(CNN)The desire to raise good people is fairly universal among adults with kids in their lives. Most of us want our kids to grow up to be kind and compassionate adults.
We mean it, we really do, but our kids often hear something else. Research from the Harvard Graduate School of Education found that 80% of youth think their parents are more interested in their children's achievement or happiness than whether or not they are caring for others.
In her new book "How to Raise Kids Who Aren't A**holes: Science-Based Strategies for Better Parenting--from Tots to Teens," science journalist Melinda Wenner Moyer cuts through the data on the subject. She looks at research on gunplay, screen time, shyness, resilience and more, helping parents effectively send the message that kindness matters.
CNN spoke with Moyer about what we are getting right, what we're doing wrong, how to teach kindness, and why it's hard to raise a kind kid if we're not being kind ourselves.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
CNN: What inspired you to write this book?
Melinda Wenner Moyer: Two and half years ago I started to get frustrated by the bad adult behavior I saw happening all around me. It made me think, what are my kids learning? Who are my kids learning from? It made me realize that what I wanted more than anything was for my kids to not grow up to be a**holes. And I realized I didn't know how to do this.