Forum 8:
When we take good look at the families around us today it’s clear they are diverse. There’s an increase in single-parent, gay and lesbian, grandparent, blended family, and nontraditional households. It’s clear that the family plays a huge role in a child’s development. That being said, think about your childhood and your family. Who and what were you surrounded by, impacted by?
Now that you’ve got a better understanding of child development, please read [Developmental Assets] . Count the number of “Assets” you experienced as a child (note that some assets are related to the child’s internal attitudes and behaviors and others assets are related to external elements of the child’s world). After you count your experienced assets, post your number of assets and your reaction to your selected assets.
Based on what you’ve learned, do you think the number of assets someone has affects their overall development? Why or why not?
Do you think understanding child development can make someone a more effect parent, caregiver, and/or professional working with children? Please explain your answer. 
40 Developmental Assets
How Many Have You Experienced?
Asset Name & Definition 
Support Family support Family life provides high levels of love and support. 
Positive family communication Young person and her or his parent(s) communicate positively, and young person is willing to seek advice and counsel from parent(s). 
Other adult relationships Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults. 
Caring neighborhood Young person experiences caring neighbors. 
Caring school climate School provides a caring, encouraging environment. 
Parent involvement in schooling Parent(s) are actively involved in helping young person succeed in school. 
Empowerment Community values youth Young person perceives that adults in the community value youth. 
Youth as resources Young people are given useful roles in the community. 
Service to others Young person serves in the community one hour or more per week. 
Safety Young person feels safe at home, at school, and in the neighborhood. 
Boundaries and Expectations Family boundaries Family has clear rules and consequences, and monitors the young person’s whereabouts. 
School boundaries School provides clear rules and consequences. 
Neighborhood boundaries Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior. 
Adult role models Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior. 
Positive peer influence Young person’s best friends model responsible behavior. 
High expectations Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well. 
Constructive Use of Time Creative activities Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts. 
Youth programs Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in community organizations. 
Religious community Young person spends one hour or more per week in activities in a religious institution. 
Time at home Young person is out with friends “with nothing special to do” two or fewer nights per week. 
Commitment to Learning Achievement motivation Young person is motivated to do well in school. 
School engagement Young person is actively engaged in learning. 
Homework Young person reports doing at least one hour of homework every school day. 
Bonding to school Young person cares about her or his school. 
Reading for pleasure Young person reads for pleasure three or more hours per week. 
Positive Values Caring Young person places high value on helping other people. 
Equality and social justice Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty. 
Integrity Young person acts on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs. 
Honesty Young person “tells the truth even when it is not easy.” 
Responsibility Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility. 
Restraint Young person believes it is important not to be sexually active or to use alcohol or other drugs. 
Social Competencies Planning and decision making Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices. 
Interpersonal competence Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills. 
Cultural competence Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds. 
Resistance skills Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations. 
Peaceful conflict resolution Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently. 
Positive Identity Personal power Young person feels he or she has control over “things that happen to me.” 
Self-esteem Young person reports having a high self-esteem. 
Sense of purpose Young person reports that “my life has a purpose.” 
Positive view of personal future Young person is optimistic about her or his personal future.

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