Highlights report has some surprising findings.

If you believe children always take messages of kindness to heart, a new survey might challenge your thinking.

The 2017 State of the Kid survey from Highlights shows parental lessons in kindness may not be having the impact that many adults think. Kindness isn’t always the top priority for kids, and they do notice when adults are unkind. 

The company’s ninth annual report, which surveyed 2,000 children ages 6-12 around the country, focused on kindness and empathy. Highlights sought to learn what kids are hearing from adults about those themes and how it influences their views on conflict and intolerance.

Here are a few of the findings:

Forty percent of respondents said it is more important to be kind than honest. If they could change one thing about the world, nearly half chose something related to kindness: 24 percent wished for more kindness, respect and honesty; 15 percent would end violence; 8 percent would help people who need it and 7 percent would improve schools. More children (44 percent) thought their parents believe it is more important for them to be happy than to do well in school (33 percent) or be kind (23 percent). Asked if it’s ever OK to be mean to someone, 79 percent of respondents said never. But 17 percent said it was fine if someone else was mean to them first, 3 percent said it was OK if they were in charge and no one was listening, and 1 percent said it’s fine if they don’t know the other person.

The survey, which was released Nov. 1, was conducted in March and April in cooperation with C+R Research. Read the full report at highlights.com/stateofthekid.

Looking for a chance to discuss these issues with your child? World Kindness Day on Nov. 13 provides a perfect opportunity.