SOUCHERAY: 40 Assets may not be sexy, but do create successThe Forty Assets are a list of qualities that are commonly found in successful families raising children or teen-agers. T
By: Kate Soucheray, Woodbury Bulletin
The Forty Assets are a list of qualities that are commonly found in successful families raising children or teen-agers. These qualities are divided into two categories, the Internal Assets and the External Assets, each divided again into four subcategories, which comprise in total the Forty Assets.
The External Assets consist of Support, Empowerment, Boundaries and Expectations and Constructive Use of Time. The Internal Assets include Commitment to Learning, Positive Values, Social Competencies and Positive Identity.
As you can see, these categories, subcategories and assets are not sexy. In fact, they aren’t really all that interesting-looking at all. They hold an air of academia, thus tending to put us to sleep with the snooze factor.
However, as a person or family attempts to understand the categories, subcategories and assets, they will see that finding simple, doable and logical ways to integrate the assets into everyday life will bring peace and calm to their home. Living the assets on a daily basis reduces the amount of chaos a family experiences, thus allowing the children to pay attention to the most important things in life, such as good and healthy relationships with family and friends, outstanding schoolwork and attentiveness to developing good values.
In many ways, as a family makes the effort to understand and integrate the assets into the fabric of their family dynamics, they will see their kids become better listeners, better minders and less argumentative because the family is working toward a common, identified goal, that of family unity and clarity of purpose.
In a system like this, no one can shirk their duties or responsibilities toward the goal of generating the best family possible. With the Forty Assets, the family members have a bandwagon, so to speak, to jump onto and ride as they move through the elementary years, into the difficult middle school years and through the unpredictable, tumultuous high school years. The Forty Assets provide the vehicle on which the family will travel through these years, ensuring that the children understand their values, know how loved, cared for and supported they are and what is expected of them.
From positive family support to having at least three adults, other than their parents, to whom they can turn, are examples of External Supports. The qualities of integrity, honesty, responsibility and restraint are considered Internal Supports and are essential to the development of character in a young person toward becoming a healthy, productive adult.
As you can see, the Forty Assets are foundational in raising a child to become a positive, healthy person who has self-respect, as well as respect for others, through attempting to do their very best each day. Through implementing the Forty Assets as a guide, the family can utilize the Assets to act as guideposts on the route of life toward greater maturity for their children.
The Assets could be thought of as a guidebook with all the plays in them from which to choose in order to have a winning game. As parents, we are not hoping to win a football game. We are concerned about raising our children to become outstanding contributors to society in order to help provide a world that is better, kinder and more compassionate toward everyone.
There is a way to do that, and one helpful influence in a family’s life can be the Forty Assets. See a list of the Forty Assets for adolescents at the following website: http://www.search-institute.org/content/40-developmental-assets-adolescents-ages-12-18. If you have younger children, you can go to http://www.search-institute.org/40-developmental-assets-children-grades-k–3 for a list of Assets.
Download the list that is most appropriate for your family and check off the Assets your family currently lives every day. Circle those you want to embellish or include in your parenting within the next six months. As you do this, you will have the opportunity to actively participate in the positive formation of your children, in order that your family will be stronger and more cohesive.
Soucheray is a Woodbury resident