This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
*** Monthly Feature Column ***
Building Assets in your Kids
June – Asset #3, Other Adult Relationships
by Kelly Curtis.
As the lazy (and crazy!) days of summer approach, our kids often have the opportunity to experience people and activities they may not get the rest of the year. Families enjoy field trips, extended-family gatherings, afternoons at the city pool, park visits and play dates with friends. Each event offers a chance to build other adult relationships.
Search Institute has identified “Other adult relationships” as one of the 40 Developmental Assets, which means research shows it’s a characteristic of healthy, caring, resilient kids. The more assets youth have, the more likely they’ll resist risky behaviors in the future. Search defines other adult relationships for young children as: “Child receives support from adults other than her or his parents.”
Although we may have the desire to fill all our kids’ needs ourselves, this isn’t a realistic prospect. Even the most effective of parents can benefit their children – and themselves — by helping them to develop relationships with other key adults in their lives. For many children, this might be a teacher or caregiver, neighbor or other family member. I wrote recently about this in my post, Grandma’s Passing the Torch.
We can also find these key relationships beyond the usual suspects. Often caring neighbors are thrilled to enter into conversations, and church members may love to strike up a conversation with our children, if we help them to find something to talk about. Our common sense as parents will help us to foster caring and appropriate relationships between our kids and other caring adults.
But we often neglect to realize the tremendous impact WE can have on other children as well. We can BE that caring adult in small and big ways. Even something as simple as getting to know our kids’ friends and neighborhood children, helps our own children to build healthy friendships, while building assets in other children at the same time.
Some tips for being a caring adult for other children:
- Know and use their names.
- Get to know their parents, if you don’t already.
- Ask them open-ended questions to get them to talk about their own interests, abilities and strengths.
- Remember what they share about themselves and follow-up on the points they mention.
These relationships – whether for our kids or someone else’s – help to develop and asset-rich community.
Who will you reach out to this summer?
Thanks for joining in to build assets in your kids! I look forward to seeing you again next month for Positively Speaking.
by Kelly Curtis
Pass the Torch
Leave a Comment