Assets: The Building Blocks of Life
In our ever changing and growing world, adults need to be strong and understand our role in supporting the development of children.
It’s often said, "In giving, we receive." Taking the time and patience to help children develop the fundamental building blocks of life not only will bring joy and happiness to a child’s life, but also to yours. Help a child to succeed by learning about assets, 40 developmental factors that provide positive growth and development in a child’s life.
The Search Institute of Minneapolis, MN developed the assets framework. Assets are divided up into eight categories:
- Boundaries and expectations;
- Constructive use of time;
- Commitment to learning;
- Positive values;
- Social competencies; and
- Positive identity.
Adults are encouraged to provide children with opportunities to develop the 40 assets. The Search Institute’s researchers have found that the more assets a child has in their life, the more likely they will be to succeed in life and engage in positive behaviors.
You may ask yourself, "How do I know if I am an asset builder?" One of the key elements of asset building is "relationships." Research shows that it is important for children of all ages to have at least three adults, other than their parents or family members, who are positive and supportive role models within their lives. You may already be an asset builder, but not realize it!
as· set (| s' et' ) n. 1. A useful or valuable quality, person, or thing; an advantage or a resource.
The American Heritage Dictionary
of English Language
Here are ideas of assets and activities you can share with your children that will assist you in building assets within the lives of your kids.INFANTS:
- Your family can show love and support for infants by holding them and interacting with them during feedings.
- Unconditionally love, respect, and accept infants for who they are! Try to remember that when they squeal, squish their food between their fingers, and tug on your glasses, that they are new to this world and curious about it. They also are just beginning to learn the concept of control. Be patient and enjoy their curiosity!
Children are Given Useful Roles — The family involves infants in family life.
- Let the family enjoy singing and reading to the baby together or on an individual basis.
- Prop infants up so that they can see what the family members are doing as they get ready for their day or cook dinner together. Take turns reading a book to each other and acting out the characters in the story. This is a great way to involve all family members, including infants, in sharing time together enjoying each other’s company.
Creative Activities — Parents expose toddlers to music, art, or other creative aspects of the environment each day.
- Enroll your child in a music class, listen to music with them at home and in the car, encourage them to sing along if they know the song or just like to sing.
- Take your toddler to a children’s concert. Many areas have concerts, which aim to provide entertainment for younger audiences, such as concerts with a light show or waterworks show set to the music. You also can call your local theatre and ask if you could set up a time to come and take a tour of the theater.
- Provide opportunities for your children to try finger painting or sculpting with clay.
Copyright 2007 by Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
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