Over the past year you have undoubtedly read articles and seen news reports about the methamphetamine “epidemic.” While meth use has increased, and it is a tragic addiction, the reality is that most of the kids we see are still struggling with the same issues we have seen for decades. They drink too much. They argue with their parents. They deal with bullies. They smoke marijuana. They’re struggling in school.
The good news is that there is so much we can do to help keep our kids healthy and safe. Kids who are connected to school do better academically and are less likely to struggle with drinking and smoking marijuana. Youth who have supportive adults in their lives are also more successful. The more assets or strengths that young people have, the less likely they are to be involved in problem behaviors.
Here are some things that you can do with the young person in your life:
- Spend 30 minutes of “quality time” together each week,
- Find something your young person is interested in volunteering to do and help identify ways to get started,
- Encourage your young person to join an after school club or other activity,
- Don’t take away “asset building time,” such as volunteering or school related activities, when rules are broken,
- Remember to recognize and say it out loud when your young person does something positive.
For more information about asset building with your young person, visit www.search-institute.org and read about the 40 Developmental Assets. Or contact our Prevention Department here at LifeWorks NW and we can provide you with more information at 503-627-9194.