Of course, we all want our kids to make good choices and help them grow into responsible adults. But how to do it? Project Cornerstone, a YMCA of Silicon Valley initiative, has developed a plan that has been adopted by many school districts, including Sunnyvale Elementary School District. The plan has specific behaviors called Developmental Assets. These are the positive values, relationships, skills and experiences that help children and teens thrive. Young people with high asset levels are most likely to make healthy choices, while those with lower asset levels are more likely to get involved with negative or risky behaviors. The goal is for all kids to develop at least half of these 41 building blocks to healthy development. To learn more about developmental assets, check out Project Cornerstone’s web site. Working from these assets, Search Institute has developed many practical ideas that can inspire and motivate adults with for showing kids they care. Some easy ones:
Smile a lot.
Ask them about themselves.
Look in their eyes when you talk to them.
Read aloud together.