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
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
• Enforce the six pillars of character: Reward good
behavior (usually praise is enough) and
discourage bad behavior by imposing fair and
• 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.
For more resources, visit www.drake.edu/raycenter, or call The Ray Center at 515-271-1910.