Whether it’s the first day of kindergarten, middle school or senior year, this is an exciting time where opportunities, new experiences and life lessons happen! Do you know what your child needs to succeed in our fast-paced world? Search Institute provides a wealth of research, tools and publications for parents, educators and for other adults that strive to make a difference in a child’s life.
With over 5 million students surveyed, data has consistently demonstrated that the more Developmental Assets young people possess, the better their chances of succeeding in school and becoming happy, healthy and contributing members of their communities. APCYF research on Arlington youth confirm it: the more assets a young person has, the less likely they are to engage in risky behaviors such as alcohol and other drug use, acts of violence and early sexual activity.
Any caring adult can build assets within young people. A simple smile, calling a young person by name, asking an interested question, or their opinion a community problem are all easy ways to start building assets.
How can you continue to build assets within the youth in your community? Search Institute has identified 40 Assets needed for early childhood, children in grades K-3, middle childhood age 8 -12 and adolescents age 12 – 18. As the school year begins, be sure to equip your child with Assets and help them reach their full potential. Here are a few more tips from Search Institute on how to help youth succeed!
In your home and within your family:
- Post a list of the 40 Developmental Assets on your refrigerator door. Each day, do at least one thing to build assets for each family member.
- Spend one hour a week alone with each of your children. Take a walk, listen to music, cook together or just hang out.
- Empower your child by providing choices. Have regular family meetings to plan, solve problems and encourage one another. Rotate who leads the meetings.
In your neighborhood and community:
- Learn the names of the young people who live around you. Find out what interests them and ask them about it.
- Organize a babysitting swap with a neighbor. It’s important for parents and guardians to have time away from children, doing things they enjoy alone and with other adults. It makes family time that much sweeter.
- Get involved in the community and advocate for developing meaningful opportunities for young people, such as volunteer projects and civic activities.
In your school or youth group:
- Plan asset-building activities as part of the curriculum or program. For example, engage young people in service-learning projects, social skills trainings or reading for pleasure.
- Assign students and participants activities that encourage family sharing, perhaps about family traditions or family goals
- Take a field trip to a food bank or senior center. Have students help serve clients or perform and socialize with residents and learn more about them.
Credit: http://centerforprevention.org/ NJ