Top 10 positive traits children learn from their parents - and #5 is no easy task

Have you passed any of these on to your kids?

A woman reading a book to a young girl
(Image credit: Getty Images)

From saying please and thank you to staying up past their bedtime, the best and worst traits children pick up from their parents have been revealed.

As any parent knows, raising kids is one of the toughest jobs in the world. We all want the best for our children, which is why mums and dads everywhere are keen to teach kids to think for themselves and teach them about money, or try and make learning fun by investing in the best educational toys.

But kids are learning all the time and often pick up habits from their parents without even noticing. One study has asked children about the best and worst traits they've picked up from their parents - and the results might surprise you. 

Fairy Non-Bio, which is calling on parents to remind their children that kindness, love, and care are qualities which truly matter, commissioned the research. It has revealed the Top 10 positive traits children learn from their parents - and the top ten naughtiest traits passed down too. 

In good news for mums and dads, the poll of 1,000 kids aged six to 16 found that 72% felt their parents had done a good job in teaching them to always say please and thank you. 32% even say please and thank you to electronic devices, like Alexa or Siri, when interacting with them.

A little girl smiling next to a smart speaker

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Meanwhile, 93% say their parents have taught them the difference between right and wrong, as well as how to be nice to people (51%), and to give hugs to family and friends (46%).

44% said they had learned to make people smile from their parents, and children also believe they carry out as many as four acts of kindness in a typical day.

However, the research revealed some of the naughtiest traits that children have picked up from their parents too, with staying up past their bedtime taking the top spot, followed by being sarcastic. 

Top 10 positive traits children pick up from their parents:

  1. Saying please and thank you
  2. Being nice to everyone
  3. Hugging friends and family
  4. Helping with household tasks
  5. Making people smile
  6. Sharing belongings with others
  7. Donating old toys to charity
  8. Helping animals in need
  9. Holding doors open for others
  10. Offering to listen to people

Top 10 'naughty' traits children pick up from their parents:

  1. Staying up past their bedtime
  2. Being sarcastic
  3. Farting
  4. Being impatient
  5. Procrastinating
  6. Being messy
  7. Using their phone at the dinner table
  8. Not listening properly
  9. Being overly competitive
  10. Interrupting others when they're speaking

A young girl on her phone while eating

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A spokesperson for Fairy Non Bio has said, "Kids clearly pick up more than parents realise, as the results show. Every word we speak, every action we take, leaves an impression on our children's personalities.

"But it’s heart-warming and reassuring to see that in such a fast-paced world, where we’re constantly thinking about 'what’s next', kids are learning that kindness, love, and care are the qualities that truly matter, helping to create a more kind and compassionate society.

“We know how important this is, and why every child deserves unconditional care - which is why we’ve partnered with Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity, to ensure every child feels wrapped in kindness, love, and care."

The research was carried out as part of a partnership between Fairy Non Bio and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity), which will receive 5p from every Fairy Non Bio product purchased at Home Bargains.

Liz Tait, director of fundraising at GOSH Charity, said, "When a child is facing serious illness, making special memories together as a family, and spreading kindness as much as possible, is more important than ever - so we’re thrilled to once again be partnering with Fairy Non Bio on their #ToMyBaby campaign."

In other family news, kids' playtime is in decline as 1 in 3 children spend less than 3 hours a week playing and it's been revealed that dads do four times more childcare than 60 years ago - but it's still not as much as mums. We've also explored why we need to rethink how we give praise to kids.

Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.