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*** Monthly Feature Column ***
Building Assets in your Kids
January 2007 – Asset #37
by Kelly Curtis.
Everywhere I turned this week, one theme reigned.
New Year’s Resolutions.
Whether the resolution was healthy eating, getting in shape, better communication or safer driving, the concept was always the same – setting goals.
But goals shouldn’t be set by Mom and Dad alone. There are many reasons to involve kids in the process as well.
Search Institute has identified “personal power” 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 personal power as: “Child feels he or she has some influence over things that happen in her or his life.”
There are various assets that I think relate to this.
Setting small goals — and achieving them — can go a long way toward building important assets like self-esteem, and planning and decision-making. But personal power resonates with me because of the way it empowers the child.
My family leads a very hectic life, and I’ve set my own goals related to making our family function to the best of its ability. I’ve shared my personal goals with my kids and asked them to think of resolutions they might set for themselves, as well as what they could do to help me reach my goals.
This may seem like a lot to ask from kids who are eight and ten, but since my personal resolutions are so interconnected with their lives, I think it’s only fair.
Although the initial discussion met with resistance, a couple days later, both kids were able to produce a behavior-related goal:
“Read more books on my own,” and
“Act more responsibly.”
Sounds good to me!
Here’s my challenge to you this month.
Share your goals with your kids. Then ask them what goals they have for themselves. Encourage them to brainstorm what they need to do to reach the goal, and how you can help.
Then, if you would, please come back and tell us your results!
Thanks for joining us to build assets in your kids! I look forward to seeing you again next month for Positively Speaking.
by Kelly Curtis
Pass the Torch
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