Developmental Assets

All parents want to provide the best possible opportunities for their children. Here are some ways you can help your child's social, physical, mental and emotional growth!

Family Support
The importance of getting together as a family as talking can't be stressed enough. If schedules are too hectic to allow families to come together for dinner and discussion, consider changing your schedules to fit in time. Dinner talks benefit your children more than being enrolled in numerous extracurricular activities. Spending time throughout the day communicating dreams, troubles or everyday experiences make children feel that they have a voice that will be heard.

Helping Others, Helping Ourselves
Get kids involved in community outreach programs; whether it's spending time with elderly residents or helping out at a soup kitchen. It's easy for kids to get lost in their own worlds, which could keep their perspective on life narrow. Helping others in needs helps your child-it broadens his knowledge of the world and helps raise him as a caring individual.

These Are The Rules
All families need to set clear boundaries for kids. This involves a list of rules and their respective punishments. Each family needs to decide what's important for them on an individual basis. Hold a family meeting where ideas are discussed concerning rules, then print out a list of rules that everyone has agreed on. When writing up the list, put items that take a higher priority first. For example, if it's more important to your family that siblings not fight than that the dog is let into bedrooms, put the sibling rivalry rule first. Include a list of clear consequences to the breaking of these rules. This helps kids maintain appropriate behavior, teaches responsibility and makes for one happy family!

Make a Commitment to Nutrition
It's so important that your growing kids are getting the proper nutrition. Simply drinking enough water everyday and getting a regular intake of fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables, do wonders for your child's proper development! Studies have also shown that kids who eat healthy diets at home are more likely to choose healthy snacks when given the freedom to choose any kind of food.

Get to Know Your Child
Lastly, spend enough time with your child so that you really get to know the way your child operates. Pay attention to your child. This will help you identify areas that your child may need more support in. For example, are they understanding their class assignments or do you think a learning disability may be holding your child back from achieving his full potential? Once you identify areas that want strength, you can start providing coping strategies for your child.

Following these tips makes for great parenting!