Sorry Ned!Fans, but his way of handling the whole Lannistercest/adultery affair was just plain stupid. Telling Cersei (who has clearly better connections, no qualms and is seemingly responsible for Jon Arryn´s death) everything and then expecting her to go with his terms of surrender? Refusing to solve it with a swift, unbloody coup, because it would "scare the children"? And his backup plan relying on Littlefinger, the very guy NO ONE trusts? You could expect that from young naive Sansa, but Ned is a grown-up man and a seasoned lord, who holds responsibility forcountless lives, for gods sake.
First Ned told Cersei that he knew about her secret and then gave her the time to prepare - if that isn't stupid then I don't know what is. He was blinded by his honor and got himself killed, putting his family at risk. Sometimes you have to play dirty to survive but apparently his pride was more important. He's good, aye... and stupid is as hell.
He told her because he feared they would be killed. He didn't want the blood of women and children on his hands Cersei like many other houses in the south are honorless cowards. Alas the way I see this would have gone is Cersei and her children would have gotten their heads on a pike. Lets not fool ourselves into believeing they would not have died for this the faith would demand their heads of them all.
One does not simply the deny the faith in Westeros...worst off when your royalty.
Also his honor got him killed...and in the end he died honorless in the eyes of the commonfolk when 'confessed' to treachery. Than the stupid boy king killed him...Ned didn't butcher children mate he did what he did to save Cersei and her children gods forbid the fate they would have gotten had Ned released the secret to the whole damn continent.
Ned was the only one willing to reveal Cersei's secret and then he told her to leave or die - he had it coming. It was his honor that made him reveal his plans so that Cersei would have the time to save her own skin. It also made him neglect Renly's support because Stannis was the rightful heir. All these bad decision left him weak and defenseless. He finally decided to swallow his honor and he would have ended up on the wall if not for Joffrey (nobody could have forseen this). He could have kept his mouth shut and none of it would have happened.
varys convinced him to 'confess' to save his daughters. Also Renly? Renly's claim is laughable Stannis by law is the heir not to mention Renly would have only been a king controlled by the Tyrells. Stannis Baratheon is the only man i can see being a good king he does't bend or let other lords get away with things. Hes a just man and Robert's chosen to hold the throne until his son came of age. But offcourse Joffrey being a Bastard the Throne goes to Stannis.
Ned did what he thought right and did not want the blood of women and children on his hands is what you seem to be forgetting. Sure it back fired and led to him being killed but he didn't outright kill her and her children as the faith would have demanded it.