Asset Corner #115
SHOW KIDS YOU CARE: DELIGHT IN THEIR UNIQUENESS.. July’s Asset Category: CONSTRUCTIVE USE OF TIME
Community Connections Matter
Involving children and adolescents in forms of structure is not just a nice thing to do; it’s essential. Structure provides the opportunity for personal development and adult connection that augments & extends the effect of family. For those young people w/absent, neglectful, overwhelmed or underskilled families – and there are too many – the power and impact of constructive use of time may be a critical factor in whether they become resilient or are trapped by adversity.
This column’s focus will be on Asset 19 – Religious Community
Meeting the needs of the spirit
Young people involved in a faith community benefit in at least three ways: 1. They are more likely to have positive values; 2. They have strong bonds with people of different ages and interests; and 3. They spend less time experimenting with risky behaviors than those not involved in such a community.
Here are the facts
Research shows that young people who spend at least one hour a week involved in activities within a faith-based organization are more likely to: provide service to others, enjoy youth programs, follow and provide positive peer influence, and exercise restraint when it comes to risky behaviors. Providing a place for spiritual growth and exploration could help reduce violence, alcohol and other drug use, and sexual activity among young people.
Tips for building this asset
Faith-based organizations strongly emphasize their ideas of positive values. It’s important for parents to choose carefully. When you find a faith community that supports your family’s values, your kids are more likely to internalize these values and make responsible decisions. Visit various faith-based organizations, and include your children in decisions about how and where to be involved. If you’re already part of a faith community, welcome new parents and young people into your organization.
Also try this
In your home and family: Include faith and spirituality into your family’s daily life. Choose ways that best fit with your values, traditions, and culture.
In your neighborhood and community: Become an active member of a faith community and help promote the well-being of young people in your community.
In your school or youth program: Avoid scheduling events that conflict with families’ spiritual or cultural commitments. Use a community calendar of events to help with your planning. If your community doesn’t have such a calendar, consider creating one.
Visit www.parmacityschools.org/character, 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.