Search Institute found that successful adults have characteristics, skills, behaviors, and attitudes that make them successful: Developmental Assets. The categories are: Support, Empowerment, Expectations, Time Management, a Commitment to Learning, Positive Values, Social Skills, and Positive Identity. With simple actions, anyone can help build the assets in youth.
- Family Support: Family life provides high levels of love and support.
- Positive Family Communication: Young person and his/her parent(s) communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek advice from parents.
- Other Adult Relationships: Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults.
- Caring Neighborhood: Young person experiences caring neighbors.
- Caring School Climate: School provides a caring, encouraging environment.
- Parent Involvement In Schooling: Guardian(s) are actively involved in helping young person succeed in school.
- Community Values Youth: Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth.
- Youth As Resources: Young people are given useful roles in the community.
- Service To Others: Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week.
- Safety: Young person feels safe at home, school, and in the neighborhood.
BOUNDARIES AND EXPECTATIONS:
- Family Boundaries: Family has clear rules and consequences and monitors the young person’s whereabouts.
- School Boundaries: School provides clear rules and and consequences.
- Neighborhood Boundaries: Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior.
- Adult Role Models: Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.
- Positive Peer Influence: Young person’s best friends model responsible behavior.
- High Expectations: Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well and to learn from mistakes.
CONSTRUCTIVE USE OF TIME:
- Creative Activities: Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts.
- Youth Programs: Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in the community.
- Faith Community: Young person spends one or more hours per week in activities in a faith-based institution.
- Time At Home: Young person is out with friends ‘with nothing special to do’ two or fewer nights per week.
COMMITMENT TO LEARNING:
- Achievement Motivation: Young person is motivated to do well in school.
- School Engagement: Young person is actively engaged in learning.
- Homework: Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day.
- Bonding To School: Young person cares about their school.
- Reading For Pleasure: Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week.
- Caring: Young person places high value on helping other people.
- Equality And Social Justice: Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger & poverty.
- Integrity: Young person acts on convictions and stands up for their beliefs.
- Honesty: Young person ‘tells the truth even when it is not easy’.
- Responsibility: Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.
- Restraint: Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs.
- Planning And Decision Making: Young person knows to plan ahead and make choices.
- Interpersonal Competence: Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
- Cultural Competence: Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.
- Resistance Skills: Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.
- Peaceful Conflict Resolution: Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.
- Personal Power: Young person feels he or she has control over ‘things that happen to me’.
- Self-Esteem: Young person reports having a high self-esteem.
- Sense Of Purpose: Young personal reports that ‘my life has a purpose.”
- Positive View Of Personal Future: Young person is optimistic about their future.
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Copyright 2004 by Search Institute, 615 First Avenue NE, Suite 125, Minneapolis, MN 55413; 800-888-7828; www.search-institute.org
The following are trademarks of Search Institute: Search Institute, Developmental Assets, and Healthy Communities * Healthy Youth.
What Is an Asset Builder?
Who You Are
- Open, honest, and an active listener.
- Committed to integrity, responsibility, helping others, and promoting positive change in the world.
- Hopeful and optimistic about young people and the future.
- Self-aware and committed to personal growth.
- Appreciative of others’ strengths and uniqueness.
- Striving to be a caring and supportive friend and colleague.
- Reliable and trustworthy.
- Willing to share your “assets” (time, knowledge, caring, experience, wisdom) with young people.
What You Do
- Say hello, wave, or ask a simple question to take the initiative in building relationships with youth and younger children.
- Respect and affirm youth and children, seek to understand them, and expect respect in return.
- Believe in and take good care of yourself.
- Attend young people’s sports events, poetry readings, concerts, plays, or other performances.
- Look for the good in others and seek common ground with them.
- Engage in healthy relationships with young people, elders, and neighbors. If you are a parent, you invite other caring, responsible adults to be part of your children’s lives.
- Have meaningful conversations with young people about personal values, beliefs, decision making, and cultural differences.
- Model positive behaviors, including kindness, lifelong learning, voting, and self-restraint.
- Forgive people when they make mistakes. When relationships have conflicts, you know how to apologize, explain, negotiate, and resolve conflicts peacefully.
- Encourage young people to succeed in school, serve their community, and be valuable resources.
- Use the asset framework to guide interactions with young people and to check on your own healthy development.
Would you like to receive our “Weekly Asset Message”? Send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We at the Crisis Connection are all about serving our community & have heard loud and clear from adults that they are appreciative of any assistance/support in enriching family life. We have began using & sharing a free online resource that is an exciting tool to help strengthen relationships through shared activities –Search Institute’s ParentFurther!
Through ParentFurther, mentoring adults can:
- Learn about It—See what research says about relationships, strengths, and challenges in families with children and youth.
- Check It—Families can use quizzes to assess how their family is doing in building relationships and tackling challenges.
- Talk about it—Parents can start meaningful conversations with their kids, building on what they find in the quiz.
- Try it—Parents can engage in meaningful activities with their children to explore issues and bring them closer together.
- Track It—Families can use an online profile to keep track of the quizzes and the activities they have done so far.
- Take It Further—Families can create plans for how they want to keep moving forward toward goals, despite any setbacks.
LEARN EASY TIPS TO HELP CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL ASSETS AT:
Other great resources