Effective parents do six things

These six things are the building blocks of being effective parent to a teenager.

These six things are the building blocks of being an effective parent to a teenager. Measuring, hammering, sawing and painting are building blocks to remodeling. But even the best carpenter needs a plan, just as good parenting needs a plan. Thinking about parenting as building assets provides that plan.

Michigan State University Extension says that research indicates that effective parents so six kinds of things:

  1. Guide their children
  2. Motivate their children
  3. Nurture their children
  4. Understand their children
  5. Advocate for their children
  6. Take care of themselves as parents!

The 40 Developmental Assets handout is a set of 40 developmental assets for adolescents. The more of these assets adolescents have, the less likely they are to be involved in problem behavior. Also, kids who have more assets are more likely to make good choices and commitments. As you review these assets, consider the dreams you have for your own adolescent as he or she approaches independence and adulthood. How many of these do you believe are important to become a successful adult?

Approaching our job of parenting as being “asset builders” is a new way of thinking. It means putting away some of our old ideas and trying on some new ones. It may take a while to be comfortable with this positive, “developmental” approach.

Every job begins with a single task. It’s unrealistic to think we can work on developing all assets simultaneously. Besides, our teens already have a number of assets. Think about your own son or daughter, and their individual strengths. All teens have assets, and it is important to recognize and celebrate these.

For more information further regarding MSU Extension’s Building Strong Adolescents curriculum find a class near you.

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