Developing assets in youth

Heidi Christensen

Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau

Heidi Christensen

Heidi Christensen

As a parent of a pre-teen I often wish there was something I could do to guarantee that my child would always make good decisions and resist all high-risk behavior.

In reality there are no guarantees when it comes to parenting.

There are, however, proven assets that help protect youth from problem behaviors and promote positive behaviors.

The Search Institute, a non-profit organization in Minneapolis, found that the framework for successful development is 40 developmental assets.

The assets represent “everyday wisdom about positive experiences and characteristics for young people” (Search Institute, 2012).

The research consistently shows that the more assets a youth has, the less likely they are to engage in defiant high-risk behaviors.

One of the 40 developmental assets is engaging in creative activities.

This asset can help youth discover individual strength, improve relationships, find a balance between control and freedom, be more generous and increase intuition.

Search Institute found that less than one in five teenagers report being involved in creative activities at least three hours per week.

To give teens an opportunity to engage in a creative activity, Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau is offering Fusion scrapbook club to youth who attend North Lakes Academy Middle School.

The club will provide a safe, encouraging and fun environment to find positive outlets for creative energy and increase resiliency to high-risk behaviors.

Fusion is free of charge and will meet from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month beginning Feb. 27.

For more information call 651-464-3685 or  write to Heidi.christensen@ysblakesarea.org

For more information about the Search Institute or the 40 developmental assets, visit www.search-institute.org.

Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau is a non-profit organization committed to ensuring the success of youth.

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