Youth are morelikely to grow uphealthy whenthey report that their lives have purpose.
What Are Assets?
Assets are40 values,experiences, and qualities that help kids suc-ceed. “Sense of purpose”is oneof four positive-identity assets.
* Based on Search Institutesurveys of 217,277 6th- to12th-grade youth throughout theUnited States during the1999–2000 school year.
he unexamined life is notworth living,”
said Socrates.Andwith the wild schedules and frantic pace welive today,it’s easynotto take the time to findoutwhatreallymatters. Yetforyoung people to have a sense of purpose in life,theyneed to lookwithin.Whatgives theirlife meaning?Whatgets themexcited to wake up in the morning?Whatdreams do theyhave forthe future?Each person—including yourchild—getsapproximately170 hours a weekto choosewhatto do with herorhis time.Whichsubjects is yourchild taking in school?Are they meaningful—oreasy?Whatextracurricularactivities does yourchild do?Are theygiving yourchild purpose—orare theyjustsome-thing to pass the time?Whataboutyourfamilytime?Is itmeaningful interaction time,oris everybodyso tired thatyou’d preferjustto veg outtogetherin frontofthe television?The difference between young people whohave a sense ofpurpose in life and those whodon’tboils down to one thing:Theytakecharge oftheirlives.Iftheydon’tknowwhatgives them meaning orpurpose,theysetoutto find ways to contribute to the greatergood.Iftheyknowwhatgives them purpose,they are outthere doing it—everyday. As a family,you can encourage thatjourney bygiving familymembers time to reflect,discuss,and trynewthings ofinterest.Togetheryou can find purpose as a familyandas individuals.
T hr ee wa y s t o hel p y ou r chi l d f i nd a sense of pu r pose:
I d ent i f y how y ou r chi l d wou l d l i k et o cont r i bu t e t o t he f a mi l y a nd t oot her s i n t he commu ni t y . T henhel p her or hi m g et st a r t ed .
N et wor k wi t h ot her a d u l t s a nd y ou n g peo pl e who ha v e si mi l a r i nt er est s. See i f y ou ca n pa r t i ci pa t e i n some mea ni n g f u l a ct i v i t i es t o g et her .
R emi nd y ou r chi l d of t en t ha t heor she wa s cr ea t ed f or a r ea sona nd ha s a s peci a l pu r pose t of u l f i l l .
Easy Ways to Build Assets for and with Your Child
5 9 %
o f you t hsurveyed bySearchIns t i t u t e have t his asse t in t heir l ives. *
Finding theMeaning of Life
Q u ic k T i p: Te l l yo u r c h i ld w ha t g i ves yo u r l i fe p u r pose.
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