Asset Corner #120
December’s Asset Category: CONSTRUCTIVE USE OF TIME. All work and no play can be boring and stressful. The pace of everyday life varies depending on the activities young people participate in. These fluctuations are normal, even healthy. As long as young people don’t consistently have too much to do or not enough to do, they’re right on track. Problems arise when the balance begins to tip too far to one side or the other. Too much involvement can lead to stress or anxiety. Too little involvement can be a sign of depression or isolation. Ensure that young people constructively use their time for both fun and learning.
This column’s focus will be on…..Asset #20 - Time At Home
Quality time as a family
Work, school, activities, friends, and other obligations can at times pull family members apart rather than bring them together. You don’t necessarily have to change activities to find family time. Just be creative.
Here are the facts
Research shows spending quality time together as a family helps young people strengthen skills such as leadership, good health, and success in school. About 51 percent of young people, ages 11–18, spend no more than two nights a week with friends “with nothing special to do,” according to Search Institute surveys. Protecting young people from risky behaviors and helping them develop positive behavior is easier when you spend time together as a family.
Tips for building this asset
Simply start spending time together: First, choose an activity the entire family enjoys. Then, commit to do the activity together one evening a week. Decide if you want to continue the activity or try something different. Ask yourselves: How often do we laugh together? Have fun together? Enjoy being with each other?
Also try this
In your home and family: Cook dinner together, with each family member preparing a dish. Then, for a fun change, eat dessert first.
In your neighborhood and community: Invite your child’s friend and his or her family over for an evening of family time—movies, games, popcorn and other treats.
In your school and youth program: Avoid scheduling practices or meetings that conflict with the dinner hour. It’s important for families to eat together.
Visit www.parmacityschools.org/character, www.search-institute.org/assets for more information about the 40 Developmental Assets and ideas for helping young people build them. Or go here http://www.parentfurther.com/ for great asset-based parenting tips, tricks, activities and ideas.
Community Volunteer/Youth Advocate