More on youth development and the 40 Developmental Assets needed by 12 to 18 year olds, as described by the Search Institute.
3) Sense of Purpose: where teens feel that “my life has a purpose.”
Stock your bookshelves with inspiring books about heroes who have made a difference with their lives. Biblical references and stories can be strong in this area.
Tell your teens about a time when you really messed up and learned from it.
Engage your youth in helping other people, thereby instilling in them a sense of healthy other-centered purpose or worth.
4) Positive View of Personal Future: where teens are optimistic about their personal future.
Encourage your teens to spend time in their high school guidance office, reading through career and college planning materials.
Talk to your teenagers about how they feel about themselves and what they envision for their future.
Help them pinpoint their areas of deep interest, and then find potential careers that incorporate those interests. For example, if your teen is passionate about animals, encourage them to consider education or career paths that involve animals when they considers post-high school opportunities.
Ask your kids about their goals and dreams. Help them think about the resources (financial and otherwise) they will need to make these goals a reality.