Archive for the ‘POSITIVE IDENTITY’ Category

Self-Esteem

Where does high self-esteem come from?

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. Self-Esteem is Asset 38 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 young people who feel good about themselves have positive relationships with parents and peers, increased academic achievement, and a decreased susceptibility to negative peer pressure. 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. Telling and showing young people you accept and value who they are helps them to feel good about themselves.

Tips for building this asset

A young person’s self-esteem can be affected by many people and situations. Notice how what you say and do affects the young people around you. Young people’s self-esteem increases when they feel loved, respected, and accepted; taken seriously; and listened to. Feeling safe and secure, and able to make choices and do good deeds also boosts self-esteem. The most important key to building other’s self-esteem is to let them know they matter and are an important part of society.

Also try this

In your home and family: Compliment your child and let her or him hear you saying positive things about her or him to someone else.

In your neighborhood and community: 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. Let them know you value what they think and how they feel.

In your school or youth program: Publicly congratulate young people’s successes with written notes, calls home, or verbal praise. If some students or group members are having a problem, talk to them—or their parents or guardians—privately.

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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; www.search-institute.org. This message may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). All rights reserved.

Sense of Purpose

What if you live to be 100?

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. Each and every young person has something unique to offer the world. Sense of Purpose is Asset 39 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 young people who have a sense of purpose feel good about themselves, get along better with their parents, and get into less trouble. About 57 percent of young people, ages 11–18, say their life has a purpose, according to Search Institute surveys. For those who do not, caring adults can help them identify what matters most to them and what they find meaningful.

Tips for building this asset

Ask young people what inspires or excites them and share your thoughts on the subject with them. Encourage them to write down their thoughts about the meaning of life to help gain a greater understanding about what’s important to 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.

Also try this

In your home and family: Ask your child how he or she would like to contribute to the family and to others in the community. Then help her or him get started.

In your neighborhood and community: Look for stories or images that depict local people who’ve lived with a clear sense of purpose. What did they accomplish? Write an article about one of these people for your local newspaper or newsletter.

In your school or youth program: Ask young people in your school or program to help younger kids. Pair them up in general mentoring relationships or for tutoring on specific school subjects. This will give the older kids a sense of purpose, as well as model to the younger ones what it means to help others.

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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; www.search-institute.org. This message may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). All rights reserved.

Personal Power

Feel control over your own destiny

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. Personal Power is Asset 37 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 young people are more likely to grow up healthy if they feel a sense of control over the things that happen to them. A sense of personal power gives young people the confidence to embrace positive attitudes and behaviors, and walk away from risky situations and behaviors. 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. Caring adults provide opportunities for young people to make their own decisions.

Tips for building this asset

Young people who have a strong sense of their own power believe that when good things happen to them, they had some control over the outcome. If things go wrong, help young people focus on the positive steps they can take to remedy the situation. Help them see how they can make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.

Also try this

In your home and family: 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.

In your neighborhood and community: Support young people’s efforts to be industrious. For example, buy lemonade from their lemonade stand, read their homemade newspaper, and attend a play they put on in their garage.

In your school or youth program: Challenge the young people in your class or program to come up with a creative way to raise money for an underprivileged family or a charity in your area. Then put the plan into action. Serving others helps young people realize they can make a difference in the world, which gives them an enormous sense of personal power.

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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; www.search-institute.org. This message may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). All rights reserved.

Positive View of Personal Future

Looking forward to a bright 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. Studies show when people envision themselves reaching their goals, they’re more likely to make them happen. Positive View of Personal Future is Asset 40 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 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. About 72 percent of young people, ages 11–18, are optimistic about their personal future, according to Search Institute surveys. 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.

Tips for building this asset

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.

Also try this

In your home and family: Clip articles from newspapers or magazines of people doing hopeful things. Post them so the entire family sees them.

In your neighborhood and community: If you have concerns about your neighborhood, talk to neighbors about them. Gather a group to address these concerns and create a better future for everyone who lives nearby. Young people who live in a safe, clean, friendly neighborhood are more likely to feel positive about their future.

In your school or youth program: 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.

Want to know more about the 40 Developmental Assets and ideas for helping young people build them? Visit www.search-institute.org/assets.

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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; www.search-institute.org. This message may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). All rights reserved.