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This week we look at the next 20 steps on the path, the External Assets. These are the Assets that as adults on the sidelines, we can directly impact.
These are the easy assets, the ones we don’t have to make too much of an effort to demonstrate. Think about it, honesty, integrity, responsibility, you may occasionally have to intentionally think about them, but it doesn’t take much to do the right thing.
As we get closer to starting a new school year, we begin with the assets that we need to hit the ground running. The assets of achievement motivation, engagement, bonding to school and reading for pleasure, these are all part in parcel of what school is all about.
How do we start the school year with motivation, engagement and bonding to school? I think it has a lot to do with parents and guardians having a happy attitude about the whole picture. As role models, we need to help students find the good things in every situation. Don’t fuss about a class with a certain teacher or gripe too openly about a mistake made in scheduling classes.
Tensions will rise when the school bell rings and adults should demonstrate restraint and patience, especially in front of your child. Let your child see you thank someone for their time when they’re trying to fix an error for you.
While your teen or tween may have a melt down thinking the world has ended when they didn’t get their way, rein it in by saying, no worries, we’ll get it fixed. Also remember that your problem is one of a hundred that may be dealt with that day and while you can’t tell if everyone will cut staff some slack, you will know you did your part.
When the going gets rough remember peaceful conflict resolution and a positive view of personal future. When youth see the adults in their life handling things in a calm manner, they may act accordingly when it comes your time to deal with them.
That first week of school can be a tough one, so combat everything you can ahead of time. If you know you may have to wait in a line, throw some candy bars in a bag or a drink, then when the problem is hunger or waning patience, you’re ready to combat the problem. Any thing that can occupy some time while waiting will be worth any preparation done ahead.
My problem is usually putting together the emergency kits or writing the name on every pencil and crayon in the younger grades. The activity itself isn’t the hard part; it is the remembering to do it.
You know during one of those times I’m sitting on my behind watching some reality television show, I could be writing, too.
Yes, we as adults forget that age old wisdom of asset number 32, Planning and Decision Making, or maybe it’s just me. If we help our kids to get organized early, notice I didn’t say do it all for them, we’ll be a lot better off in the long run.
In the meantime, I’ll be digging out my back to school shopping lists and getting prepared for the tax free weekend, see you there.
Bernadette Lauritzen is the Assets In Action Coordinator for Los Alamos. Learn more bout the 40 Developmental Assets® at www.AssetsInAction.info.
This program is sponsored by JJAB, the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce and AM 1490, KRSN.