What Character Traits Do You Most Want to Instill in Your Child? The Results Are In!

Most popular character traits. Graph by Ariane Coffin using Wordle.
Most popular character traits. Graph by Ariane Coffin using Wordle.

A few weeks ago, I created a survey about which character traits do we most want to instill in our children. I included the answers from our GeekMom writers, who favored creativity, humor, and curiosity. I also encouraged all of our readers (and their family and friends) to take the survey as well. Combining the GeekMom responses and our audience responses, I received a total of 87 acceptable responses. Not too shabby! Curious to see how it added up?

First, here’s a graph representing the most popular answers among all of our survey takers. Like the data for the GeekMoms only, curiosity and creativity once again won a spot in the top three. Humor, however, fell down to the 13th spot, replaced instead by compassion.

Top character traits favored by all. Graph by Ariane Coffin.
Top character traits favored by all. Graph by Ariane Coffin.

Part of what I was hoping to see in the results was the difference in favored character traits divided by gender and geekiness of survey takers. Unfortunately, I did not receive enough answers from males and non-geeks to generate significant data. Surprise, surprise. This is GeekMom, after all! I was, however, able to get enough data to see some interesting differences among the desired character traits when divided by the age group of the survey taker’s oldest child. The theory here is that parents of infants may have a wildly different perspective than, say, parents of teenagers.

As it turns out, that theory was mostly true. The top three by age group were:

  • Mana (not a parent yet): Curious, Adventurous, Considerate
  • Gremlin (0-5): Curious, Compassionate, Creative
  • Elf (6-11): Compassionate, Curious, Creative
  • Wizard (12-18): Adventurous, Compassionate, Creative
  • Oracle (18+): Resilient, Creative, Curious

The top 10 per age group are represented in the graph below, where 10 on the Y axis is the most popular out of the top 10 and 1 the least popular out of the top 10.

Top 10 character traits, divided by age group. Graph by Ariane Coffin.
Top 10 character traits, divided by age group. Graph by Ariane Coffin.

Thank you for everyone who took the survey, it was fun to see the results roll in!

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Ariane is a programmer married to another programmer. Together they have two little girls who don't stand a chance against their nerdy lineage. Ariane can also be found writing about STEM travel at Geekling's Guide to the Galaxy.