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The New Family Values

Jarvis Oxley

Trending Now: Diversity

95% of parents say their families socialize with friends of a different race, religion, or ethnicity

78% of parents make an effort to talk often about diversity and acceptance with their children

27% say same-sex families are just like any other family

27% say same-sex families are different, but everyone's entitled to their own lifestyle

18% say same-sex families is not something they agree with, and they make that clear to their kids

26% don't know any same-sex families and haven't had to deal with this issue

The expert's take:

Wow. “When the vast majority of parents say they socialize with people of different backgrounds and only eighteen percent admit they don't like the idea of same-sex couples, that's real progress,” Levine says, especially among a group of people with otherwise traditional-sounding beliefs.

The parent's take:

“Acceptance is a must in today's world. I am white and Native American, my wife is 100 percent Italian, and our son Andy is white, Native American, and African-American. I am spiritual. My wife is religious, and Andy is still making up his mind about it all.”

—G. Daniel Cole, Smyrna, DE

The Fab Five: Most Desirable Character Traits for Kids

59% Honesty

44% Strong self-esteem

42% Kindness

41% Good manners

31% Strong work ethic

Gen Y-ers often get a bad rap about their work ethic, yet they rated it in the top five most important qualities. Other traits typically associated with millennial parents—spirituality, creativity, eco-consciousness—didn't make the cut. You certainly can't go wrong with universal values that will keep kids grounded in a complicated world. But Tough does caution parents about placing too much importance on self-esteem. Sure, it's great when your child likes herself, but a little goes a long way. A better trait is what he calls “grit,” the confidence your child has in her abilities to solve a problem, make a difference, or change her circumstances. “Grit is sticking to your goals and not letting obstacles get in your way,” he adds.