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Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues that Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing [Hardcover]

Michele Borba
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 15 2001
Gain a new understanding of moral intelligence, and a step-by-step program for its achievement from bestselling author, Michele Borba. In this indispensable book for parents, Borba has created a new break-through in conceptualizing and teaching virtue, character and values under the auspices of a measurable capacity -- Moral Intelligence. This book confronts the front-page crisis we now face in our country regarding youth violence, alienation, self-destructive behavior, cold-heartedness, lack of compassion, insensitivity, intolerance and the break down of values. The author provides a new way to understand, evaluate and inspire our kids with the seven essential virtues which comprise moral intelligence.

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From Publishers Weekly

Television, games, the Internet, peers and other forces shape children's morality, but consultant and educator Borba (Parents Do Make a Difference) argues that it is parents who provide the most enduring modeling and instruction. Kids, she asserts, should be fortified against the onslaught of increasingly negative cultural influences violent video games, nasty music lyrics by parental involvement and guidance. Designed as a guide for parents and caregivers of children from three to 15 years old, the book describes an epidemic deficiency in the moral development of American kids and outlines seven virtues (Empathy, Conscience, Self-Control, Respect, Kindness, Tolerance and Fairness) to be engendered in children. Devoting an identically designed chapter to each virtue, she defines the virtue in accessible and secular language. She then provides a test for parents to assess their children and offers practical actions parents can take on a daily basis. Throughout, her tone is pragmatic and optimistic. She advises parents to make sure they are providing a moral example that they would want their children to follow in other words, watch their own behavior. She advises parents to be direct about their own moral beliefs and encourage specific virtuous behaviors. Borba concludes the book with a helpful resource list. A packed storehouse, this helpful, informative and hopeful book will be dog-eared over years of consultation. (July)Forecast: Many readers will recognize Borba's name; as an expert on "bullying," she makes frequent TV appearances, and on Oprah's Mom Online she is the "Moral Intelligence Pro." This book is timely; given public debates on media violence, and the prevention of juvenile crime, it's likely to be widely read and referenced.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Writing with confident authority and providing good, current references, Borba offers "a step by step blueprint for enhancing your child's moral capacity" the ethical compass that charts a youngster's moral fate. She first defines seven intertwining "essential virtues of moral intelligence and solid character": empathy, conscience, self-control (these first three form a "moral core"), respect, kindness, tolerance, and fairness. Ensuing chapters suggest how to incubate, nurture, and master individual virtues using realistic, workable methods. The book recalls Becky A. Bailey's Easy To Love, Difficult To Discipline (LJ 2/15/00), which frames "loving guidance" in seven-part structures (seven values for living, seven powers of self control, etc.). It's also similar to Borba's own Parents Do Make a Difference (Jossey-Bass, 1999). All these books have noble goals yet require a high initial investment of energy and time; this is not a quick fix but a way of living. Of course, many of those who really need Borba's book won't read it; if more people mastered these traits, the world would be a different and better place. Recommended for larger public libraries. Douglas C. Lord, Connecticut State Lib., Hartford
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Gift Of All Feb. 22 2003
Very useful prescription to put kids on. It is what's missing in America today. To those who really love their family and our country, be sure to read Building Moral Intelligence by Michele Borba, and also, West Point: Character Leadership Education.. by Norman Thomas Remick.
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"Building Moral Intelligence" by Dr. Michele Borba is a book that every parent should read and own. In a world where there are so many negative influences on the internet, in the media, T.V. shows, magazines etc. many parents do not even realize the amount of immoral influences that our children are witnessing every single day. As parents, it is up to us to teach our children the importance of good character. We need to teach them about the seven essential virtues as Dr. Borba explains in her book!
I realize that I'm digressing from a review, but I want to say this. Our world and our lives have changed recently, but the one thing that remains the same is that our children are the future. And as Theodore Roosevelt said "To Educate a Person in Mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society" This book will not only help you raise good kids, it will open any readers eyes and hearts, inspiring them to build their moral intelligence as well. We must teach by example...this book will help you do that! If you want your kids to do the right thing, then this book is for you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's what we need... Dec 24 2001
At a time when confusion seems to reign, Michele Borba's book is a ressuring tool that helps to keep our family grounded. I refer to it often and my husband and I use it as a conversation builder with our four children. This book was recommended to me by a fellow physician, and I have chosen to give copies of this book as gifts. Whether a new parent or a seasoned one, this book should be in every family's home.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Step-by-step process for enhancing moral capacity Oct. 25 2001
There are seven essential virtues--empathy, conscience, self-control, respect, kindness, tolerance, and fairness--that the author believes helps a child deal with ethical challenges and pressures she will encounter throughout life. Each chapter offers strategies for enhancing moral intelligence including...a self-test to evaluate your child's virtue strength, practical ways to enhance the virtue (several to choose from, so you can choose the ones best suited to your child's temperament and learning style), discussion questions to help launch a dialog with your child, and much more. The one thing that was missing was information on what behavior is developmentally appropriate by age. For example the quizzes on each virtue are great...but perhaps it's not as serious if a 4-year-old is somewhat selfish or less empathetic than it is for a 12-year-old. Other than that and the occasional feeling like the book was written for some parents needing significant moral boosting themselves (advice like "don't ask your kids to lie for you"), I found the book very educational and uplifting.
Bottom line - This book provides tools to teach critical ethical principles to your child...enabling parents (teachers, etc.) to better model, inspire and reinforce these moral values.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Building the future -- one child at a time ... Aug. 2 2001
I applaud this book!
During my 25 years teaching in public schools, I have witnessed a disturbing shift in the way young people view themselves and the world around them. In the midst of troubling news about kids today, Building Moral Intelligence offers a refreshing look at what can be.
A healthy mix of background information, authoritative research, and anecdotal content leads the reader to practical tools to evaluate and encourage positive personal growth. Clearly written and well edited, Dr. Borba's book offers a realistic understanding of current trends, then provides concrete solutions that address each critical issue.
As one of the world's leading authorities on moral development, Dr. Borba has given us a real book for real people. Building Moral Intelligence holds the key to what is possible for kids everywhere. This should be mandatory reading for every parent, every politician, and every citizen who cares about the health of this nation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for Parents and Educators July 25 2001
Dr. Michele Borba has a long and successful track record helping build the moral character of our youth. As an educator, I have long been quite familiar with her books and materials on building self esteem. Her concepts are not "feel good" simplistic ideas, but rather she works with the concept that self esteem comes from the acquisition of skills such as the seven virtues in this book. Building Moral Intelligence is an asset to parents who have a difficult job raising moral children in a society that offers many countering forces. I have used her book Parents DO Make a Difference in working with parent groups. I expect this book will be as valuable for parents and educators alike. Working with children and raising a family are both exciting yet challenging jobs. We are lucky to have Dr. Borba's help.
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