Asset Corner #103
SHOW KIDS YOU CARE: PAMPER THEM. July’s Asset Category: CONSTRUCTIVE USE OF TIME. All work and no play can be boring and stressful. The pace of everyday life varies depending on the activities young people participate in. These fluctuations are normal, even healthy. As long as young people don’t consistently have too much to do or not enough to do, they’re right on track. Problems arise when the balance begins to tip too far to one side or the other. Too much involvement can lead to stress or anxiety. Too little involvement can be a sign of depression or isolation. Ensure that young people constructively use their time for both fun and learning.
Tips for building these assets
Playing and spending time alone is important for everyone. But so is structured activity with other people. Help young people find the right mix by offering them a variety of choices: music, art, youth programs, and spiritual organizations that help them tap into their creative energy, provide new experiences, and teach new skills.
Also try this
In your home and family: Periodically, take an “activity inventory.” Check in with your children to find out: how happy they are with their different activities; if the activities they are involved in are stimulating and challenging; if they’re making friends with caring, thoughtful adults and peers; and if they’re learning new skills, and more about themselves.
In your neighborhood and community group: Help create a safe, inviting place where young people can meet for clubs or other structured activities, or just hang out, i.e.: a park, playground, or community center.
In your school or youth program: Provide constructive before-and after-school programs for young people who would otherwise spend the time unsupervised.
Our city recreation departments, the 3 county library branches, the Family Collaborative are just some of the organizations offering resources & programs in support of this category of asset. If not free, their cost is minimal and certainly worth checking out, at the very least.
Visit www.parmacityschools.org/assets or 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.