Raising Good Kids
National Study of Parents Reveals Their
Commitment and Struggles to Nurture Character
Comissioned by Character.org and conducted by Ipsos
Parents today face a multitude of challenges that previous generations never encountered. From social media and smart devices to the pandemic’s impact on learning and social skills, parents are anxious and concerned about their children navigating a world that is increasingly connected and isolated at the same time.
Character.org wanted to understand how parents feel about raising good kids in the Digital Age, particularly at a time when our nation is experiencing growing division on topics that range from education and health care to respect and civility.
We partnered with Ipsos to survey a nationally representative sample of parents with children between the ages of 6-18 years old, including parents who are native Spanish speakers. The online survey was conducted from August 31 – September 16, 2022.
Parents Admit They Could Do More
68% of parents admit they could be more proactive teaching character, and 1/3 say their children struggle because they haven’t done enough to model and teach the importance of character
Online Content Is A Bad Influence
Most parents agree that online content (65%) and social media (64%) negatively influence their children’s character
Schools and Community Matter
94% of parents agreed that children learn how to be a good person from the people around them, and (63%) agree that schools should reinforce core values
Parents Want More Resources
47% of parents wish they had more character development resources available to help them
Honesty is the top core value parents want their children to care about
Parents reviewed a list of nine core values and were asked to list the top three they want their children to care most about. Honesty was first at 62%. Responsibility was second at 59% and Respect was third at 52%.
PARENTS ARE NOT USING THE GOLDEN RULE
Less than one in five parents (14%) use the Golden Rule phrase with their children.
Over a quarter of all parents (28%) say they are unfamiliar with the meaning of the Golden Rule.
The Five C’s of Character Development
The findings from our Raising Good Kids survey suggest five essential steps for parents to take to ensure that their child grows into a thriving person of character.
“I have seen the videos my children come across, and I’m shocked at how kids are treating each other and adults.”
“I do worry that one day someone else may have more influence over my children than me.”
“As a parent, I am ‘always on.’ Like everyone else, I have flaws. And while I want my kids to learn from my imperfections and mistakes, sometimes I feel like I have to be perfect all the time.”
“We all grew up understanding the Golden Rule. I use it to ask my children to think about how they would want to be treated in a given situation.”
“I appreciate that teachers are another voice, another role model reinforcing important values to my child. My six year old looks up to her teacher. The more positive influences she can encounter, the better.”
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