Archive for the ‘POSITIVE VALUES’ Category

February Postcard

February Postcard

Caring

Follow your good intentions with great actions

People can help and care for others directly or indirectly. Direct help is when you spend time and interact with people who need care. Indirect help is when you collect money, food, or other items to give to people who distribute the items to those in need. It’s important for young people to be involved in both direct and indirect caring. Caring is Asset 26 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 place a high value on caring are more likely to promote and model positive rather than negative behaviors. About 50 percent of young people, ages 11–18, say they place a high value on helping others, according to Search Institute surveys. If everyone cared for one another, the world would be a safer, happier, more peaceful place.

Tips for building this asset

Caring about others includes caring for a lot of different people: those in your family, neighborhood, school, community, state, country, and the world. It can also include caring for animals and the environment. Volunteering—whether for a group or an individual—is an excellent way for young people to show they care. But the easiest, quickest way to demonstrate you care? Simply smile at those around you.

Also try this

In your home and family: Do volunteer work together as a family—at an animal shelter, a nature center, a food bank, or for another cause you care about.

In your neighborhood and community: Have a neighborhood garage sale. Use the proceeds to purchase necessities and gifts for a local family in need or donate them to a local charity.

In your school or youth program: Facilitate a reading circle in which middle and high school students spend one hour a week reading to—and interacting with—elementary school children.

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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.

Integrity

It’s important for young people to honor their beliefs

It’s one thing to have beliefs and values. It’s quite another to stand up for them, especially when you feel like you’re sticking your neck out alone. Anytime young people draw on their inner spark of courage and act based on their values, they have integrity. History is packed with stories of honorable people with integrity. The best way to teach integrity to young people may be to practice and model it yourself. Think of the things you do every day: recycle an empty can if you care about the environment; point out something positive about a person who others are making fun of. Integrity is Asset 28 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 have integrity feel good about themselves, make thoughtful decisions, and lead others through their positive influence. About 68 percent of young people, ages 11–18, report that they act on their convictions and stand up for their beliefs, according to Search Institute surveys. Help young people gain confidence to act in ways that reflect their values and beliefs, even when it’s difficult.

Tips for building this asset

Be a role model for the young people in your life: Think about what you believe in and value. Is it being a good friend? Helping vulnerable people? Honesty? Education? Health? Ask yourself whether your daily actions show you are true to yourself and your values. Confidence, trust, and respect are a direct result of integrity, and there are many ways adults can help young people foster these characteristics.

Also try this

In your home and family: Talk with your child about a belief or value you admire and respect in him or her. Brainstorm ways to provide support and positive feedback when your child acts with integrity.

In your neighborhood and community: If you notice a young person who is being teased for not doing something considered “cool,” because it goes against his or her values, praise the young person for his or her integrity.

In your school or youth program: Ask students or participants to tell about a time when they acted with integrity, even though it was difficult. Congratulate each person.

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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.

Restraint

Let them know you’re here for them—no matter what

Sex, alcohol, drugs . . . These are subjects many adults would just as soon not discuss with young people. But if parents and other caring adults don’t step up and talk to young people about these things, who will? Make it easy for young people to come to you and talk about the temptations in their lives. Avoid judging. Listen, and educate. Restraint is Asset 31 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 refrain from sexual activity and the use of alcohol and other drugs are more likely to grow up healthy. About 45 percent of young people, ages 11–18, believe it’s important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs, according to Search Institute surveys. These young people are less likely to chew tobacco or smoke cigarettes, fight, steal, or feel depressed. Further, drinking and driving or riding in a car with someone who’s been drinking are also less likely to happen when young people practice restraint.

Tips for building this asset

Communicating with young people about the risks of sex, use of alcohol or other drugs is important. Labeling them as bad is not necessarily helpful. Instead, explain the dangers: having sex can lead to pregnancy and disease; using alcohol or other drugs causes you to lose control over your functions, which can lead to serious, even fatal, accidents; substance use can also damage the developing teenage brain. Work with young people to focus on long-term outcomes—not just on the moment. Helping them to internalize and stand up for their personal values also makes it easier for them to practice restraint and withstand negative peer pressure. If they do get in trouble with these issues, though, make sure they know they can come to you for help.

Also try this

In your home and family: Look for opportunities to respond to messages in the media about sexuality and use of alcohol and other drugs. Discuss your reaction and ask for your child’s opinion.

In your neighborhood and community: Keep everyone accountable! Make a pact with your neighbors not to allow alcohol at parties for young people—and to report to other parents if you hear of or see young people using alcohol or other drugs.

In your school or youth program: Form a weekly after-school group to promote drug-free and alcohol-free lifestyles, as well as positive decision-making.

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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.

Honesty

Honesty is the best policy

Honest people are trustworthy, sincere, and genuine. They display dignity and earn respect from peers and others in the community. Although telling the truth is not always easy, teaching young people the value of honesty, is important. Without it, dishonest habits, such as lying and cheating, can become a big problem. Honesty is crucial for success in all areas of life, including relationships, school, and jobs. Honesty is Asset 29 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 when they tell the truth, even when it’s not easy. Honesty leads to less violence and reliance on alcohol and other drugs. About 66 percent of young people, ages 11–18, say they tell the truth even when it’s not easy, according to Search Institute surveys. People who are honest value diversity, good health, and success in school. They also make effective leaders.

Tips for building this asset

To instill the value of honesty, adults need to talk about it, model it, and explain why it’s important. Work with your family, school, and community to come up with rules about honesty and the consequences for dishonesty. Encourage the young people you know to make a personal commitment to tell the truth—and you do the same. Honestly admit to your own successes and mistakes.

Also try this

In your home and family: Don’t overreact or be accusatory if you suspect that your child is lying to you. Instead, give her or him the opportunity to tell the truth by asking questions, such as “Do you think I may be struggling with believing you right now?”

In your neighborhood and community: Model honest behavior. For example, return extra change if you receive too much from a store clerk.

In your school or youth program: Discuss what it means to be honest. Ask whether there are situations in which it’s better to tell a “little white lie.”

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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.

Equality and Social Justice

One person can make a difference

Young people who are concerned about equality and reducing hunger and poverty may not know what life is like for those who suffer these conditions, but they do understand it’s important to care for people—all people. They care about people they don’t know, who live a world away, and who may have critical needs. And they want to do something to make the world a better place. Equality and Social Justice is Asset 27 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 place a high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty are more caring and more willing to help people who are less fortunate. They also grow up healthier and become better leaders. About 52 percent of young people, ages 11–18, place a high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty, according to Search Institute surveys. Even tiny steps—if enough people take them—can make a big difference in providing food and shelter for others.

Tips for building this asset

Ask young people how they feel when others treat them unfairly. Use their answers as a springboard to help them find ways to make a difference in the world. Encourage them to give time, money, or talent to an organization that seeks to reduce hunger, poverty, and injustice.

Also try this

In your home and family: Find out which injustices in the world most concern your child. Help her or him develop a plan to personally help address the problem.

In your neighborhood and community: Donate canned goods and other non-perishables to your local food shelf. Volunteer to serve food at a nearby homeless shelter.

In your school or youth program: Choose a social issue that either directly affects or troubles the young people in your class or program. Have them write letters about the issue to the local newspaper or state representatives.

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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.

Responsibility

Give young people a chance to stand on their own two feet

Following rules is important, but is doing as you’re told enough? To become strong, upstanding, and successful adults, possessing a personal desire to be responsible is also significant. Accountability is more than following rules. It means you’re responsible for knowing why you follow the rules and when it may be beneficial to change the rules. Give young people the chance to do their best—sometimes without assistance. Responsibility is Asset 30 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 succeed if they accept and take personal responsibility for their actions. About 63 percent of young people, ages 11–18, say they accept and take personal responsibility for their actions, according to Search Institute surveys. Take time to model and teach young people how to take care of themselves, follow through with commitments, and learn from mistakes.

Tips for building this asset

There are four keys to instilling responsibility in young people, according to authors Don Dinkmeyer, Ph.D. and Gary McKay, Ph.D. In their book, Raising a Responsible Child, Dinkmeyer and McKay list the following keys to teaching responsibility: 1. Let the young person do it him or herself; 2. Expect it to take time; 3. Ask, don’t demand; and 4. Use natural and logical consequences.

Also try this

In your home and family: Create a chart of family chores, listing everyone’s responsibilities, even yours.

In your neighborhood and community: When you make a commitment to a neighborhood or community group, follow through. Don’t minimize the responsibility simply because you’re a volunteer.

In your school or youth program: When a young person won’t take responsibility for her or his actions, help him or her understand the consequences. For example, if a homework assignment isn’t completed on time, let the student experience the natural outcome of receiving a zero. If he or she asks for an opportunity to bring the grade up, great! If the student doesn’t seek that opportunity, avoid offering it. It will be a great lesson for the student to see how that zero affects his or her overall grade.

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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.