One of the biggest reasons bad attitudes stay is because of a number of misconceptions about them. So how is your little cherub doing in the attitude department? (Watch out: Bad attitudes are in epidemic mode!)
I’m on Talk Radio today on the Armstrong & Getty Show 910KNEW (Stockton: 1280 KWSX) ; Sacramento 650 KSTE (in the Bay Area) from 8:03 to 8:27 am (that’s June 22!). Topic is one of my favorites: The Curse of Entitlement – how parents can stop their kids bad attitudes. I’ll post a behavior makeover to turn those bad attitudes around but meanwhile I thought you might like to read the questions we’ll be posing to parents on the show today.
Answer each either either true or false to see just how strong your “attitude intelligence” is. The results may just surprise you. Answer each question true or false then add up your score.
Michele Borba’s Bad Attitude Quiz for Parents
1. Your child’s attitudes are predetermined at birth.
False. Although some attitudes may be influenced by biological factors, most are learned.
2. Your child’s attitudes cannot be changed.
False. Most attitudes can be changed by using 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. 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 before you try changing your kid’s bad attitude.
4. 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. 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 turn out to spoiled, self-centered, rude, or insensitive. In fact, it might be just the opposite.
6. A kid’s 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. 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 (aka character!) than anything or anyone else. So use your power wisely and don’t blame outside influences.
8. 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. 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. After age 11, there’s not much you can do about your kid’s attitude and character; 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.
How did you do? 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 – big trouble. Time to do serious work.