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Attitude Makeover: Arrogant

Attitude Makeover Resources
For Parents
Everyday Blessings: The Inner World of Mindful Parenting, by Myla Kabat-Zinn and Jon Kabat-Zinn (New York: Hyperion, 1997). Shows parents how to recognize who their children really are and be grateful for each child's uniqueness.

No More Push Parenting: A Mother's Tale from the Trenches, by Elisabeth Guthrie and Kathy Matthew (New York: Broadway Books, 2002). Great solutions for parents caught up by the need to push their kids to the top and those parents who don't want to push but are afraid their kids won't measure up.

Raising Confident Girls: 100 Tips for Parents and Teachers, by Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer (Cambridge, Mass.: Fisher Books, 2001). Excellent ideas to help your daughter gain authentic self-esteem and feel good about who she is without having to put on false airs. Also by the author for parents of boys: Raising Confident Boys: 100 Tips for Parents and Teachers, by Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer (Cambridge, Mass.: Fisher Books, 2003).

Worried All the Time: Overparenting in an Age of Anxiety and How to Stop It, by David Anderegg (New York: Free Press, 2003). Fascinating analysis on why anxiety-driven parenting may be doing kids more harm than good, and down-to-earth advice on how to pull back.

For Kids
The Emperor's New Clothes, by Hans Christian Andersen (New York: North-South Books, 2002). The all-time classic about the emperor who always wanted to put on airs to convince his subjects of his greatness. Ages 4 to 8.

Kissing Coyotes, by Marcia K. Vaughan and Kenneth Spengler (Illustrator) (Flagstaff, Ariz.: Rising Moon, 2002). Jack Rabbit boasts idly without much consideration for how he might actually accomplish the feats that he brags about. One day he goes a little too far in his claims, and his desert friends have had enough. Ages 4 to 8.

The Tower: A Story of Humility, by Richard Evans (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001). Determining that greatness means having everyone look up to him literally, a proud young man in long-ago China builds a tower and isolates himself from his fellow villagers. Loneliness is a small price to pay, and anyway, "Why would he want to associate with those so much lower than himself?" A wonderful lesson in humanity. Ages 4 to 8.

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (A & E, 1995). The filmed version of Jane Austen's classic novel about the prejudice that occurred between the nineteenth-century classes and the pride that would keep lovers apart. Look carefully at the "supposed arrogance" of a few of the characters, particularly the uncle. What becomes apparent at the end is that some people put on airs to cover up insecurities or traumatic earlier experiences. A good lesson for us all. Ages 10 up.

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From Don't Give Me That Attitude by Michele Borba, Ed.D. Copyright © 2004 by Michele Borba. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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