Boundaries and Expectations |

Boundaries and Expectations

Continuing on the theme of reviewing the eight Developmental Assets- strengths that all youth should have according to research done by the Search Institute of Minnesota- I would like to focus this article on the “Constructive Use of Time” asset.

The Search Institute identifies four avenues for how youth should spend their time in order to be successful. The suggestion is that a child is participating in all of these areas:

Creative activities: Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theater, or other arts

Youth programs: Young person spends three or more hours per week in sports, clubs, or organizations at school and/or in community organizations.

Religious community: Young person spends one hour or more per week in activities in a religious institution.

Time at home: Young person is out with friends “with nothing special to do” two or fewer nights per week.

While I whole-heartedly endorse the “busy kids are happy kids” philosophy, I also subscribe to the philosophy of giving kids unstructured, supervised time to explore, imagine and create. I think that this outline is a helpful place for parents to start when assessing the balance of activities and time that make up their child’s day. When you factor in school, homework and family time to this list, the days start to get pretty full!

Where is your child’s time spent? Do they have “down-time?” Are they worried about how to get it all done? Are they looking for something to do? This break-down of Constructive use of Time is a helpful place to start or take stock of what is currently on your child’s plate.

To find out more about how you can become a mentor and help be a part of a young person’s day, call the Buddy Program at 927-1001 (Aspen to Carbondale). For more information on mentoring youth from Glenwood to Rifle call Youth Zone at 945-9300.

For more information on the Search Institute and Developmental Assets visit www.

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