A study of 1,000 mums and dads of children aged up to seven revealed the key attributes they’d most like their youngsters to develop as they grow up – with honesty, good manners and self-confidence coming out on top.
A quarter aspire for their offspring to have a good comprehension of emotions, while half would like their children to learn the art of ‘being kind to others’.
Loyalty, patience, and optimism were also among the traits to feature in the top 20 list parents hope their children will develop.
In fact, 79 per cent felt it’s more important their little ones grow up with a good group of friends, than aspiring to be the next Prime Minister.
Claudia Caron, from Thomas & Friends, which commissioned the research, said: “It’s really heart-warming to see how many mums and dads want their child to grow up being kind, honest and independent, over other traits.
“It just goes to show that these attributes many take for granted aren’t a given and are something people want to encourage their little ones to have.”
The study also found, for 47 per cent of those polled, it’s important their offspring has these attributes, with 58 per cent believing it will set them up well for later life.
It also emerged nurture trumps nature for 63 per cent of mums and dads, as they admit to actively doing things to teach their children these important characteristics.
While a quarter think soft skills, such as initiative and organisation, are much more important for children to learn at a young age compared to hard skills, such as reading and writing.
Books for their children, reading books to educate themselves, and sending their child to extra-curricular activities are among some of the ways parents are shaping their youngsters for the future.
Parents will also sit down for story time more

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