The Power of Support

The Power of Support

When encountering the daily struggles in life, support from others can be one of the key ingredients to success. Think back to your years as a teen. Remember all the difficulties? Things that seem minor now, but were a big deal back then and could make every day difficult to wake up to. Boyfriend or girlfriend problems, academics, athletics, friends, and work can take a real toll on a teen’s mind. Having family support and encouragement, as well as keeping an open line of communication can go a long way towards ensuring positive and healthy teenage years.

The Council Bluffs Asset Champions Network would like to share some helpful tips and suggestions. These Developmental Assets, the qualities, experiences, and relationships help young people grow up healthy,     caring, and responsible.

Positive Family Communication – As a parent, having an open door and encouraging ongoing conversations with your son or daughter can be a big deal.  Let your son or daughter know that you are there to listen with an open mind to problems and concerns that they may have. Ask open ended questions, and listen, listen, listen.  Keep an open line of communication so that your child may voice their opinions and release what is on their mind.

Family Support – Having the full support of family can give teens the confidence to do well in school as well as maintain focus. Family support can also help give teens achievable goals, constructive criticism, and positive thoughts. Give your child the full support he or she needs by letting them know that you support them and that you will do whatever you can to help them.  A hug, “I love you”, or kudos for something they’ve done well might be a start.

Parent Involvement in School – When children start kindergarten, most parents attend school conferences, cheer on their children at school concerts, and proudly display their children’s artwork. But far too often, parents get disconnected as their child gets older.  Parents don’t have to have their child’s teacher(s) on speed dial or volunteer at every school play, but it’s important to know what’s going on with their children’s education. Even if your child doesn’t show it, they probably need your help.  Consider checking in with your child or their teacher(s).

Even if you aren’t a parent, you can play a critical role in the development of a child….

Other Adult Relationships – If you had an adult outside of your family growing up who you could count on during the tough times and supported you through the good, you probably understand how important support like that is for a young person. Now you can be that adult friend. Whether it is a boss at work, family friend, or teacher, being another caring adult can give young people someone to turn to and identify with.

Caring Neighborhood – Growing up in a neighborhood that watches out for each other helps build a sense of community and protection, and helps young people to feel safer giving them a good foundation. It’s important for the well-being of young people reach out to one another and get to know neighbors. Friendships and trust only develop when people take risks by acknowledging their neighbors, getting to know them, and taking time to form relationships.

Caring School Climate – A caring and encouraging school climate helps students to develop healthy relationships, maintain good grades, and reach for their dreams. Teachers, school staff, and parents can show dedicated care, encouragement, support, and friendliness to create an environment that helps children thrive.

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