Even though I call my kids little heathens (I use the term in the sense that they act uncivilized around here half the time), I do try to build character in them and teach them how to be good christians and citizens.
One difference I like about 4-H from the days when I was a 4-Her is the implementation of the Character Counts pillars: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. The pillars are guides to help kids and adults alike, to practice making ethical choices.
I had unknowingly already been parenting with the Character Counts pillars and have tried to put them into practice with my own personal life before I learned about Character Counts and the six pillars. I like that 4-H educates, promotes and emphasizes the importance of living in a way that follows the Character Counts pillars.
The pillars were developed by the Josephson Institute: A nonprofit outfit founded by a guy by the name of Michael Josephson. To help kids remember the pillars, colors and the use of mnemonics have been assigned to each pillar as a way to remember the different pillars:
Â Trustworthiness is blue; think true blue.
Respect is yellow; think of the golden rule.
Responsibility is green; think of responsibility for finances or a garden.
Fairness is orange; think of equal sections of an orange.
Caring is red; think of a heart.
Respect is purple; think of respecting the state.
These are basic principles and simple ways to teach our kids good ethics but it doesnâ€™t hurt for adults to make a habit of practicing them in their lives as well.