Building Developmental Assets on Valentine’s Day! Sweet! by Brenda Serna

Kids need adults they can trust…
Who did you turn to for advice, comfort, and understanding when you were young? Was there an adult you trusted and enjoyed talking with? If you had an adult outside your family who was there for you during tough times and good times, you probably understand how important a relationship like that is for a young person. Now you can be that adult friend. Whether you’re a parent, neighbor, teacher, tutor, coach, aunt, or older cousin —you can build assets in youth. Other Adult Relationships is Asset # 3 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets. We create developmental assets by providing youth withpositive experiences that will help them thrive.
Research Shows…
According to Search Institute only 52% percent of elementary school aged children in Santa Clara County have three or more non-parent adults in their lives. Caring adults are important to the development of young people. Youth who have three or more caring adults in their lives feel happier, do better in school and are less likely to be involved in risky behavior.
Tips for building asset # 3…
Build relationships with the kids in your neighborhood by inviting your child’s friends and any other kids in the neighborhood over on Valentine’s Day to bake cupcakes, cookies or any other Valentine’s Day treat. It would be a great opportunity to strengthen the relationships in your neighborhood. If you don’t know the families in your neighborhood, you might want to consider introducing yourself. This can be the first step to begin creating relationships with youth in your neighborhood. Connect with young people outside your own family and make an effort to interact regularly. They need caring adults to bounce ideas off, ask questions, laugh with, and help sort through sticky situations. If you’re a parent, encourage other caring adults to develop a friendship with your children.

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