A Parent’s Guide to Teaching… Good Character

Good character doesn’t just happen. It is a result of parents who intentionally teach their children about character. A project of The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University, A Parent’s Guide to Teaching Good Character introduces families to the six pillars and provides ideas for parents to help teach good character in their home.

What is character?
•  Moral character includes values we need to
be our best self, like the six pillars of character:
trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness,
caring and citizenship.
•  Performance character focuses on values that
help us do our best work, like diligence,
imagination, work ethic, dependability and a
positive attitude.

How to teach character with T.E.A.M.:
•  Teach children that their character counts:
The six pillars of character provide the
vocabulary words to teach your children
about character.
•  Enforce the six pillars of character: Reward good
behavior (usually praise is enough) and
discourage bad behavior by imposing fair and
consistent consequences.
•  Advocate character: Continually encourage
children to live up to the six Pillars of character.
•  Model good behavior: Everything you say and
do (or neglect to do) sends a message about your
values. Be sure that these messages reinforce
your lessons about doing the right thing, even when it is difficult. When you slip, be accountable; apologize sincerely and do better!

A Parent’s Guide to Teaching Good Character Using the Parent’s Guide is available as a free download at www. raycenter.wordpress.drake.edu/parentguide.The guide is organized by the six pillars of character. For each pillar, you find:
•  An introduction to the pillar
•  Ideas on how to teach, enforce, advocate and
model good character
•  A discussion starter
•  An excellence with integrity tool. These
strategies can help you talk with your children,
and can be used with kids or adults, at home,
school or at work.
Learn more:
For more resources, visit www.drake.edu/raycenter, or call The Ray Center at 515-271-1910.

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