|Shifting Our Focus from Problems to Strengths|
Please take a moment and take a journey with me…think back to your childhood and recall one person who made you feel special. Who is it? How did they make an impact in your life? How could you tell – even at a young age – how much they cared for you?
When I was a little girl, I got to spend many weekends with my grandparents. We would play outside, make fudge, eat strawberries in the garden, take walks, and dress up in my mother’s prom dresses and wedding gown. I would cherish those times because my grandparents exhibited love in such a simple way -- they enjoyed spending consistent time with me and taught me precious life lessons.
Does this story sound familiar? Chances are, when you thought of the person who invested in you, you could tell they cared because they encouraged you, spent time with you, gave you responsibility, modeled values, or built your self-esteem. They encouraged positive qualities in you.
When I ask adults how society often view teenagers, I am told that they are seen as violent. Lost. Selfish. Spoiled. Impulsive. The list goes on. In fact, the media rarely focuses on teenagers doing “good” things for society; we often hear about the negative. I even hear parents bemoan the teenage years, excited for the day when their child moves out.
On the other hand, I’ll bet if you have a young person in your life you see amazing qualities that inspire you to grow into a better person. I know I do. Each day through On Point, I see that teens are survivors. They are smart, determined, caring, and independent. They question the world in which we live, and strive for better for their own futures.
Can you imagine the impact we could all have if we shifted our focus from fixing teen’s problems to promoting their strengths? Instead of focusing on violence, selfishness, or impulsiveness – let’s work intentionally to build their positive assets.
You see, connected adults build strong assets in a child’s life that help them grow up to be healthy, caring, and responsible. Kids exhibiting support, positive values and identity, and boundaries (among others) are more likely to make great choices!
My grandparents, and many others, built these assets into my life. Will you do the same for the children in yours?
For more information on building assets in a child’s life, contact On Point.