During this episode, Sandra Morgan and Dave Stachowiak discuss the two divisions of developmental assets which are internal and external assets. External assets focus on positive experiences from the people and experiences in a young person’s life such as family support, adult relationships, caring neighborhoods, and family involvement in schooling. Internal assets focus on individual qualities that guide positive choices and develop a sense of confidence, passion, and purpose. Internal assets come with time and internal assets give children motivation to achieve, have a positive approach to school and homework. External assets must support internal achievement. Sandra states that we have the power to help a child develop internal assets by encouraging them by spending time with them. We can be strategic at an earlier point in someone’s story so they will never become a statistic. Instead, look at shifting from fixing problems to promoting strengths. Sandra and Dave encourage listeners to become a part of a developmental external asset for a child, which is the key to prevention. You can be involved in the community around the child, involved in how children use their time, and empowering efforts. You have the ability to change a child’s life by just being involved and encouraging them. A good place to start is with your local schools; find out what their strategies are. Secondly, we can’t prevent all adversity in the lives of children that are in our care, thus it is imperative to understand how to protect children from the worst ravages of adversity and how to promote positive development when rearing conditions are not optimal. Remember to study the issues, be a voice, and make a difference.
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