What’s Up with that Teen?
While not all of us are “parents” in the traditional sense, we’ve all been teenagers. Some may have experienced the “roller-coaster” of emotions during this phase far more than others. During adolescence (10-26 years,) the brain of a young person is still developing drastically. They’re “finding themselves,” discovering their likes/dislikes, moving in and out of relationships, learning to manage stress, responsibilities and experiencing all the amazing changes the body goes through during this time.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a blueprint to help teens navigate through adolescence, nor is there a manual for parents and other trusted adults to help them through these years – while also maintaining their own sanity.
No need to fear though! There are numerous ways that parents and adults can help youth grow up healthy, caring and responsible. The Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets include some of these ways. These assets, broken into two categories (External and Internal), serve as building blocks for healthy youth development. The more assets young people have, the less likely they are to engage in high-risk behaviors.
The programs at Healthy Futures strive to incorporate as many developmental assets as possible when working with youth and speaking with parents about communication and influence with their child. Our Youth Advocacy Council utilizes this framework to help develop external assets on empowerment, support, boundaries, and expectations with its members. Also tied in are internal assets like responsibility, planning and decision making, cultural competence, personal power and positive view of future.
To learn more about how you can make a positive difference in a youth’s life check out The Search Institutes 40 developmental assets here.