Known as the the ground work for teaching good character, the Six Pillars of Character comprise six ethical characteristics and values which include trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. These six pillars are used to create a culture of kindness in schools and among students nationwide. Here’s how you can teach your own child the six pillars through fun and exciting kid-friendly and kid-focused activities.
Pillar No. 1: Trustworthiness
Teaching your children about trustworthiness means teaching them to do the right thing, being reliable, loyal and standing by his or her family. Kids should also be taught not to deceive, cheat or steal under the trustworthiness pillar. Round up your kids and give each one a single balloon. Have them blow up their balloon and tell them that the balloon they are holding signifies a lie. Rope off an area of your yard or home and instruct your kids to stay within the boundary. But there’s a catch. The kids have to toss up their balloon and keep their balloon in the air without leaving the boundary. When the balloon touches the ground, the “lie” is discovered.
Pillar No. 2: Respect
Respect should be taught early in life. One way to teach respect is to take your child outdoors and take a tour of your local walking or hiking trails or a local park. Explore the sights and sounds, flowers, dirt and rocks and explain that all living creatures should get respect. That means treating people and living things the way you would like to be treated. If you find that your child enjoys stomping on flowers and squishing bugs for fun, it may be time to have a talk about respect.
Pillar No. 3: Responsibility
It’s never too early to teach your kids about responsibility. Think toddler age. Have your kids help you around the house with chores, enlist their help to make dinner or give them some responsibility for the family pet. Older elementary-age kids and preteens can also learn responsibility by learning about the outdoors and using airsoft guns. Use this time and activity to teach your kids what it means to be a responsible “gun” owner, to never point their weapon at another person and explain what it’s use is and what it is not used for. This is also a great way to share your love of the outdoors and outdoor sporting activities with your kids.
Pillar No. 4: Fairness
Parents can use role-playing to teach their children about fairness. Consider a puppet show and dialogue that focuses on making a fair decision. Teach your child about the diplomatic way to resolve the situation, whatever it may be.
Pillar No. 5: Caring
Teaching your child to be kind, compassionate and considerate of others should also start at a young age. Teach your child to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Consider putting together sack lunches for those who are less fortunate in your community with a group or organize a sock drive with other community members. When your child grows up, you can know that they will always help others in need because of your lessons.
Pillar No. 6: Citizenship
Getting involved with the school or community are two great ways to teach citizenship. For example, you can organize or join a group to plant trees in parks around the local community. Or, you and your child can become a member of an organization that helps clean up the community by removing trash and graffiti. There are ample opportunities out there to help teach citizenship. Which one will you choose?
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?
I’ve learned to accept that we have to all appreciate the little things and to not take anything for granted.
2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?
I appreciate and I’m blessed to have loving family and friends in my life.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?
My biggest achievement is graducating from Arizona State University in 2013!
4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?
Working to keep in mind that nobody’s perfect—it’s been hard to accept it.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my unwavering intensity. Everything I do is 100 percent.