happy kids who are also kind, moral, courageous and resilient. You’ll also learn that our exclusive focus on grades, scores and fat resumes is destructive to children’s mental health and robbing their potential to lead a happy and fulfilling life. By putting empathy at the core. we’ll raise children that become the citizens we hope they’ll be.

Cultivating Empathy: The 6Rs of Bullying Prevention

Research is clear: Bullying is learned, and can be unlearned. What’s more, cultivating empathy is the best antidote for bullying. Drawing from her book, The 6Rs of Bullying Prevention, Dr. Borba shares the evidence-based principles, policies, and proven practices that have made her a leading expert in this field. Her empowering, informative presentation is brimming with real life stories, the latest behavioral research, and simple tools to reduce bullying and victimization. This includes mobilizing student bystanders’ compassion to be “Upstanders” to help stop peer cruelty. Audiences leave ready to use the “6Rs” right away in their classrooms, schools, organizations and homes.

Teaching Empathy: Why “the Other Side of the Report Card” is a Must for Student Success

Empathy is often sidelined as a “soft skill.” Dr. Borba offers hard evidence that it must become an educational and societal priority. In this game-changing presentation, you’ll learn why creating empathetic, inclusive climates as the foundation for learning is the smartest strategy for ending the cycle of youth violence. You’ll also learn why empathy is one of the most important skills that 21st century learners will need to thrive in a complex, global, digitally-driven world. Dr. Borba shares how educators around the globe weave empathy-building practices into existing lessons and help students to develop empathic mindsets in a test-driven culture (that doesn’t always value it.) This inspiring session is guaranteed to be informative and filled with practical ways to create positive outcomes by cultivating empathy in your classroom and school.

How to Raise Caring, Successful Kids in a Plugged-In, Trophy-Driven World

Today’s parents are dealing with technology and digitally driven challenges that no previous generation has faced.  What really matters in raising successful, happy, compassionate and socially responsible children in a hyper-competitive, plugged-in world? Dr. Borba cites the latest research to identify nine crucial habits and one invaluable life skill: empathy. In this game-changing “how to” presentation for parents, you’ll learn proven strategies to give your child the Empathy Advantage and cultivate their social and moral competence. You’ll also learn common-sense ways to nurture the core habits of self-control, courage, collaboration, perspective-taking and leadership — the very qualities that colleges and employers say they’re seeking. This session is guaranteed to change the way you think about raising kids in today’s complex world.

Empathy is a Verb: Lessons for Success in the Digital Age

What can businesses, organizations, institutions of higher learning and associations learn from the latest science on empathy? Plenty. Especially in today’s plugged-in world of virtual workplaces, electronic communications and increasing personal disconnection. Dr. Borba points out that we’re all born hard-wired to care, but like all human qualities, empathy must be constantly activated. The habits that achieve this also make us more effective leaders, insightful managers, collaborative colleagues, and compassionate community members. Drawn from her upcoming TEDx talk, Dr. Borba shows us how to use the “Empathy Advantage” to build valuable social capital within our organizations and with customers, patients, donors, and students. Her motivating presentation is a reminder that being more empathetic makes our workforce stronger, our communities more stable, our stakeholders more engaged, and all of our relationships longer lasting.