Del Norte/Monte Vista:  Do you find yourself thinking about what you want for your children, who they will be and what they will become?  How do you want them to grow up?  Do schools want the same things that you want?  When we answer these questions, we can shape the way we raise our children.  A clear idea of what we all want takes planning and we need to “draw” up some goals and plans. So what is your “vision”?

Our past articles have covered a lot about what researchers have learned about elements that have long-term, positive consequences for children and young people.  Clearly one of the things we learned is that we need to expose our children to as many positive experiences as that helps “wire” their brain.  Having a relationship with children is another key to their health, happiness and success. We learned about “mirror neurons” and why we have to be good role models.  We know that our children are shaped by many influences but what we do as parents have a tremendous influence.  So what else do kids need to succeed?

Developmental assets have been identified as what kids need to build strong and healthy lives. Assets can be thought of as wings that provide the strength for them to fly, like birds.  Developmental assets are essential foundations for “building” children for success.  These assets are the “building blocks” for success.  External and internal assets are important because they have been found to:

  • Protect  kids from a wide range of risky behaviors
  • Promote positive behaviors
  • Provide the support and resources to overcome challenges


Many of the things we already do as parents build external assets.  These include giving our children support, being involved in school setting clear expectations, having consistent rules and consequences, and monitoring what they do. Internal assets do not develop automatically but need to be intentionally nourished.  Use the developmental assets to “build” success!  You can find a list of the developmental assets at

So how do we start using the “developmental asset” framework at home?  Here are some tips:

1.  Shift your thinking – focus on what you really want

2.  Use the list – these are specific ways to begin with that are concrete, practical ideas

3. Model — if you want them to read then read yourself

4.  Nurture your own assets – examine your own life:  what kinds of support do you have?  What kinds of activities do you participate in for personal growth?

Another key to children’s success is self-control.  In future articles, we will learn about the Wizard and Lizard brains and how the BrainWise 10 Wise Ways will not only develop and strengthen the Wizard and Lizard but also builds problem-solving skills, promote socio-emotional competencies and self-control.

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