Final Week, Week 8: 40 Developmental Assets training tidbits that will help you become a better asset builder!
Positive Identity is the final of the four internal asset category completing all 40 Developmental Assets!
Personal Power: Having personal power means understanding and accepting the things we can and can’t control. You can find a new job, work out a conflict, or move to a new location if you choose. When young people feel empowered, they feel more confident to make their own choices—to get good grades, participate in activities they enjoy, and take action to find solutions to problems.
About 42 percent of young people, ages 11–18, feel that they have control over things that happen to them, according to Search Institute surveys. Teach your child practical skills, such as how to change a tire, cook a meal, and sew on a button. Well-prepared young people are more likely to feel a sense of personal power.
Self Esteem. High self-esteem doesn’t necessarily come naturally. Adults, by the way they act and interact, teach young people to believe in themselves and like themselves. Telling and showing young people that they love and accept them for who they are, what they value, and the people they want to become helps build self-esteem. It’s also important to teach young people the values and actions that will build genuine self-esteem, including caring, giving, treating others with kindness and tolerance, and always doing your best in school and other activities.
Loving yourself is as important as loving other people. About 48 percent of young people, ages 11–18, report having high self-esteem, according to Search Institute surveys. Compliment your child and let her or him hear you saying positive things about her or him to someone else. Take the time to learn about what the young people in your community think and feel about current events. Ask them not only about school and hobbies, but also their opinions on important issues.
Sense of Purpose. If you lived to 100, what would you want people to remember about you? Would your actions over the years reflect what you believed in and stood for? When young people think today about what they want to accomplish in their lives, it shapes their sense of purpose. Research shows young people who have a sense of purpose feel good about themselves, get along better with their parents, and get into less trouble.
Ask young people what inspires or excites them and share your thoughts on the subject with them. Tell them to review what they’ve written from time to time and notice how some of these things may change over time. Let them know changes are healthy and natural as people mature. Encourage them to aim for the things that give their lives purpose.
Positive View and Personal Future. Stories about people who have overcome incredible odds to make a difference or achieve a dream abound throughout history. It’s important to have goals and dreams, but what do you do when the going gets tough? It’s important to model a positive attitude, seek solutions to problems, and keep moving toward your goal.
Research shows that young people who are optimistic about the future have better relationships with their parents, increased self-esteem, and decreased emotional or behavioral problems, such as depression, early sexual activity, and violence. Since young people are our future adults, it’s important to help them realize the positive aspects of their lives now and in the years to come.
Having a sense of hope is one of the most important human traits to embrace. Everyone faces ups and downs in life. But it’s important to teach young people that a bad day, failed test, break-up, or loss of a loved one doesn’t mean the future is without hope. When bad things happen or mistakes occur, help young people focus on solutions or positive aspects of the situation instead of problems. React positively when young people tell you their dreams—no matter how far-fetched or unreachable they may seem. Together, figure out a plan to make their dreams come true.
Remember! Everyone’s an Asset Builder. The 40 Developmental Assets is designed to inform individuals about the Developmental Assets framework and motivates them to be effective asset builders.
Be intentional. Be an asset builder.