More on youth development and the 40 Developmental Assets needed by 12 to 18 year olds, as described by the Search Institute.
4) Bonding to School: where teens care about their school.
If you are able, purchase school t-shirts, caps, sweatshirts, or other school clothing that’s for sale. Wearing these helps children show pride in their school.
Participate with your child in service projects such as food drives, conducted by the school. Invite one of your child’s friends to join you.
Show that you care about your child’s school. Join a parent-teacher organization, attend conferences and special events, and volunteer in any way you can.
Listen to your teen’s frustrations about school or when they talk about not feeling connected. Is there a specific problem?
Don’t forget to identify one caring adult at school as your family’s “ally.” Aim for at least five caring adults in your teen’s life.
5) Reading for Pleasure: where teens read for pleasure three or more hours per week.
Bring a young person with you to look for books at garage sales, rummage sales, and second-hand stores.
Ask younger children to read to you as they learn to read. Show them how excited and proud you are about their reading.
Ask teens to recommend a favorite book. Read the book and later start a discussion about the characters’ values.
Give your teen books and magazine subscriptions as birthday and holiday presents.
Make it a family ritual to read together in the evening—with the television, cell phones, and computers turned off!