- Focus on what children do right instead of what they do wrong.
- Let youth know you are proud of their talents, capabilities and discoveries.
- Have family meetings where children have a voice in decision making.
- Help youth practice coping skills when difficult situations arise.
Boundaries and Expectations
- Talk together about how to establish family rules and consequences.
- Be a positive role model in a young person’s life.
- Respect teenager’s privacy but take interest in their friends and activities.
Commitment to Learning
- Ask a young person to teach you a new skill.
- Give young people appropriate and important responsibilities within the family.
- Teach children and youth to be safe wherever they go.
- Encourage youth to take leadership roles in their community.
Constructive Use of time
- Have a regular family night to do something fun together.
- Encourage children and youth to be involved in at least one hobby.
- Remember that mistakes are part of living and growing.
- Teach young people to be responsible for all of their thoughts, words and actions.
40 Ways To Build Assets In Children
External Assets Support
- Show courtesy to family members in public and at home
- Invite caring, responsible adults to be part of your children’s lives
- Vow to say one encouraging thing to someone each day
- Encourage passions and interests in others
- Volunteer to be a mentor for a young person
- Include young people as active participants in events
- Encourage teenagers to take leadership roles in their community
- Do simple acts of community service together
- Give young people appropriate and important responsibilities within the family
- Teach children and youth how to be safe wherever they go
Boundaries & Expectations
- When setting boundaries for someone else, explain the values behind them
- Talk together about how to establish family rules and consequences
- Treat all people, regardless of age, with respect
- Be a positive role model in a young person’s life
- Respect teenagers’ privacy, but take interest in their friends and activities
Constructive Use of Time
- Visit museums and libraries and attend plays and concerts with youth
- Encourage teens to be involved in at least one hobby
- Have a regular family night to do something fun together
- Involve youth in decisions about family spiritual activities
- Volunteer in programs and activities for young children
Internal Assets Commitment to Learning
- Ask a young person to teach you a new skill
- Set daily homework goals
- Organize a neighbourhood book swap
- Invite a teacher to have dinner at your home
- Believe that all young people can learn
- Remember that mistakes are part of living and growing
- Show care and concern for your neighbours by offering a helping hand
- Write down what you believe – Post it where you will see it often
- Be responsible for all of your thoughts, words, and actions
- Try new things and take on new responsibilities
- Have family meetings where children have a voice in decision making
- Smile and say hello to at least one new person each day
- Learn about your own cultural heritage and the heritage of others
- Help youth practice coping skills when difficult situations arise
- Learn and model peaceful ways to resolve disagreement
- Focus on what children do right instead of what they do wrong
- Avoid comparing young people with each other
- Let youth know you are proud of their talents, capabilities, and discoveries
- Listen when young people talk about their sense of purpose in life
Ask young people what they are passionate about.
Youth are more likely to grow up healthy when their families provide them with high levels of love and support.
10 Creative Ways to Care
1. Do something new together. Instead of a walk, go jogging—or skipping. Have a leaf fight.
2. If possible, eat at least one meal a day together.
3. Choose a book to read together as a family. Each day read 10 pages.
4. Ask what your child’s highs and lows were for the day. Tell about your day.
5. Every day show love through hugs,words, kisses, smiles.
6. Frame your child’s artwork and hang it on the wall.
7. Give your child space to think, to rest, to rejuvenate.
8. Lie under the stars together and talk about whatever crosses your mind.
9. When you’re feeling stressed, reassure your child that he or she isn’t the reason.
10. Write “family care” resolutions. Then keep them.
Tips that make loving your child easier:
- Loving touch means a lot. Hug. Put your arm around your child. Comb your child’s hair.
- Use loving words. Try: “I care about you.” “I love you.” “I think you’re terrific.” “You’re great!”
- Be loving in your interactions. Look your child in the eyes when you talk with her or him.
- Tell your child when he or she does something that makes you feel loved and cared for.
Positive Family Communication
Youth are more likely to grow up healthy when they and their parents communicate positively, and they are willing to seek parents’ advice and counsel.
Tips that make it easier to communicate positively with your child:
- Watch for hints: A child who hangs around usually wants to talk.
- Don’t contradict what you say by doing the opposite.
- Be available, be open, be willing to drop what you’re doing in order to talk.
- Talk in the car when you’re side by side, rather than face to face.
Other Adult Relationships
Youth are more likely to grow up healthy when they receive support from three or more nonparent adults.
Three ways to encourage your child to build relationships with other caring adults:
- Help your child find an adult you both trust who shares a similar hobby or interest with your child.
- Play games with other families where teams consist of adults of one family paired with children from another family.
- Use letters, phone calls, and email to keep relationships strong with caring adults who are far away.
Youth are more likely to grow up healthy when they experience caring neighbours.
Your child may be unsure of what to talk about with a neighbour. Encourage your child to use these talk triggers to strike up a conversation:
“Communication is a VERY important
- Do you have any hobbies?
- What do you like best about our neighbourhood?
- What’s your favorite book? Why?
- What troubles you most about the world today?
- What’s your favorite childhood memory?
- What do you wish you had more time to do?
Parent Involvement in Schooling
Youth are more likely to grow up healthy when their parents are involved in their education and school.
Three ways to be more involved with your child’s education:
- Encourage your child’s teacher to meet with both you and your child so that everyone can have a say in expectations and goals.
- Go to a museum together to look at exhibits that are related to your child’s classes.
- Make attending school events a priority. Keep track of them on a family calendar.
The more a young person is valued and feels valuable, the more likely he or she is to grow up healthy.
Tips that make empowering your child easier:
- Have regular family meetings to plan, solve problems, and encourage each other. Rotate who leads the meetings.
- Get involved with your child’s school and in the community.
- Think of yourself as your child’s empowerment coach.
- Advocate that your community develop meaningful opportunities for young people.
Community Values Youth
Youth are more likely to grow up healthy when they perceive that adults in the community value youth.
Three ways to improve your child’s perceptions of your community, and vice versa:
- Attend a family community event together, such as an outdoor concert.
- Take a community class on a topic such as art, exercise, or computers.
- Invite a neighbour family to have a picnic with your family at one of your community parks.
4 Ways to Build This Asset
Children and youth perceive that the community and adults value them when:
1. Adults take time to be with them.
2. Adults listen and take seriously what they have to say.
3. Adults seek out young people and solicit their feedback.
4. Adults let them know their presence and participation are appreciated.
Youth are more likely to grow up healthy when families have clear rules and consequences, and monitor young people’s whereabouts.
Tips that make setting boundaries easier:
- Make boundaries positive, simple, and within reason.
- Adjust boundaries as your child becomes older.
- Help children understand that some rules change as brothers and sisters reach different ages.
- Let your child earn more freedoms as he or she shows more responsibility.
Three ways to set boundaries together with your child:
- Observe the boundaries of other families (neighbours, television families, etc.). Discuss what’s appropriate and what’s not for your family and why.
- Post your family boundaries on the refrigerator. Have only five or six. Make sure they are concise and clear, and apply to everyone—not just kids.
- Meet monthly to discuss boundaries. Are they fair? Do they still fit? Do they reflect the values and principles you have? Adjust them if you need to.
Adult Role Models
Youth are more likely to grow up healthy when parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behaviour.
Three ways to be an adult role model for your child:
1. Treat your child with love and respect.
2. Model appropriate behaviour. When you make mistakes, admit them. Apologize for failures.
3. Spend time together, often. Be involved in your child’s life on a daily basis.
You are your child’s most important role model.
Help your child find other responsible adults to be part of her or his life. Having other caring adults involved in your child’s life provides more role models.