A report released by the Pew Research Center this week shows that parents, despite political leanings, agree on a few traits they all want to see in their children. But of all those traits, empathy isn’t one of the top ones.

More than anything, the report found, 94 percent of parents want their children to learn responsibility, while 92 percent want to teach them the value of hard work. Helping others and having good manners were seen as especially important by 86 percent parents. Teaching kids to be empathetic is not very high on the list, with 67 percent of parents saying that is an important trait.

The 815 parents who responded to Pew were asked how important it is to teach various qualities to their children, and then they were asked to rank the top three qualities that they thought were the most important. Being responsible, hard work and religious faith were the top three. Just 15 percent of respondents said empathy was most important, while tolerance (8 percent) and curiosity (6 percent) were at the very bottom.

Some argue that being empathetic and teaching kids how to be kind should be more important than hard work. A lack of empathy and gearing children to only focus on hard work can be part of the reason for bullying and bad behavior.

Richard Weissbourd, a Harvard psychologist with the graduate school of education who runs the Making Caring Common project, argues that children need to be taught how to be kind. In fact, his group released a study this summer that had a similar finding to Pew’s. In it, 80 percent of children interviewed said their parents cared more about their achievement or personal happiness than whether they cared for others.

To the parents reading this: What is most important to you?

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