When it comes to good qualities, most moms think this one is the most necessary for their little ones.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated May 08, 2019

No matter how old we get, many of us continue to turn to good, old-fashioned mom advice for everything from what to wear on an interview to how to manage a challenging relationship. Moms know a lot, and they give so much to their kids—and that’s just one of many reasons figuring out what to get mom for Mother’s Day is so important.

Mother’s Day poems and gifts for new moms are great and well-deserved, but most moms want more good things for their children than they want from them. In other words, the best gift you could give your mom is to be the best version of the person she raised you to be. Figuring out how to be that person may be a struggle (and even a chance for a little introspection), but most moms know the kind of person they want their child to become, according to a new survey from motherhood lifestyle site Motherly.

Motherly’s 2019 State of Motherhood Survey asked almost 4,000 moms about their views on motherhood. While the survey focused on Millennial moms, moms of any generation will likely relate to the hopes the mothers surveyed held for their children.

The survey asked about the good qualities Millennial moms are trying to teach their children—the next generation—and one good quality rose to the top of the list: kindness.

46 percent of moms say kindness is the number one character trait they want to cultivate in their children, beating out other good qualities in a person that included respect, resilience, open-mindedness, curiosity, intelligence, braveness, generosity, and tolerance. Notably, white moms prioritized kindness the most; kindness still won the majority for mothers of color, but these women—identified as Latina and African-American moms in the survey—put more emphasis on encouraging respect and resilience in their children than their white counterparts.

These traits are all important for any well-rounded person, but the fact that kindness was the number one pick for almost half of the women survey points to a widely held hope for a kinder world. It can also provide a little motivation for moms struggling to continue to encourage kindness in a sometimes unkind world by reminding them they’re not the only ones doing this important work.

Kindness is important, but so are the other good qualities in Motherly’s survey. Again, all are necessary—at least in part—to form a well-rounded character. And what mom doesn’t want that?