It is always good when something you know intrinsically as a parent is then supported by quality research. We all know that there are certain things that are just good for your child and help them be healthy, safe, and successful growing up. The Search Institute has built an extensively research based framework of 40 common sense, positive experiences, and qualities that influence young people to become caring, responsible, and successful adults. These are further broken down by age groups ranging from preschool through high school. Basically the research finds that the more positive factors that are operating in your children’s life has a direct relationship to chance of successful development as adults.
Let’s look at a few of these ‘assests’ today. Under the wider constructs of Support, Boundaries and Expectations, and Commitment To Learning, there are few specific assets to consider. Support: Is your child in a caring school environment? Are you as a parent involved in their learning? If not, how can you make these things happen? Boundaries and Expectations: Are there clear and consistent rules and consequences in school? Do your child’s school and teacher use a positive approach to learning? Commitment To Learning: Does your child bond to their school environment? Do they like school and want to be there?
When these assets are not present, the Search Institute’s model and parental wisdom suggest change needs to occur. What would you do differently to make the school environment a more caring place? Perhaps you need to give more of your ideas to the teacher, principal, or other administrative officials. For example, maybe you do not feel enough is being done to take on bullying and you have some good ideas on how to do a better job. Maybe you have read something excellent about helping girls succeed in math and science and you can share it with her teacher.
If you are separated from your child’s learning process, get more involved. Maybe mom always does homework with her child. Perhaps dad needs to sit down with his child as well, so he can better support her efforts. If your child does not like school, find out what it is about. Maybe they are having a hard time seeing the chalkboard. Maybe they are sick of struggling with math. Is it time for a tutor so his math struggles end? As parents, we need to do whatever it takes to build our children’s assets and help them be as successful as they can be at home, school, and in their future.