Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues That Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing


Product Details

$16.95  $15.76
Publish Date
7.0 X 9.2 X 0.8 inches | 1.3 pounds

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About the Author

The Author

Michele Borba, Ed.D., a former classroom teacher, is an internationally renowned consultant and educator who has presented workshops to over half a million participants. She is the recipient of the National Educator Award and the author of eighteen books including Parents Do Make a Difference (Jossey-Bass), which was named by Child Magazine as an "outstanding parenting book of the year." She is a frequent guest expert on television and National Public Radio talk shows including The View, Fox & Friends, and The Parent Table. She is an expert columnist for Oxygen Media, honorary advisory board member for Parents magazine, and is quoted in numerous national publications. She lives in Palm Springs, California with her husband and three teenage sons. On the web at or


"(Written) with confident authority and providing good, current references...The book is...similar to Borba's own Parents Do Make a Difference (Jossey-Bass, 1999)...this is not a quick fix but a way of living...if more people mastered these traits, the world would be a different and better place. Recommended for larger public libraries." (Library Journal, July 2001)

"No parenting book I know of offers so many practical insights, workable strategies, and inspiring stories, books, videos, and other family-friendly resources for intentionally teaching these crucial character strengths." (from the foreword by Thomas Lickona, author, Raising Good Children)

"Provides a much-needed antidote to the waves of incivility, intolerance, and insensitivity sweeping through our nation's youth culture. Dr. Michele Borba offers parents a treasure trove of ideas for building the most neglected intelligence around: our kids' moral intelligence. I'd like to see a copy of this book in every home across America!" (Thomas Armstrong, author, 7 Kinds of Smart, Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, and Awakening Your Child's Natural Genius)

"If you care about the future of our children and our nation, read this important book! Perfectly balancing cutting-edge research with practical strategies, engaging anecdotes and wise insights, Michele Borba shows us how to do what really matters most-how to help our kids become good and caring human beings." (Jack Canfield, coauthor, Chicken Soup for the Parent's Soul, Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul, and Chicken Soup for the Father's Soul)

"This brilliant book will help anyone who lives or works with children build the skills and moral values that make cruel, selfish, and destructive behavior unthinkable. This book will save lives." (Jane Bluestein, author, Creating Emotionally Safe Schools and Parents, Teens and Boundaries: How to Draw the Line)

"Michele Borba is an inspiring educator, an experienced parent, and a terrific writer. She has identified the core issues for parenting moral kids and presented them with passion, wit, and enormous practicality. Her new book gives us solid empirical research but also specific day-to-day activities that will really make a difference in our children's lives." (Michael Gurian author, Boys and Girls Learn Differently, The Wonder of Boys, The Good Son and A Fine Young Man)

"While many people in public life decry the lack of character and moral development among our kids, few take this concern further, into the realm of practical steps to address the issue in the lives of real children and youth. Michele Borba has done so in her book Building Moral Intelligence. As one whose work takes him into prisons to interview kids who kill, I can testify to the need for adults to cultivate moral intelligence-and the consequences when we don't. This book is a tool for parents to use in the struggle." (James Garbarino, author, Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them)

"This smart and helpful book integrates much of what we know about raising moral children. I especially like the book's constructive way of pulling together a wide range of theoretical approaches and coming up with a wealth of sensible child-rearing tips." (William Damon, professor and director, Stanford University Center on Adolescence)

"An important book, beautifully researched and highly readable-one that will surely help parents raise a generation of more peaceful, ethical children. I give this book my highest recommendation." (Naomi Drew, author, Peaceful Parents, Peaceful Kids)

"This how-to guide to teaching children moral intelligence fills a deep need. It is practical, filled with excellent activities, and based on solid research." (Kevin Ryan, director emeritus, Boston University Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character)

"This is perhaps the best written guide for parents and educators concerned with the deep character and moral intelligence of their children or students. It is wise, literate, and valuable." (Peter Scharf, director, Center for Society, Law and Justice at the University of New Orleans and author, Growing Up Moral)

"Michele Borba articulates the core traits that build and promote responsible citizenship among the young and old alike. Creating safe schools begins with responsible behavior. Dr. Borba explains in clear, concise, and effective ways how to make that happen. Her book is a 'must read' for parents, educators, and community leaders." (Ronald D. Stephens, executive director, National School Safety Center)

"(Written) with confident authority and providing good, current references...The book is...similar to Borba's own Parents Do Make a Difference (Jossey-Bass, 1999)...this is not a quick fix but a way of living...if more people mastered these traits, the world would be a different and better place. Recommended for larger public libraries." (Library Journal, July 2001)

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 the 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 for 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 resources list. A packed storehouse, this helpful, informative and hopeful book will be dog-eared over years of consultation. (July)
Forecast: Many reader 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 like to be widely read and referenced (Publishers Weekly, July 2, 2001)