Show Me Character
Missouri 4-H youth development character education program is based on CHARACTER COUNTS®
Section links for this page:
- What is Show Me Character
- The Six Pillars of Character and what they mean
- 4-H Character Connections
- Show Me Character modules
Show Me Character is a framework thatteaches young people to make sound moral judgments. It also encourages all adults to become more involved in helping youth develop positive character traits. Our communities benefit when youths and adults understand the importance of being involved and caring citizens and “doing the right thing” by incorporating the Six Pillars of Character in their daily lives.
For over 100 years, 4-H has encouraged young people to show good
character in all they do – to be respectful, to be responsible, to
follow the rules – and they have done just that. Character education is
a top priority in all 4-H programming. Based on the CHARACTER COUNTS® Coalition
Six Pillars of Character Missouri’s 4-H families are encouraged to “Show
Me Character,” not only while involved in 4-H programs, but as an
essential part of daily life.
Ask your child(ren) to tell you about the Six Pillars of Character– trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. The Six Pillars are the framework for the CHARACTER COUNTS!® Coalition, a nonpartisan and nonsectarian alliance of hundreds of schools and youth-servicing organizations across the country.
- Be honest
- Don’t deceive, cheat or steal
- Be reliable – do what you say you’ll do
- Have the courage to do the right thing
- Build a good reputation
- Be loyal – stand by your family and friends
- Treat others with respect
- Be tolerant of differences
- Use good manners, not bad language
- Be considerate of the feelings of others
- Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone
- Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements.
- Do what you are supposed to do
- Persevere; keep on trying!
- Always do your best
- Use self-control; be self-disciplined
- Think before you act – consider the consequences
- Be accountable for your choices
- Play by the rules.
- Take turns and share.
- Be open-minded; listen to others.
- Don’t take advantage of others.
- Don’t blame others carelessly
- Be kind
- Be compassionate and show you care
- Express gratitude
- Forgive others
- Help people in need
- Do your share to make your school and community better.
- Stay informed; vote
- Be a good neighbor
- Obey laws and rules
- Respect authority
- Protect the environment
Practice character at home
- Give each child time, attention and affection.
- Treat others with mutual respect.
- Model and teach good manners.
- Share your ethical beliefs
- Expect and demand good character.
- Utilize moral reasoning and good ethical decision-making.
- Evaluate whether the TV shows, videos and movies are teaching lessons you want your children to live by.
- Look for daily ways to encourage and reinforce behaviors demonstrating good character.
- Develop high expectations, predetermined rules and consistently applied consequences for your child’s behavior.
- Read to your children and keep character related literature in your home.
- Bring up developmentally appropriate topics for discussion and ask, “What is the right thing to do?”
- Help your child enjoy non-material rewards.
- Discuss the meanings of holidays and the true spirit behind the special day.
- Look for daily teachable moments.
- Demonstrate kind acts and help people in need.
Improving Our Moral Landscape: A Plea to Parents to Promote Good Character, Mark J. Britzman, PhD., South Dakota State University, National CHARACTER COUNTS! faculty member.
- Is a good person, someone to look up to and admire
- Knows the difference between what is right and wrong and always tries to do what is right.
- Sets a good example
- Makes the world a better place
- Lives according to the “Six Pillars of Character”
What you can do
There are many things you can do to teach and encourage your child to be a person of good character.
- Teach your child that character counts- that their success and happiness will depend on who they are inside, and not what they have of how they look. Tell them that people of character know the difference between right and wrong because they guide their thoughts and actions by some basic rules of living.
- Be an advocate for character. Don’t be neutral about the importance of character or casual about improper conduct.
- Be a good role model. Hold yourself to the highest standards. Remember, everything you do and don’t do, sends a message about your values. When you slip, act the way you want others to behave when they act improperly- be accountable, apologize sincerely and resolve to do better.
- Praise good behavior and discourage bad behavior by imposing fair, consistent consequences that prove you are serious about character. Show courage and firmness by enforcing the core values when it is difficult or costly to do so.
Character Connections are meant for use in newsletters or as workshop handouts. (print or copy and paste into a word processor)
4-H Character Connection
- Introduction (PDF)
- Arts &
Arts & Crafts
Child Development (PDF)
Making the Point
Companion Animals (PDF)
Amphibians & Reptiles
Environmental Sciences (PDF)
Healthy Lifestyles (PDF)
Industrial Technology (PDF)
Production Livestock (PDF)
Outdoor Adventures (PDF)
Theater Arts (PDF)
Workforce Readiness (PDF)
An introduction to and sets foundation for the Missouri 4-H character program
Understanding character theory helps to establish a research base for 4-H. Designed to make the distinction among character, values and ethics
Describes each pillar and the important attributes of the pillars
Talks about choices and how we use the pillars to make sound decisions even when some of the pillars appear to be in conflict with one another
Designed to help adults understand how competition and character fit into 4-H clubs
- Module 5 Part 1 (PPT)
- Handout 1 Part 1 (PDF)
- Handout 1 Part 2 (PDF)
- User Guide (PDF)
- Quiz (PDF)
- Module 5 Part 2 (PPT)
- Handout 2 (PDF)
- User Guide (PDF)
- Quiz (PDF)