Who Built Your Assets?
The last few weeks we have been talking about Asset Building and why it is important.
Who built your Assets? One of the best ways to recognize the importance of asset builders in the lives of children and teenagers is to think about the people who built your own assets. Who is someone (a parent, teacher, coach, religious leader, neighbor, mentor) who . . .
· Showed you love and care when you really needed that support? (Support Assets)
· Helped you realize you had something important to contribute to others? (Empowerment Assets)
· Set clear boundaries for you even when it wasn’t the easy thing to do? (Boundaries – and – Expectations Assets)
· Helped you get a lot out of activities in your school, a youth organization, or congregation? (Constructive – Use – Of – Time Assets)
· Helped you get excited about learning new things? (Commitment-to Learning Assets)
· Encouraged you to live out positive values, such as caring, honesty, and responsibility? (Positive-Values Assets)
· Helped you develop important skills, such as how to get along with other people? (Social-Competencies Assets)
· Helped you feel good about yourself and optimistic about your future? (Positive-Identity Assets)
Who’s Assets Can-and-Do You Build?
Now think of the young people in your life. With whom do you have a strong lasting relationship? Think of young people whose lives you touch through your neighborhood, congregation, friends, or place of work.
Continue reading to find out how you can help build these young people’s assets.
If you can say “Hi” or wave, you can start building assets for kids. Here are some other personal attitudes, skills, and actions that can help you build assets:
q Be open and honest.
q Listen to children and teenagers.
q Find the good in others.
q Laugh with kids.
q See past hair and clothing styles.
q Take time for kids.
q Get to know young people.
q Ask kids for their help.
q Speak out for children and youth.
q Be real-be yourself.
q Be friends.
q Be available to kids.
q Respect differences.
q Spend time with kids.
q Pay attention to children and teenagers.
q Treat kids with respect.
q Talk to young people.
q Model positive values.
q Handle conflict peacefully.
q Set boundaries and limits.
q Affirm and encourage young people.
q See kids as OUR responsibility.
Remember: You don’t have to do or be ALL these things to start building assets. You already have some strengths to offer. Start with those! Then work to develop others.
Everyone Can Build Assets
Some things that are NOT REQUIRED:
Like most people in her Phoenix, Arizona neighborhood, Linda Staats tried to ignore the two teenage boys who lived next door. They dressed in black and dyed their hair “creative colors” and didn’t fit into the norms of the neighborhood, scared neighbors assumed the worst.
One day, though, Linda decided to take a risk and go up and talk to them when they were outside. She was amazed that they were like her own son who had moved away from home-they were astronomy buffs and owned a telescope. “I realized”, Linda recalls, “that I had missed out on what could have been a great relationship with some really interesting kids.”
The next four articles are on Developmental Assets for different ages of children that are age appropriate from Infants and Toddlers, Preschoolers, Elementary-Age Children and Teenagers.
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