As a child grows into an adolescent, it’s important to understand the building blocks of healthy development. The Search Institute has identified 40 developmental assets, and today, we’ll be focusing on one group of the internal assets - positive identity.
As you might have noticed, children quickly begin to discover just who they are--whether that might be what matters to them or what they want and do not want in life. In these times, it’s crucial children receive assistance from an adult. Children are likely to overestimate or underestimate their qualities, which could have serious implications on their personality and life goals.
It is important that a child realizes the power of his strengths and the domain of his weaknesses, so that he can plan his daily and long-term actions accordingly. Holding conversations with your child is one way to encourage your child to assess his own qualities and make him comfortable to build upon his strengths and be cognizant of his weaknesses.
Be adaptable and flexible in taking advantages of opportunities in life. To be confident about one’s talents and interests, surround children with like-minded people and seek opportunities to build upon them.
Does your child know that they can have an effect on world? How do you develop this confidence, and how do you talk about the responsibility in being able to impact the world? Distinguish what can and cannot be controlled, changed or altered by them.
Self-esteem plays a very important role in fashioning a positive identity as well. Self-esteem is basically the lens with which one looks at their self, and also is the attitude towards one’s self. Is your child generally satisfied with who they are?
Sense of purpose
Research shows that a sense of purpose is essential in building a holistic personality. This involves recognizing that your actions have a direct/indirect role in the general pace (and meaning) of life. Encourage them to choose actions that they are hopeful about and are within their capability. Ask your child to think about big questions such as the meaning and purpose of life. This may push them to look at how significant their actions can be.
Some ways to instill this attitude of finding purpose include:
- Encouraging your children to recognize their own strengths and the things they want to improve.
- Pushing them to rank their strengths and weaknesses. This will help them to prioritize what they need to work on and develop.
Positive view of personal future
Encourage your children to delve deeply into their interests. Ask them to look up career paths related to that interest. Help them outline a realistic path where they can actually see how they can reach that goal, such as finances and schooling.
Interested in learning more about the 40 Developmental Assets? Check back to our blog for future posts!