The Bad Attitude Intelligence Test

by | Oct 4, 2013 | Articles

Just how much do you know about bad attitudes and how to change them?

Dr. Michele Borba, author of Don’t Give Me That Attitude! 24 Rude, Selfish, Insensitive Things Kids Do And How to Stop Them! (Jossey-Bass, Apr. 2004), says, “One of the biggest reasons bad attitudes stay is because of a number of misconceptions about them.” Answer Dr. Borba’s questions either true or false to see just how strong your “attitude intelligence” is. The results may surprise you.

  1. True or False?    Your child’s attitudes are predetermined at birth.
    False. Although some attitudes may be influenced by biological factors, most are learned.
  2. True or False?    Your child’s attitudes cannot be changed.
    False. Most attitudes can be changed by using the proven, research based interventions in this book. Long-term commitment is necessary for meaningful change and permanent attitude change. There’s no doubt about it; parenting is hard work.
  3. True or False?    Your attitude has a lot to do with your child’s attitude.
    True. That old mantra “attitudes are better caught then taught” is 1000 percent correct. Your kids are watching and copying everything you do, even stuff you’re not aware of. So watch out, and be ready for change yourself.
  4. True or False? If your kid is smart and has good grades, he’s likely to have a good attitude.
    False. Don’t count on it. There’s not much connection between your kid’s school smarts and having a positive attitude. You have nurture your child’s learning as well as his character. Both are separate entities.
  5. True or False?    Being affluent and having a higher education has little to do with your child’s good or bad attitude.
    True. Being affluent and having a good education is no guarantee that your kid won’t be spoiled, self-centered, rude, or insensitive. In fact, it might be just the opposite.
  6. True or False? A bad attitude is just a phase. Let it go—your kid will outgrow it.
    False. Don’t wait a moment before putting a halt to your kid’s bad attitude. The longer you wait, the tougher it will be to change.
  7. True or False?    Parents have more influence on their kids’ attitudes than their peers, the media, and school.
    True. You have the greatest influence over your child’s attitude than anything or anyone else. So use your power wisely and don’t blame outside influences.
  8. True or False? Your child’s attitude is really at the center of their personality, so if you try to change it you’re destroying who they really are.
    False. It’s not our intention to help you change your child’s personality or temperament. But it is your job as a parent to stop your kid from being selfish, narrow-minded, noncompliant, and have other bad attitudes that lead to weak character and poor moral intelligence.
  9. True or False? No matter how much pressure face kids today, it’s not okay to ease their stresses by doing some tough stuff for them.
    True. One of your more important roles as a parent is to help your child become an independent, self-reliant, and resourceful. Always rescuing and doing our child’s heavy creates a dependent kid who has trouble coping with the realities of life.
  10. True or False? After age 11, there’s not much you can do about your kid’s attitude; it’s set.
    False. It’s never to late to change bad attitudes. Yep, it may get harder as kids get older and more set in their ways, but that is no excuse. Plenty of older kids make big changes in their attitudes, and yours will be no exception.

    Check out your bad attitude intelligence score.
    10 correct = A+ excellent!
    8 correct = B pretty good
    6 correct = C average; you’ve got some work to do.
    5 or less = F    you’re in trouble; commit this book to memory.

About The Author:

Michele Borba, Ed.D., has worked with more than 750,000 parents and teachers over more than two decades. A dynamic and highly sought-after speaker, she has presented hundreds of keynote addresses and workshops throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific on enhancing children’s character development, self-esteem, achievement, and behavior. Her down-to-earth speaking style, inspirational stories, and practical strategies appeal to audiences worldwide.

Borba is the author of nineteen books for parents and educators, including Building Moral Intelligence, selected by as “one of the top ten parenting books of the year,” and cited by Publisher’s Weekly as “one of the most noteworthy of 2001”; Parents Do Make a Difference, selected by Child Magazine as an “outstanding parenting book of 1999”; and Esteem Builders, used by over 1.5 million students worldwide.

Borba appears as a frequent guest expert on television and National Public Radio talk shows, including The View, Fox & Friends, The Parent Table, and The Jenny Jones Show, and has been interviewed in numerous publications, including Newsweek, Parents, Redbook, First for Women, Family Life, Working Mother, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Daily News, and serves as a columnist for Oxygen Media and as honorary advisory board member for Parents magazine. Her numerous awards include the National Educator Award, presented by the National Council of Self-Esteem.

Borba and her husband were partners in a private practice for troubled children and adolescents in Campbell, California. She received her doctorate in educational psychology and counseling from the University of San Francisco, her M.A. in learning disabilities, and her B.A. from the University of Santa Clara.

To contact Borba regarding her work or her media availability, or to schedule a keynote or workshop for your organization, go to or Her work can also be reviewed at