Personality & Character Traits 

Educators and scientists agree that having specific personality and character traits are paramount to success in education and life. Kidamentals intent is to provide a resource to increase awareness, learn about, and discuss cultivating these traits in our children.

Specific Kindergarten Readiness Characteristics

Go to the Kidamentals page for Kindergarten Readiness where we provide information from WaKIDS on characteristics that children entering kindergarten are expected to have, such as:

  • Social–Emotional
  • Physical
  • Language
  • Cognitive
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics

Essential life skills and traits for our children’s success in education and life!

Caring (Kind; Nice; Fair; Ethical)

Communication Skills

  • The desire and ability to verbally exchange ideas, feelings, and concepts with others. This is related to a sense of trust in others and pleasure in engaging with others, including adults.

Confident (Self-Esteem)

  • Sense of control and mastery of one’s body, behavior, and world
  • Feels likely to succeed at what he undertakes and that adults will be helpful

Curious (Interested; Inquisitive)

  • Taking an interest in experience for its own sake; finding things fascinating
  • The sense that finding out about things is positive and leads to pleasure

Enthusiastic (Zest; Excited; Energy)

Grateful (Appreciative; Thankful)

  • Being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen


  • The wish and capacity to have an impact and to act upon that with persistence. This is related to a sense of competence, of being effective.

Optimistic (Hope; Hopeful)

  • Expecting the best in the future and working to achieve it

Persistent (Grit; Resilient)

Self-Controlled (Self-Regulation; Executive Function; Focus; Disciplined; Forward looking)

  • Regulating what one feels and does; being disciplined; can defer gratification
  • The ability to modulate and control one’s own actions (e.g. impulses) in age-appropriate ways; a sense of inner control
  • Learn more at Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child – Key Concepts: Executive Function

Socially Intelligent (Intuitive; People smart; Understanding; Cooperative)

  • Having the tools to successfully navigate the social world, such as being aware of the current surroundings/situation and reacting appropriately to social cues
  • Having the ability to work with and cooperate with others
  • Ability to engage with others based on the sense of being understood by and understanding others



Kidamentals has utilized the following sources for researching, understanding, and conveying information. Kidamentals also recommends these sources for parents or caretakers of children to attain a deeper understanding of the aforementioned personality and character traits:

Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. New York: Oxford University Press/Washington, DC: American Psychological Association

Borghans, L., Duckworth, A. L., Heckman, J. J., & ter Weel, B. (2008). The economics and psychology of personality traits. Journal of Human Resources, 43(4), 972-1059.(pdf)

Heckman, James J. (2011). The American Family in Black and White:A Post-Racial Strategy for Improving Skills to Promote Equality. The National Bureau of Economic Research

KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, working with Dr. Angela Duckworth, Dr. Chris Peterson, and Dr. Martin Seligman, and in partnership with Riverdale Country School.

Farrington, Camille A.; Roderick, Melissa; Allensworth, Elaine; Nagaoka, Jenny; Keyes, Tasha Seneca; Johnson, David W.; Beechum, Nicole O. (June, 2012). Teaching Adolescents to Become Learners: The Role of Noncognitive Factors in Shaping School Performance (pdf)