Thursday, August 16, 2012

Parents are the Experts! Ways to Build Assets with Babies and Toddlers

It is never to early build assets!
Check out these great ideas that were generated at a Developmental Assets session held at the Martensville Baby Babble group.  The moms there had some great can you build assets with your baby/toddler?

-have guidelines and patterns, a routine
-be tolerant
-be an example
-learning practical skills
-intergenerational interaction - go visit Grandma and Grandpa!
-be consistent!
-talking about what you are doing with your baby
-praise for their efforts
-admit when you are wrong
-have big family gatherings
-feel good about yourself
-getting involved in groups
-trying new things/experiences
-giving choices...A or B
-create a Book of Faces (pictures of family members, especially those who live far away)
-saying I Love You

Contact Sydney Bell if you would like to have a workshop or presentation on Developmental Assets in your community.  Sponsored by KidsFirst Saskatoon
ph: 655-5385

Asset Tip of the Day - Aug 17

Say More Positive Things to friends and family than negative ones.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Asset 7: Community Values Children and Youth

Listening to diverse opinions can help everyone move ahead

 As young people grow older, they quickly sense where they are wanted and where they aren’t. Do the children and young people around you have opportunities to participate, serve, lead, and make decisions within the community? Do these same young people feel the community supports children and youth? If the answer to these questions is “not always” or “not enough,” it may be time to make some changes. After all, remember how you felt when you were a child and the adults around you didn’t listen or give you credit for your opinions? Everyone deserves a voice! Community Values Children and Youth is Asset 7 of Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.

Here are the facts

Research shows that children and youth who perceive that adults in the community value young people are more likely to grow up healthy, exhibit leadership, value diversity, and succeed in school. Only 22 percent of young people, ages 11–18, perceive that adults in the community value their opinions and input, according to Search Institute surveys. Set a goal to create an environment in which you and other adults take time to listen to young people, spend time with them, and give credit to their opinions.

Tips for building this asset

Young people’s perceptions can tell you a lot about your community and what needs to happen so they feel the community values them. Ask young people what they think. Acknowledge their opinions, even if you don’t agree. Work together to turn your community into a place that values its young people.

Also try this

In your home and family: Ask your child’s opinion about something in the news. Listen carefully, without interrupting. Discuss the topic (agreeing to disagree, if necessary).

In your neighborhood and community: Serve on a community committee and seek out young people’s feedback about specific issues. Let them know you greatly appreciate their presence and participation. Encourage civic groups to include young people in critical conversations.

In your school or youth program: Engage the young people in your school or program as leaders and decision makers. Get their input on school board or program directors’ decisions. Invite them to discuss their experiences with the school board or program directors.

Asset Tip of the Week

Ask children what they do and do not like about their daily routines.  Together figure out changes to improve them.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Empowerment Category of Developmental Assets

Give children and youth a chance to show you what they can do.

Feeling valued and appreciated is important to all of us. For children and youth, this means feeling safe and believing they’re liked and respected. These feelings can go a long way toward empowering young people. Providing opportunities and recognizing accomplishments helps young people build self-esteem. This in turn, gives them the confidence to share their ideas, knowledge, and creativity by volunteering and working in paid jobs. By paying attention to children, you show that you value them. Empowerment is one of the eight asset categories that make up Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.

Here are the facts

Research shows the more children and youth are valued and feel valuable, the more likely they are to grow up healthy and avoid risky behaviors, such as alcohol and other drug use, violence, and early sexual activity. Search Institute has identified four assets in the Empowerment category crucial for helping young children grow up healthy: Community Cherishes and Values Children, Children Seen as Resources, Service to Others, Safety.

Tips for building these assets

 It’s not always easy to know what it takes for children to feel empowered. Sometimes children and youth doubt themselves or don’t feel valued despite the good intentions of and recognition from caring adults. Communicate with young people openly and honestly about relationships, politics, religion, and other serious issues. Young people need to know that their questions and concerns are valid and important.

Also try this

In your home and family: Empower your child by providing choices. Have regular family meetings to plan, solve problems, and encourage one another. Rotate who leads the meetings.

In your neighborhood and community: Get involved in the community and advocate for developing meaningful opportunities for young people, such as volunteer projects and civic activities.

In your school or youth program: Take a field trip to a nursing home or senior housing complex. Have students and group members perform a concert, and afterwards talk to residents and learn about their present situations, as well as their pasts. Ask participants to send thank you notes to the residents they met. Also encourage the young people to discuss what they learned from their visit and what they contributed to the lives of the residents.

Want to know more about Search Institute’s other seven asset categories or the 40 Developmental Assets and ideas for helping young people build them? Visit
Developmental Assets® are positive factors within young people, families, communities, schools, and other settings that research has found to be important in promoting the healthy development of young people. From Instant Assets: 52 Short and Simple E-Mails for Sharing the Asset Message. Copyright © 2007 by Search Institute®, 877-240-7251; This message may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). All rights reserved.

Asset Tip of the Day

Asset Tip of the Day: Apologize to a young person when you've done something wrong.

Click here for more information on Developmental Assets, and go here to find the Rural Early Years Coalition on Facebook.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Facebook Contest

Give a 'like' to the Rural Early Years Coalition and you will be entered to win a copy of "What Kids Need to Succeed". A great book, and a chance to keep connected to the work of the Rural Early Years Coalition!