First off: Never say the word ATTITUDE to students if you want to them to hear anything you would say following the word attitude. That word is more like a weapon than a tool.

A student is coming to help me with a project today. He texted me a few minutes ago to say his mom was on his case about getting his chores done, but he’d be here soon.

What he needs is an attitude adjustment at home. I can’t tell him that without triggering a negative internal reaction on his part. So, instead, I wrote that I was proud of him for helping around the house and that it would do wonders for his home life if he does it with the right heart.

Basically, I told him to check his attitude in a way that would have him actually check his attitude instead of check out of our conversation.

Bonus thought: The more strategic we are with our words in youth ministry, the less counseling we’ll have to do because students will feel the effect of the encouragement to go the right direction.