WHAT KIDS NEED - 30 Characteristics Highly Correlated with Success
In a publication (1995) titled, What Kids Need to Succeed: Proven Practical Ways to Raise Good Kids, by Peter Benson, Ph.D., Judy Galbraith, M.A., and Pamela Espeland, the authors identify 30 characteristics highly correlated with success in a variety of areas. These characteristics are called: "developmental assets" and are defined as "good things that every young person needs in his or her life." This research was completed using the responses of more than 260,000 youth in grades 6 through 12.
Although these characteristics are important for all children and teenagers, they appear particularly important for those with ADHD.
What was specifically discovered by this research? Children who have more assets are much less likely to get involved in problem behaviors. How much less likely?
Children with 0-10 assets exhibited the following degree of problems: alcohol use 44 %, school failure 31%, depression/suicide 42%, early sexual experience 52%, antisocial behavior/violence 51%. Children with 11-20 assets exhibited the following degree of problems: alcohol use 23%, school failure 13%, depression/suicide 25%, early sexual experience 34%, antisocial behavior/violence 29%. Children with 21-25 assets exhibited the following degree of problems: alcohol use 9%, failure 4%, depression/suicide 11%, early sexual experience 17%, antisocial behavior/violence 13%. And finally children with 26-30 assets exhibited the following degree of problems: alcohol use 3%, school failure 1%, depression/suicide 5%, early sexual experience 7%, antisocial behavior/violence 6%. Obviously, children with more assets had fewer problems.
Of all the youth surveyed, the average number of assets was 16.4 _ clearly not enough by the surveys standards.
The book goes on to provide in significant, practical detail how each of the 20 assets identified can be developed in a variety of ways and settings. I will elaborate on some of these in the future newsletters. How many assets does your sixth-to-twelfth-grader have? Included in this article is the book’s, "A Checklist for Parents." (The book also includes a checklist for kids to complete.) Check each statement that is true for you or your child and total the number of checks. Next, pick one of the items that was not checked and work on it until it can be added to the "true" list. Then pick another. You will be doing yourself and your child a great favor.
1. I provide a warm, caring environment for my child at home.
2. I'm approachable when my child has something serious to talk about.
3. I frequently take time to talk seriously with my child.
4. In addition to being able to come to me, my child has three or more adults he or she can go to for help.
5. My child has frequent serious conversations with an adult who is not he his or parent.
6. I talk with my child about school, sometimes help my child with schoolwork, and attend school events.
7. The atmosphere at my child's school is caring and encouraging.
8. I clearly express my standards for my child's behavior.
9. I set rules for my child and enforce the consequences when rules are broken.
10. When my child goes out, I check on where he or she is going, who with and for how long.
11. I limit the number of nights my child can spend out of the home for fun and recreation.
12. My child's friends are a good influence. They do well at school and avoid risky behaviors such as alcohol and other drug use.
13. My child is involved in band and orchestra or choir, or takes lessons on a musical instrument. He or she practices one or more hours a week.
14. My child participates in school sports activities or other organizations one or more hours a week.
15. My child participates in non_school sports or other organizations one or more hours a week.
16. My child attends a religious program or service at least once a month.
17. My child tries to do his or her best at school.
18. My child hopes to continue his or her education beyond high school.
19. My child's grades are above average.
20. My child does six or more hours of homework a week.
21. My child is interested in helping others and trying to improve their lives.
22. My child shows concern for global issues such as world hunger.
23. My child cares about other people's feelings.
24. My child has values that prohibit him or her from having sex as a teenager.
25. My child can stick up for his or her beliefs.
26. My child is good at making decisions.
27. My child is good at making friends.
28. My child is good at planning ahead.
29. My child feels good about himself or herself.
30. My child envisions a happy future for himself or herself.