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3. Address the insecurity under the attitude. Our research discovered that attitudes are like a flashing red warning light — a signal to parents to look at what might be underneath the attitude. Very often, derision or anger shows that this is a kid who simply isn’t feeling very good about herself or himself right now. Maybe she’s feeling unloved and rejected by friends at school. Maybe he’s feeling stupid and inadequate because he’s getting poor grades. In their pain, kids will often subconsciously lash out with poor words and actions in the one place they hope to be shown “You are loved and believed in even at your worst.” Don’t tolerate the disrespect but also address what is under it. For example, make sure she is given the opportunity to see that she is loved by friends, or that he is given help to overcome his feeling of inadequacy in school. Once they feel more secure in themselves, you’ll see those attitudes a lot less often.


Helping people thrive in life and relationships is Shaunti Feldhahn’s driving passion, supported by her research projects and writing. After starting out with a Harvard graduate degree and experience on Wall Street, her life took an unexpected shift into relationship research. She now is a popular speaker around the world and the author of best-selling books about men, women, and relationships. (Including For Women Only, For Men Only, and the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage).

Her newest book, The Kindness Challenge, demonstrates that kindness is the answer to almost every life problem, and is sparking a much-needed movement of kindness across the country. Visit www.shaunti.com for more.

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