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British parents want their kids to have EIGHT good friends – who are kind, helpful, funny and hardworking.

A study of 2,000 parents with kids under the age of 16 reveals the top 20 traits most like to see in their friendships, which include kindness, generosity and empathy with other traits such as being ambitious, sporty and academic coming further down the list.

Two thirds of parents are keen for their children to hang out with kids who work hard at school and three in 10 like those who take their homework seriously.

While six in 10 are happy if their children’s friends do well at sports day and take part in extra-curricular sporting activities.

Puffin commissioned the study to celebrate the launch of Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, bestselling author Jeff Kinney said: “This survey shows that parents in the UK want their kids to have kind, empathetic friends.

”Rowley Jefferson, the main character in Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, seems a great match for what British parents are seeking in their children’s friends.

“He’s kind, helpful and generous and it sounds like he would be high demand for playdates and sleepovers in the UK!

“Rowley really enjoys being a kid and is in no rush to grow up too quick. I wish I had been more like him as a child!”

Only one in five parents feel strongly that their child should have one very best friend, preferring their child to have a wider friendship circle instead.

Almost six in 10 parents admit they make more of an effort with the friends of their children they like, than those they don’t.

And a further 65 per cent will go as far as making friends with the parents of the ‘nice kids’ to get the whole family on board.

The research indicates that parents do everything they can to encourage their own child’s popularity.

More than half of British kids are treated to an average of three sleepovers a month, while six in 10 kids will enjoy a couple of day trips out with friends.

And most children are lucky enough to have a friend round for tea every couple of weeks, as parents do everything they can to help their child carve out meaningful relationships.

Six in 10 parents also actively encourage their children to go out and about with their friends, and the average child will go to the park, join in on football or play at least four times a month.

Parents also admit to making a huge effort whenever friends come round to the house – with 36 per cent buying lots of sweets and treats for the occasion and a further 34 per cent trying to engage the play date in conversation they think may be of interest.

Letting the children do whatever they want, allowing them to stay up way past the usual bedtime and not telling them off for anything are among other ways parents try to be cool.

4.​Hard working
9.​Take their homework seriously
15.​Not too competitive
16.​Doesn’t take themselves seriously

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