Developmental Asset #13: Neighbourhood Boundaries

As neighbours, it is in everyone’s best interest that we remain aware of the youth in our community and what they are doing.Young people need to know that they are not just accountable to themselves, their families, and their schools, but to the community at large. As a neighbour, here are some ways you can help support youth and their parents.

 

  1. It is important to let a child’s parents know if they are misbehaving in your neighbourhood, but it is equally important to relay praise for responsible behaviour and acts of kindness. Reinforce good behaviour by acknowledging it.

 

  1. Meet the parents of your children’s friends. If your preteens are going on outings unsupervised, communicate with the other parents to agree on plans and coordinate pick-up times.

 

  1. Make your home one that kids want to come to. Maintain authority in your home, but be welcoming.

 

RECOMMENDED READING: Parenting Preteens with a Purpose: Navigating the Middle Years by Kate Thomsen and The Best of Building Assets Together: Favorite Group Activities That Help Youth Succeed by Jolene Roehlkepartain

 

Search Institute has identified 40 building blocks of healthy development, known as Developmental Assets, that help adolescents to grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. Visit us here every Wednesday to read about different ways that you, your family, and your community can take action to help equip our young people develop resilience and achieve success in life.

Developmental Asset #11: Family Boundaries

Adolescence is a time of shifting roles and responsibilities, for both kids and parents. For many kids, it’s a time of rebellion, of bucking against parental authority. As your kids become more independent and capable, they will be taking on more responsibility for their actions, and family rules and expectations may change. It is important to be flexible in the face of these changes, but it is also vitally important to maintain boundaries and rules in your family. Your children need to know that their actions have consequences. Here are a few important things to remember.

 

  1. Monitor your teens’ whereabouts. Always ask where they are going, with whom, and when they will be home.

 

  1. Hold your kids of all ages accountable for their behaviour online. This is a challenging area for parents who feel like they’re less web-savvy than their children, but let them know early on that you’re tracking their activity online, and then make sure that you do it. Don’t try to trap them – instead, if they’re aware of your monitoring, they are more likely to use the Internet responsibly. Parenting.com has this very helpful article with the provocative title “How to Spy on Your Child Online.” It’s a worthwhile read about why it’s so important to monitor your kids’ online activity, how you can do it, and how to do it in the right spirit, with a clean conscience. Internet safety is about more than just protecting your kids from predators, scams, and viruses now – it’s also about how the wrong social media post can adversely affect their futures.

    For your younger kids and preteens, Google has a new program called Be Internet Awesome. It has resources for educators (that’s you!), a pledge for family members to sign, and an online game to help kids learn about sharing with care, protecting personal information, distinguishing fact from fiction, and respect for others.

3. When your teen lashes out at you, try to respond with love, not with anger. Say something like, “I’m sorry that you’re feeling that way right now, and I love you, but the way you’re behaving is not okay.”

 

RECOMMENDED READING: Parenting Preteens with a Purpose: Navigating the Middle Years by Kate Thomsen

 

Search Institute has identified 40 building blocks of healthy development, known as Developmental Assets, that help adolescents to grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. Visit us here every Wednesday to read about different ways that you, your family, and your community can take action to help equip our young people develop resilience and achieve success in life.

 

Developmental Asset #9: Service to Others

This is closely related to Developmental Asset #8: Youth As Resources. Young people are empowered when they have opportunities to serve others, especially when it becomes part of their regular routine. There are many ways for your adolescent to provide meaningful service. Here are just a few.

 

  1. Encourage your teen to organize or join a cleanup crew for a residential area or park.

 

  1. Work together with your teen to help someone in need. Help an older neighbour with yard work or household maintenance. Bring food to someone in your community who is grieving or sick. Maybe ask Miss Lisa at Phoenix, who runs our Care Program, whether there are any Phoenix families who could benefit from your help or support.

 

  1. Volunteer together for a charity. If you make financial contributions, consider helping your teen to do so as well. Ask them whether they have their own cause in mind that they would like to support.

 

  1. Provide foster care for a pet through your local animal shelter.

 

RECOMMENDED READING: Empowering Youth: How to Encourage Young Leaders to Do Great Things by Kelly Curtis and The Best of Building Assets Together: Favorite Group Activities That Help Youth Succeed by Jolene Roehlkepartain

 

Search Institute has identified 40 building blocks of healthy development, known as Developmental Assets, that help adolescents to grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. Visit us here every Wednesday to read about different ways that you, your family, and your community can take action to help equip our young people develop resilience and achieve success in life.

Developmental Asset #8: Youth As Resources

A community serves its young people well when it treats them as valuable resources. As parents, teachers, and community members, here are a few ways you can empower adolescents by giving them useful roles.

 

  1. If you’re in charge of a charity fundraiser, celebration, or other event, involve your teenagers. Give them meaningful tasks so that they can contribute to your event’s success. If you run a business or charity, employ young people and help them succeed at the jobs you give them.

 

  1. Encourage your teens to support their peers, to listen and be there for them when they need help. Being a supportive friend is good for your teen’s self-esteem.

 

  1. Encourage your teens to act as positive role models for younger children. Maybe get them involved in Phoenix’s mentorship program. If you have a younger child, encourage positive relationships with well-adjusted teens who share their interests.

 

  1. Encourage entrepreneurship in teens. Hire neighbourhood kids to shovel your walk, mow your lawn, or babysit. Encourage your own teens to think of creative ways to earn money through their own marketable skills.

 

RECOMMENDED READING: Empowering Youth: How to Encourage Young Leaders to Do Great Things by Kelly Curtis

 

Search Institute has identified 40 building blocks of healthy development, known as Developmental Assets, that help adolescents to grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. Visit us here every Wednesday to read about different ways that you, your family, and your community can take action to help equip our young people develop resilience and achieve success in life.

Developmental Asset #6: Parental Involvement in Schooling

If you are a Phoenix family, this is part of your way of life. One of our core philosophies at Phoenix is that parents are the primary educators of their children. From Grade 7 on, students need to be given more opportunities to work independently, but that does not mean they can learn effectively without adult supervision. As the primary educators of your teens, you are the ones to hold them accountable, to make sure they are making progress, and to advocate for them when problems arise. Here are a few ways you can remain positively involved in the education of your adolescent.

 

  1. Instead of asking your teen whether they have finished their work, have them show you. You should be reviewing their work after every study session to make sure that the work is getting done and that progress is being made. If they are not making progress in a certain area, contact their Learning Coach. It is crucial to hold your teen accountable.

 

  1. Keep communication open with your child’s Learning Coach about deadlines and expectations. If you have a question or concern about your child’s learning, take initiative and get in touch with their Learning Coach to make a plan. Don’t just wait to hear from them.

 

  1. Find ways to spend time on site at Phoenix and be present for your child’s learning here. Consider volunteering with us or joining one of our clubs.

 

Search Institute has identified 40 building blocks of healthy development, known as Developmental Assets, that help adolescents to grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. Visit us here every Wednesday to read about different ways that you, your family, and your community can take action to help equip our young people develop resilience and achieve success in life.

Developmental Assets for Adolescents

Dear Phoenix families,

Through their work with Cornerstone Youth Centre, Miss Diana and Mr. Larry discovered Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents. Our mission at Phoenix is to provide unique learning opportunities (in partnership with families) so that each young person can develop into a lifelong learner and active, responsible global citizen. Search Institute’s advice for parents of teenagers, aimed at promoting assets like “Commitment to Learning”, “Caring”, “Responsibility”, “Cultural Competence”, “Sense of Purpose” and 35 others, is very much in line with our mission. We thought it might be fun to explore these 40 assets together, week by week on Wacky Teen Wednesday. Tune in next Wednesday for a few words on Developmental Asset #1: Family Support.

See you next week!

 

Miss Vanessa

Music Teacher and Writer, Phoenix Foundation