Tag Archives: developmental assets

Super Bowl Mom

Of all of the people involved in the Super Bowl yesterday, the one that I would have enjoyed being near the most would have been Mrs. Harbaugh – the mother of both teams’ coaches.  Anyone who watched the game last night already knows that the family drama involved in the game itself, so I will not re-hash that.  Anyone who did not watch the game would not care.

But – care about this!

While football may not be everyone’s thing, caring about the future generations should be.  After hearing and reading about the Harbaughs, their attitude toward the game, and their forward thinking about which son should be their focus after the game, I am so impressed.  Good parenting more often than not leads to good outcomes. 

If the Harbaugh brothers would take the developmental asset inventory from Search Institute, I am guessing that they would score pretty high.  If the Harbaugh family would take the family asset inventory from Search Institute, I am guessing that they would score pretty high.

It does not take a family having loads of money to give their kids an edge.

Families need to invest in their kids, bring other caring adults in to encourage their kids, and provide an environment of high expectations with lots of support.  Failures needs to be seen as opportunities to improve.  And mistakes need to be corrected.  All of this needs to be done in ways that empower children and teens to be better than what they think they can be while helping them to see reality.

As I watched the game last night, I commented that I want to be an NFL kicker.

That is not realistic!  I am nearly 39 years old, a woman, not quite five feet tall, and about as un-athletic as they come.  This dream needs to be tempered with reality.  However, had I wanted to do something big and dreamy like that, I am sure that my parents would have cleared the path for me by making me play football with the boys, making me play soccer, and the like.

The Harbaugh parents did something to clear the path for their boys and have stayed with them as supporters all the way to the Super Bowl.

It is clear by the reports of how Jim and John interacted with each other and what their parents did after the Super Bowl ended (consoling the losing coach rather than living in the glory with the winning one) that this family is filled with assets.

The Search Institute’s asset-building approach easily works with just about any parenting style and belief system.  When I see the results of asset-building parenting live in the midst of a football game, I get a bit giddy.  Whether we are parents or those “other caring adults” in a child’s life, we have a huge impact.

Who in your life helped you to get to where you are today? What did that person do?

What are we doing today to help them realize their dreams and go to the Super Bowl?

And who knows, maybe someday someone will teach me how to kick for a field goal!

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Speaking Into the Lives of Others

Just before Christmas, I had a conversation with the current director of a post-prison ministry called FreedomWorks.  We discussed the impact that other people have in our lives when they intentionally speak into our lives even in the smallest ways.  This man also teaches a class at Northwestern College.

Each semester, he poses a question to students, “Who made an impact on your life as you were growing up?”  His students often can name 3-5 people without pausing to think.  When he poses the same question to men in prison, most cannot even name 1 person.  And – more startlingly (in my opinion), many do not even understand the question.

The Search Institute, a secular research and curriculum non-profit located in Minneapolis, has developed a list of 40 common sense “developmental assets” that assist youth in becoming successful adults.  Asset #3 states that a young person receives support from three or more nonparental adults.  Asset #14 states that the parents and other adults in the lives of youth model positive, responsible behavior.  Essentially, the Search Institute has put a secular stamp on what we already know in the Church.

The Bible bursts with examples of older people mentoring youth: Eli mentored Samuel; Naomi mentored Ruth; Elizabeth mentored Mary; and Paul mentored Timothy.  The youth in these situations had lives that were changed because of the influence of the older people in their lives.  Scripture (Exodus 20: 5-6) attests to the fact that our choices today impact future generations.

I am super excited to discuss this further this weekend at the Empower Ladies Conference 2013: Live Your Story!  I get totally jazzed when I think about being able to share this truth – not only that our story matters but also that its impact on the lives of others has eternal benefits. We were created for purpose, and that purpose often means sharing of ourselves and our own stories to be there for others and – quite often – to a part of the change in others.

After we talk through this together for a brief break-out session, I hope that others will feel encouraged to share themselves with one new person – that person may not even understand the question: “Who made an impact on your life growing up?”

Side note: Registrations are still being taken for this conference.  Consider if God wants you to attend the one day event in a Minneapolis suburb this weekend!

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Common Sense (Assets) Rocks!

Having been a parent and an educator for over 15 years, I have seen how concepts cycle around.  What was a hard and fast rule yesterday may be seen as merely a fad today.  It can be hard to keep up, and technology truly only makes it worse as we have access to oodles of websites with contradictory information.

What seems to make the most sense – what should be common sense – probably should be the approach that one pursues in both the parenting and education arenas.  If it makes sense, it probably does so for a reason!

And for that reason, I have been drawn to Search Institute’s asset approach for years thanks to a colleague/supervisor who introduced me to them while I completed my guidance counseling internship.  And for that reason, I have been drawn to their parenting initiative – ParentFurther – recently.

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend three days of training hosted by the Search Institute, and two of the days focused on building assets in school communities.

Side note: any non-educator parent or community member could have attended the school community training and taken away as much as the educators did. This is one of the nuggets of the concept; it crosses all barriers and asks us all to participate in creating a more healthy and more positive future for all children.

What are these development assets?1

  1. 40 positive experiences and qualities in 8 categories focusing on external structures, relationships, and activities as well as internal values, skills, and beliefs.
  2. Common wisdom about the kinds of positive experiences and characteristics that young people need and deserve.
  3. Positive behaviors and attitudes which influence achievement and help protect young people from many different problem behaviors.
  4. Common elements across gender, ethnic heritage, economic situation, or geographic location.

According to Search Institute’s research (which has been verified and replicated by outside sources), the more assets that a child has in their toolkit the more likely to exhibit  succeed in school (get mostly As on report card) and the less likely to engage in high-risk behaviors.  Why are we not all jazzed about this?????

Seriously!  As parents, community members, and educators, we spend hours and hours trying to determine solutions to really big problems.  But Search Institute already has the answer – promote the developmental assets!  It sounds too simple, right?  And it is.  Many of us already do these things, but we might not realize that we could do them more or that we could expand our sphere of influence by doing them with kids in our neighborhoods or in the store.

The sad thing: on average, young people report having 20.1 assets.2  I put together the chart below from information in “The Asset Approach.”  Across the bottom is the number of assets that youth reported having while vertical numbers show the percentage of youth who reported those numbers.

chart

Wouldn’t it be great if that looked like the graph below instead????

chart2

While this might be a lofty dream, we all can play a part…and more students can have more assets when we all focus on our youth.  They are our future!

To support us in all of this, Search Institute has trainings, they train trainers, they provide surveys (I want my kids to take these…), and they have a vast library of books to order.  In addition to all of the things that cost money, they have oodles of free stuff online at both Search-Institute.org and ParentFurther.com – who also provides a monthly (free) webinar (third Wednesday of each month) about current issues.

I love free stuff!!  And the resources are great.  As I have snooped around on the websites, I have found the list of the assets, suggestions about how to encourage student and build the assets, and ways that the assets help students.

Great nugget: This is not another program; this is an approach.  Any already established school, youth program, church, family, or neighbor could adopt this way of thinking without re-creating a program.  What it does require is that people become more intentional. And it may require some people to do things that they had not thought to do.

Encouraging youth should be on all of our “to do” lists each day.  If we do not know how, we can go to the website and get some ideas.  One of my favorite stories from the training last week was about an elderly woman who decided that she would smile at youth as she passed them on the street or in the store.  That was her one thing!

Can you smile?  Then you can encourage…who will I smile at today?

————————————————————————————————————–

Footnotes

1. These definitions are taken from a publication titled “The Asset Approach” and are used in accordance with their copyright.  More information can be found at the website: search-institute.org.

2.  From page 4 of “The Asset Approach.”

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I Get Lost in My Mind…

Yesterday was another day of on the road time for me.  I do love that my job takes me on the road from time to time; however, the past month and the next month seem to be filled with more times on the road than in my own bed.  My office at work sits empty, but my backpack and my travel bag are always full.  And travel time – especially over the past week when I have been without a book on CD – lends itself to thinking time.

Thinking is an excellent activity.  I firmly believe that we should do it and that we should do it often.  Those who do not think tend to become those who do not do.  Thinking – whether analytical or reflective – is motivating, inspiring, and problem-solving.  We can only accomplish those great dreams if we first think them up.

However, thinking too much or too deeply or…too much without a sounding board or looking to some Truth…can lead to thoughts of despair about ourselves, our relationships, or our situations.  Without balancing our own understanding of the world around us with Truth, we lose site of that Truth and start to believe lies about ourselves.

Yesterday marked the 23rd anniversary of a dark day in my life.  On that day, the ninth grader who was me had become lost in her mind, had lost sight of Biblical truth, and had decided to answer despair by attempting to take her own life.  It is the only time that I have acted on thoughts like that although there have been other times when the temptation has been there.  Since being diagnosed with bipolar stuffs two years ago, my psychiatrist and I have talked about the polarizing pull that happens toward life-taking from time to time and how the conditions of being lost in my mind that afternoon twenty-three years ago led me to that place of action (albeit a failing one – Praise be to God!).

Over the past few months, I have been doing a lot of reading about the developmental assets from the Search Institute.  As I look at the list of assets, I realize that I had plenty of them in my toolkit.  In fact, I would have scored so highly on them that I doubt I would currently be screened in to get any kind of help except that I clearly showed signs of needing help (in fact, I was in counseling for a few weeks before I manipulated my way out of that – another story for another day).  My family, school, and community connections were very strong.  And yet – I had biological tendencies that pulled me toward rumination, reflection, and self-incriminating thoughts.  Although I had a strong faith in God, I would often lose sight of that and look inward.

I love a song called “Lost in My Mind” that has been out for a while by a group called The Head and the Heart (what a smart name for a band!).  Whenever I hear this upbeat song, I am reminded that being lost in one’s own mind is only good for so long.

We need to balance our own thoughts with Truth so that we do not make poor decisions from the bottom of some lost pit or path that we have taken into our own minds.  We were never meant to rely on our own understanding of ourselves but rather to look to our Creator and Savior for our worth through Him.  When we have tendencies to look inward, we need to fight those and look outward – around us and to the One who provides Truth about who we are, why we are here, and how we will move beyond today’s struggles.

Happy May 1!

Celebrate this day with a sense of renewal; breathe deeply and know that there is a God who loves you deeply and wants you to see yourself as He sees you – cherished.

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Bullying: Some Helpful Content

383389_797930400770_184905552_36091203_899226902_nIt has been a while since I posted on my blog.  I have been away doing a number of things including, as the photo to the left suggests, attending a few Twins games with my family!  But one of the most exciting of those things was writing some web content for a website: ParentFurther.com, a parenting outreach from the Search Institute.  I have a great deal of respect for the work of both of these entities, and I highly recommend that you bop on over to their websites.  Regardless of your “state” in life, there is information there for you.  Their premise is that community members help raise children in addition to parents and schools.  I agree!

I sort of fell into this writing gig with ParentFurther by way of blogging!  Back when the Grammy Award show aired, I wrote a blog about Taylor Swift rising above her bullies in the music industry.  The ParentFuther peeps found it (because I tagged Search Institute in the tags!), and they sent me an email.  Within a week, we were talking, and they asked me to write some (10,000 words) stuff for them that went live on the their bullying section of the website this week.

It was so exciting to get an email blast about their upcoming May webinar about bullying, and it had my content in the email!  I about fell out of my chair at work!

Click here if you want to attend the webinar (it is FREE!).  They do webinars every third Wednesday of the month, and each month is different.

Because this is a hot topic right now, there are loads of resources available. I think everyone needs to get behind children and teens being kinder to each others.  Life is hard enough if we can’t be nice to each other!

I also have to see the documentary “Bully” sometime soon. I just looked at the showtimes for it this week, and I’m hoping to get there!  Have you seen it? What do you think?

I was even more encouraged to see it after reading an article online titled “Bully: The Seven Problems Revealed Through this Groundbreaking Documentary” by Dr Robyn Silverman.

I need your help…

I want to write a “how to help” guide for parents of those being bullied and for those who are doing the bullying…it would be two separate pieces.  But – I’m struggling because, for the most part, my own children have escaped being either. I know, though, that many readers have had different experiences.  What has helped?  What would have been better?  If you feel comfortable sharing in the comment section, I would really appreciate it.  However, if you would prefer to email me separately, you can send it to me at my work email address: sbender@mtcs.org

I also want to do an FAQ section – like, should we send our kid to self-defense classes?  If you have ideas about questions for that, I would also love to hear from you!

Thank you, readers!  I hope to be back on the blogging bandwagon soon!

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Bullying: What’s a Parent to Do?

cupcakes

My daughter is possibly the most kindhearted person I know. She sees people in the best light, cares about them, and does anything for them.  She is the type of person that I would like to be.  In addition to being simply wonderful, she is exceptionally talented in many areas – acting, speaking, singing, writing, and baking.  The cupcakes in the picture to the left are her creation from this past weekend.  Chocolate espresso cupcakes infused with marscapone cheese mixed with espresso and frosted with a cream cheese espresso mixture. As she has grown up, she has become a true friend to me.  I adore her, I love spending time with her, and I feel as though she understands me.  I cannot imagine why anyone would ever want to be mean to her.

From time to time, though, it happens.

My daughter loves school.  Over the years, she has had some bouts of illness that have kept her out of school for a week or more. This makes her so frustrated because she loves school and because she loves her friends. School seems to be a breeding ground for mean. If kids have issues at home, as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, they tend to go to school and act out their anger on others.  Well, one of those girls decided she needed to take out some of her “stuff” on my daughter.

From fourth grade to eighth grade, my daughter attended Beacon Academy, a charter school in a suburb of Minneapolis that had small class sizes and only two classrooms per grade. There are many advantages to small schools with small class sizes. Although this has many advantages, one of the disadvantages is that there is not a lot of room if there are issues with someone in your grade.

The girl that we now refer to as “the mean girl” had a similar build to my daughter.  In addition, my daughter wore glasses.  Following in her mother’s footsteps, my daughter is not terribly athletic and does not really enjoy team sports. Like me, gym was easily her least favorite class in school.  For some reason, the mean girl decided to be mean – to my daughter.  She gave my daughter dirty looks, talked about her to other kids, and taunted her in gym class.  As we were discussing this blog post, my daughter could not remember a lot of specific details, but she did repeatedly say, “She was just mean to me, Mom.”

I remember that.

For five years, my daughter ate lunch with this girl, attended gym class with this girl, and possibly even rode the bus with this girl. When she started being mean to my daughter, I asked my daughter why the girl might have chosen her.  The only reason that my daughter could think of was because my daughter had friends and the other girl did not have that many.  So – my first suggestion was that maybe my daughter should be nice to the girl and maybe even try to be her friend.

That is a pretty hard thing to have come out of a mother’s mouth.  Be nice and be friends seems like a ridiculous thing to say.  The MamaBear in me wanted to say, “I’ll tear her up.  I’ll take that girl out and teach her what it feels like to be picked on. If she even looks at you funny, I will take care of this.”  Instead, I tried to help her gain some perspective. If the girl was jealous of my daughter because she had more friends, maybe she just needed more friends.  My daughter had plenty of friends, and she was a good friend to those friends. Adding another friend to the friend group would not hurt anyone.

Oddly enough, as my daughter remembers things, this worked.  It did not work right away – there were plenty of bad days and even some tears (and yes, I am sure that I probably mentioned it to the classroom teacher at least once so that she could keep an eye on the situation) – but eventually it did.  In fact, my daughter now refers to her as “my friend *insert name that is being left out to protect child’s identity here*” when she talks about middle school.

The pain from those years of the words, the looks, and the actions is not entirely gone.  When I asked my daughter if she would consider herself to have been bullied, this was the situation that she shared. We talked through what advice I had given, and she said without hesitation that it was the right thing to do in the situation.  As she reflects on the mean girl, my daughter is pretty sure that the girl had some home situation issues that were not ideal. None of this makes it “all better, “ but it seems to hurt less now than it did then.

I realize that not every situation turns out this well. I have been fortunate to have gone through the past eleven school years without either of my children being targets of severe bullying.  However, some parents escalate situations rather than help situations by getting too involved too quickly.  I am not advocating that parents do nothing.  However, parents do need to take a step back and assess situations before jumping in too quickly.

One of the things that truly bothers me is what parents call bullying. When your child comes home from school and says that they were “bullied today,” take a step back and remember that bullying, by definition, needs to be repetitive. In order for a child to truly be involved in a bullying situation, it needs to happen more than once.  If the mean girl in my daughter’s school had been mean to her once, she would not be a bully.

In fact, by the true definition of bullying, the situation that I shared in yesterday’s blog would not be considered bullying unless Michelle stuffed me in my locker day after day – which she did not.

As parents, we need to protect our children.  That is one of our main callings.  We cannot keep them from harm entirely as I mentioned in Monday’s post (again – not sure that the situation would meet the true definition); however, repetitive, intentional, hurtful behavior that involves an imbalance of power needs to be addressed. Schools vary in their approaches to this, and – as I have mentioned – sometimes those who claim to have the best approach to bullying are actually doing the worst job.  Either way, though, teachers and school officials need to be informed of situations so that they can address the issue in accordance with their school policies.

Additionally, parents need to “load up” their children with Developmental Assets – a toolbox of internal resources that bring many benefits to those who have them.  According to the information about these assets on the ParentFuther website, the more assets that youth have, the more likely they are to succeed in many areas of their lives.  This toolbox of 40 values, experiences, relationships, and qualities will also help children stand up to bullies, build resilient behavior when bullying happens, and keep children from becoming bullies themselves.  The difference of this approach in comparison to anti-bullying curriculum is that the assets create long-term impact rather than short-term solutions that simply put band-aids on the issues.

My daughter is in her second year of high school now and is having a great time at school.  I actually envy her a bit because she loves school that much. I am glad that she left middle school considering the mean girl a friend from that time period. I know that our situation ended well; I think in part this was because of the way her teachers stayed on top of the bullying situation. However, more than that, my daughter has a pretty full toolbox when it comes to the assets.  As I look at the list of assets, I realize that my daughter has a lot of them.

And for that, I have many people to thank.  You know who you are…and I thank you.

“I have a dream”… that someday all children have a “village” of school, family, and church/community to raise them in the way that our children have been raised – ready to take on the world with a huge support network behind them.

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The Bullies and the Snow

Kindergarten was a great year for the little girl who happened to be me. In the same month the my mom married the man I had already started to call DAD, I also started school. I had looked forward to school like no other, I am sure.  My mom had read to me so much that I could not wait to read the books that they would have at school.  I wanted to go to the school library, listen to the teacher read, and read and read and read.

As a May birthday and as the offspring of two not-too-tall people (ok, really – my mom was short!), I was smaller than most of my classmates.  I had to use a stool to reach the water fountain in the classroom.  One of my “boy friends” (I think we were even married on the playground at some point) could actually rest his arm on my head.  Being small did not matter to me because I loved school.

Mrs. Sanderson was a wonderful teacher.  She ran our kindergarten classroom in ways that you could tell she loved to teach and that you could tell she was good at it.  I do not remember our class getting into trouble much.  I have super fond memories of kindergarten – learning to read and more.

Both of my parents worked during the day, so my younger brother spent the days with “Grandma Babysitter” and her husband – yep, you got it – “Grandpa Babysitter.”  They lived within walking distance of my school, so I walked to kindergarten after lunch (this was back in the days of half day only) and then their house when kindergarten was over.  I remember watching The Beverly Hillbillies at their house while having an afternoon snack before one of my parents came to pick me up.
I had a super cute winter coat and boots that year.  I confidently walked from school to the babysitters’ house one day midwinter.  Suddenly, two second grade (aka BIG) boys came up from behind me and pushed me into the snow.  I was shocked, scared, and – of course – wet and cold.  They pushed more snow into my face and laughed at me.  I think I probably started to cry, and that probably made them laugh harder.  Before long, though, they left me alone.

As I slowly pulled myself out of the snow bank, I looked up.  There was my dad.  This only made me cry harder, of course, because I was hurt, upset, wet, and cold before I saw him.  But now, there was my dad to save me from all of this.  He picked me up, dusted the snow off of my clothes, and put me in his car.  I do not remember if I spent the afternoon at the babysitters’ house or not. In fact, I do not remember anything else from that day.

What I do remember from that day was that my dad was there just after the whole thing had happened.  Had he arrived on the scene just moments before, he would have been there to take those kids to task for picking on his daughter.  But he was not there then. He arrived after the fact.  And to a certain extent, now – as a 38 year old – I actually think that was good.  I learned something very important that day although I doubt that I could articulate it at that young of an age.

Up until that day, I probably thought that my parents could keep me safe from just about anything that came my way.  But that was no longer true.

Going to kindergarten was just the start of many years of gradually getting more and more independent from my parents.  Until then, my parents had controlled as much as they could: who watched me while they worked, what I did in my free time, and who my friends were.  Once kindergarten started, though, I was on a trajectory to become the person I am today.  And part of that trajectory, unfortunately, included getting shoved in the snow by second graders or being made fun of because I was shorter than the rest of the class.  They no longer could protect me from all of the negative parts of what the world had to offer me.

Looking back, though, I am not sure that is all bad.  In fact, the need for children to grow up and become independent from their parents is foundational to development.  Becoming independent means that, sometimes, things will go well for us while at other times some big kid is going to push us into the snow.   My dad showing up to console me rather than to save me probably did not seem like the right thing at the time, but I probably learned much more because that is how it went down.

What did I learn beside the fact that those big kids were mean to me?  Well, for starters, I discovered that snow will not kill me even though North Dakota snow banks are pretty cold.  I learned that I could pull myself up and out of a snow bank without anyone else’s help. I also have dusted myself off and made it to the babysitter’s house, but it sure was nice to have someone else come along and give me a ride home.

More than anything, though, I learned that my dad’s big, strong arms might not stop what the world sends my way but they will always be there to remind me that he loves me.  It may seem like a cliché, but a hug from my dad really can make something big and awful seem like I could conquer it.  He will not usually conquer it for me, and that is a gift.  But he is always there to give me a hug, listen to me talk something out, or just agree with me that something is not fair.

Please hear the next paragraph with the understanding that there are definitely extreme times when adults need to step in, protect kids, and make it all stop.  However, kids do not need their parents or their teachers to fix everything or to protect them from all of the negative possibilities that are out there.  The more typical truth is that adults need to get out of the way of the action and simply be available on the sidelines to cheer or to console.

Without the lesson from the snow, I may have missed out on this important knowledge.  While I would have preferred to have skipped the snow experience, I doubt that I would have known these truths about myself and about my dad from something that did not involve adversity.

How has this been true in your life?  What life lessons have you learned from difficulties?

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Taylor Swift: Taking on Her Bullies

Bullying and anti-bullying are buzz words all over the education arena these days.  How do we identify bullies?  What should we do with bullies?  What are those who are bullied supposed to do?

Honestly, I know that there is a lot to this.  I know that kids are being picked on.  I know that it hurts.  I know that it causes deep wounds.  However, we learn from every hard thing in our lives.  Like coal turning into diamonds, the pressure we feel encourages us to be better – if we are encouraged to be better.  I have learned very little from the times in my life when I feel good about myself.  I learn from the hard times.

I have learned resiliency.  And where is that in any of the curriculum around bullying?

I think that we all need to rethink bullying in terms of how Taylor Swift showed us how she deals with bullies earlier this week at the Grammy award show.

During the 2009 MTV  video music award show, Kanye West interrupted her acceptance speech by taking away the microphone and saying, “Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ll let you finish, but Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!”

How awful!  What a bully!  Seriously – there is no other word for that rude “gesture.”

I am sure that many Taylor Swift fans wondered what she would in response to that horrible man’s publically humiliating attack on her.

Instead of taking Kanye to court (the grown up version of a school child telling the teacher), Taylor decided that she would take the high road.  She kept doing what she does best – writing music and singing it.  And winning awards.

On Sunday night, Taylor Swift took home a Grammy award for her song “Mean.”  And her acceptance speech was awesome!

“There’s really no feeling quite like writing a song about someone who’s completely mean to you and completely hates you, and then winning a Grammy for it.”

In the performance on the live telecast, she even changed the words in the final chorus…

Someday – I’ll be singing this at the Grammy’s…

And all you’ll ever be is mean…

I think that this whole scenario should be worked into the curriculum that we use in schools for bullying (if we even use curriculum, but that is another blog altogether!).  Making something great like a Grammy award winning song from a really horrible experience is a great way to deal with adversity.

What did Taylor have in her resource bucket that allowed her to do this?  That is what we need to focus on with students.  Instead of developing anti-bullying curriculum, let’s give all students the resources – the assets – that they need in order to be great participants in society.  The Search Institute provides excellent resources for schools, parents, and community leaders in this area of building assets, forming resiliency, and helping students become healthy, productive citizens.

That is where I believe our focus should be so that student learn to deal with any adversity that comes their way and turn a horrible situation into a Grammy award winning performance.

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