What Makes Kids Thrive?

Most people would agree that raising kids is one of the most challenging roles we will face in our lifetime. Jackie Kennedy Onassis once said, “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.”

As parents, we need all the resources and help that are available. The Search Institute surveyed over three million young people across North America and countries around the world. The surveys revealed why some kids grow up with ease and why some kids struggle. The surveys also suggest that a significant factor in the difference between troubled kids and those leading healthy and productive lives is the presence or lack of “developmental assets.”

Search Institute identified 40 Developmental Assets® or essential building blocks for human development. Assets are traits and practices that serve as a source of strength in a young person’s life and they help them make wise decisions and make positive life choices and help them grow up to be competent, caring and responsible.

One of the most important assets for a child to have is an adult who cares.

In addition, their research discovered that the more caring adults in a child’s life, the more likely they will succeed. This point illustrates the how important parents, grandparents, teachers, religious leaders, coaches and other caring adults are to your child. The assets are divided into external and internal assets. External assets include family support, positive family communication, a caring neighborhood and school. Other assets include involvement in extra-curricular activities such as drama, music, arts, sports or religious activities. Some of the internal assets include a sense of purpose, good self-esteem and a positive view of the future. For a complete list of the 40 Developmental Assets®, please go to: searchinstitute.org.

The more assets children have, the less likely they are to be involved in drug and alcohol abuse, sexual activity, violence and school problems. Furthermore, the more assets a child has the more likely the child will succeed in school, help others and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Nationally known consultant Clay Roberts will give a presentation on the 40 Developmental Assets® at a Community and Family Summit hosted by the Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition (CVDAPC). The presentation will be on Thursday, March 14 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Crescenta Valley High School auditorium. The purpose of the summit is to strengthen and encourage families. The program is free and open to all community members. Child care will be provided by the First Baptist Church of La Crescenta; contact (818) 249-5832 or info@fbclc.org

Every person can learn to be an asset builder and make a difference in a child’s life.

For more information about the Community and Family Summit, please email us at info@cvdapc.org

Nancy Stone, First Vice-President, CVDAPC
La Crescenta

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