Asset Corner #98
February’s Asset Category: POSITIVE VALUES.
You are what you believe
Values shape young people’s relationships, behaviors, choices, and sense of who they are. Although positive values help young people avoid risky behavior, they also help guide their day-to-day actions and interactions. Thus, values inspire, not just prohibit. Young people who have positive values are more likely to listen to their conscience, help others, be independent, tell right from wrong, and feel happy. Ultimately, positive values help young people make their own decisions rather than imitate friends or follow trends.
This month’s column will focus on: Asset 27: Equality and Social Justice
One person can make a difference
Young people who are concerned about equality and reducing hunger and poverty may not know what life is like for those who suffer these conditions, but they do understand it’s important to care for people—all people. They care about people they don’t know, who live a world away, and who may have critical needs. And they want to do something to make the world a better place.
Here are the facts
Research shows that young people who place a high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty are more caring and more willing to help people who are less fortunate. They also grow up healthier and become better leaders. About 52 percent of young people, ages 11–18, place a high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty, according to Search Institute surveys. Even tiny steps—if enough people take them—can make a big difference in providing food and shelter for others.
Tips for building this asset
Ask young people how they feel when others treat them unfairly. Use their answers as a springboard to help them find ways to make a difference in the world. Encourage them to give time, money, or talent to an organization that seeks to reduce hunger, poverty, and injustice.
Also try this
In your home and family: Find out which injustices in the world most concern your child. Help her or him develop a plan to personally help address the problem.
In your neighborhood and community: Donate canned goods and other non-perishables to your local food shelf. Volunteer to serve food at a nearby homeless shelter.
In your school or youth program: Choose a social issue that either directly affects or troubles the young people in your class or program. Have them write letters about the issue to the local newspaper or state representatives.
Visit www.search-institute.org/assets for more information about the 40 Developmental Assets and ideas for helping young people build them. Or go here http://www.parentfurther.com/ for great asset-based parenting tips, tricks, activities and ideas.