Ideas for Parents

Practical Suggestions for Building Assets in Your Child

 

Your Child’s Compass

 

Any hiker knows that the most important tool to take on the journey is a compass.

It’s a guide when you know where you’re going. It’s also a guide when you don’t.

As children journey through life, they must step into unfamiliar territory. Sometimes they’ll try paths we’d rather not have them take while ignoring others we think they should follow.

 

No matter where they go, we as parents are their compasses. As compasses, we don’t tell them which path to take (even though its’ tempting at times), but we serve as a resource – a guide. We can help, suggest, question, and encourage. We can also point out other useful guides when our children wish to take a path we’re not equipped to navigate.

Whichever paths our children take, we should never abandon them. Even when we disagree with where they are going, we can travel along beside them and support them, love them, and be there for them. For, once our children know we’ll always journey with them, it won’t be long before they see the value that parents – as compasses – can be.

 

Fast Facts

ü      Youth are more likely to grow up healthy when they view their parents as accessible resources for advice and support.

ü      46% of youth surveyed by Search Institute have Parents as Social Resources in their lives.

 

Talk Together

Questions to discuss with your child:

 

Time Together

Three ways to be a better resource for your child:

  1. Invite your child’s best friend on a family weekend getaway. Play games and do activities together.
  2. Learn a new hobby or skill with your child.
  3. Ask about something your child would like to learn. Take a class together about that subject.

 

ABCS of Being Your Child’s Resource

What does it take to be a great resource? We need to be strong and weak, proud and humble, stable and flexible. We also need skills to:

ADVOCATE, BEND, CHEER, DISCUSS, ENCOURAGE, FOLLOW, GUIDE, HELP, INFORM, JUGGLE, KISS, LISTEN, MODEL, NEGOTIATE, OVERSEE, PLAY, QUESTION, RECOMMEND, SUPPORT, TALK, UNDERSTAND, VALUE, WAIT, EXAMINE, YIELD, ZIG ZAG

 

Questions to Ask Yourself

·        How often does your child come to your for support and advice?

·        Which kinds of information does your child typically seek from you?

·        Which topics has your child never asked you about?

 

Quick Tip

The more support you get as a parent, the more you can give to your child.

 

Final Word

“Enjoy and encourage your children’s love of learning, but foster their play, responsibility, imagination, affection, and fun.” –Sylvia B. Rimm Ph.D., author of Keys to Parenting the Gifted Child

 

 

Next weeks article is on Everyone Provides the Strength of Support.

 

For more information about asset building and Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth, contact Lori Johnson, Tama County Empowerment Coordinator, Tama County Public Health and Home Care, at (641) 484-4788 or 1-866-484-4788.