Michele Borba, Ed.D. is an internationally renowned educator, award-winning author, and parenting child expert recognized for her solution-based strategies to strengthen children’s and social-emotional intelligence and character, and reduce peer cruelty. A sought-after motivational speaker, she has spoken on 19 countries in five continents, and served as a consultant to hundreds of schools and corporations. Clients include Sesame Street, Harvard, U.S. Air Force Academy, 18 US Army bases in Europe and the Asian-Pacific, H.H. the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and a TEDx Talk: “Empathy Is a Verb.” She offers realistic, research-based advice culled from a career working with over one million parents and educators worldwide.
Dr. Borba is an NBC contributor who has appeared 150 times on the TODAY show and countless shows including: three Dateline specials, Dr. Phil, The View, NBC Nightly News, The Doctors, Dr. Oz, Anderson Cooper, 3 NBC Education Nation specials, Fox, and CNN. Her work is featured in TIME, Washington Post, Newsweek, People, Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, Reader’s Digest and Globe and Mail. She’s a media spokesperson for major corporations including 3M, Office Depot, Unilever, Similac, General Mills, Mastercard, All, Galderma, V-Tech, Cetaphil, Splenda, Walmart, Johnson & Johnson and consultant to McDonalds and Disney.
She is the award-winning author of 24 books translated into 19 languages including Nobody Likes Me, No More Misbehavin’, Don’t Give Me that Attitude!, Building Moral Intelligence, Parents Do Make A Difference, The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, End Peer Cruelty, Build Empathy, and UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World.
Her awards and recognitions include being a 2016 SHORTY nominee for “Best Social Media Influencer in Parenting,” the National Educator Award (presented by the National Council of Self-Esteem) and the National Child Safety Award of 2016 by Child Safety Network. She was named a consultant for the Character Education and Civic Engagement for the U.S. Dept of Education, Disney Influencer, and Goodwill Ambassador for M.I.T.’s One Laptop per Child project. Board memberships include Parents, Child Safety Network and Boys & Girls Club of America. Her proposal: “Ending School Violence and Bullying” (SB1667) was signed into California law in 2002.
Dr. Borba is a former classroom and special education teacher with a wide range of teaching experience, including work in a private practice with children with learning 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 Life Teaching Credential from San Jose State University. She lives in Palm Springs, California with her husband and has three grown sons.
Maybe it’s an 800-number. Here’s where you can get some help because our children are really, really struggling. A lot of them are over their heads right now with worries. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Everything that happened prior that you remember in that classroom is only going to amplify. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
We need to step up to the plate and know what trauma looks like in children. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Every teacher needs ‘Ten Things To Look For’ or ‘Here’s Ten Things You Can Do.’ @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Start with the most important thing that every kid needs when they walk in: feeling safe. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Along the way, feeling capable is good too, but you’re not going to get anywhere unless that child feels that you know where they’re coming from, and do you have any idea what they just endured? @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Once we get on board, that’s what empathy is. It’s feeling with one another individual, it’s trying to figure out where they’re coming from. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Parents, keep watching your child. One of the coolest questions you can ask yourselves is, ‘What are they thinking? What do they feel? What do they need?’ If you’re not sure, ask. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Remember that the most important need for resilience is feeling safe and feeling cared about. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
What we need to do is get some strategies as teachers to kid, to be able to figure out where they have been in these months, and what do they need? @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Ask every parent to write you a note or call you as to share what happened to their child so that we’re onboard together.
Once we know that the parent knows that the teacher knows what that child has endured, everything’s going to go so much smoother. The child is going to open up. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
It makes no difference until that kid can first realize they are safe and the teacher cares about them. Now they can get back to work. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
If you really are concerned about your child’s mental health, please don’t wait until those school doors open. There’s too many extraordinary, profoundly gifted therapists in this valley who are on call and ready for you. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
If you track your child’s behavior, a lot of times you’ll see a pattern. One pattern we miss a lot of times is, your kid isn’t stressed all the time. When are they showing the most stress? Tune in. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
The second most important thing that reduces stress and builds us up is getting regular sleep. Turn off those kind of videos or screens 30 minutes prior, because that will help us as well. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
The single most important thing for you, Mom and Dad, is make yourself a noun, not a verb. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Above all else, what our children need is a calm presence of just us being with our kids, not a verb of ‘We’re going to do this, this, this, and this.’ @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Our children are going to remember us above all else for how we help them get through it, and they don’t want that with all the stuff that we did. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
The single greatest correlation of a childhood thrives, endures, and triumphs over adversity. They have a champion and an adult in their life who refuses to give up on them, an emotionally present adult. That’s what we need to be to our kids. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Give kids permission to ask for help and let them know that we care about them, and we’re concerned about them because kids desperately need that. They’re going to need that even more when those school doors open. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Kids are going to need connection and they need to know – Here’s where you can go. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Kids who are often depressed don’t want to tell a mom or dad that they’re feeling really depressed. So parents, tune into your kids if you’ve seen a change in your kids behavior. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Every kid is going to have a bad day, but if you see a change that continues to last, that’s not healthy. Ask your kid, ‘How you doing? Are you doing okay? If you need anything, I’m here for you.’ @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
The most interesting thing that teachers are doing is they’re sending kids, one by one, just 30-second ‘How you doing?’ emails. And the last questions is, ‘If you need anything, reach out.’ @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
I think it’s absolutely paramount that we get a handle that our kids are hurting, many of them are grieving, and across the board, we’re not quite sure as to what level because we’re not in their homes to watch them and how they’re handling all of this.
We’ve got a lot of handle on what trauma looks like in kids. But now this is going to play out in so many different dimensions and it means we’ve got to get a handle on this, help parents and help kids, so we all turn out strong. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Uncertainty always buffs up our anxiety. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
The other thing to keep in mind where empathy plays in this – empathy is really a holding of us all to help us connect. It really helps our stress go down and it helps our relationships thrive.
Stress builds so empathy also goes down. We’re dealing with social distancing that would have helped our kids connect.
As a state, I think we need to do a far better tracking system. We’re tracking real good who’s got this virus but we’re not tracking really well on who’s really suffering from trauma. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
We know kids who are resilient are made, they’re not born.
Some kids are going to be hit with this far more than others.
You’ve got to lower the bar, not raise it. When children are under enormous stress, one of the first things that goes is attention spans, their ability to concentrate, and their ability to focus.
We figure out where the kid is, we make them safe, we own up to ‘How are you doing?’, we help them learn to connect with that teacher in terms of social distancing, and then we use the rubber band technique: We stretch them slowly from where they are without snapping them. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Empathy can be cultivated. Let’s get rid of that myth that it’s all locked into DNA. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Empathy is made up of different kinds of habits. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
One of the top competencies that we’ve got to really address is self-regulation because kids need to self-regulate in order to get their empathy levels up. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Every child needs a coping strategy. If you’re at home with your child, this is the greatest time to teach, and maybe even teach yourself. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Maybe when we get back to school, the five minutes at the beginning of every day is slow, deep breathing. It doesn’t cost a dime but it’ll get your kids focused so they can think on what they’re doing next. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
You can’t take care of your kids unless you take care of yourself. There goes empathy – feel for you then feel for your kids. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
We know resilient kids – they read or they have some kind of a hobby. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Reading gets your kids into the shoes of someone besides themselves. Reading helps the child relax. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Think of somebody outside yourself. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
We’re discovering that the teens who we thought were so self-centered are absolutely glorious because, right now, they are doing some of the most wonderful things. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
If you really want an altruistic kid, don’t go say, ‘Here’s what we’re gonna do.’ Kids hate that! The service comes from the inside out. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
If you expose your kids to good news and start showing them what other kids are doing, it inspires their heart and reduces your own stress level. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
We need to get out of what we’re all experiencing, which is collective grief. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
How you get out of collective grief is getting beyond yourself and going, ‘But here’s what I can do.’ Kids are the ones that are leading us down the pack. @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
Follow your kids and say, ‘That’s a great idea, let’s do it.’ @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit
The most interesting thing that one of the kids told me which really helped was, ‘What we never realized was how valuable the first five minutes of class were. That’s when the teachers stands and says, "How are you doing?’’ @michelleborba @liovirtualparentsummit