Expand Possibilities: Learn About It

What Does It Mean to Expand Possibilities?

“I’ve always told my son,  ‘The most valuable thing you’ll ever learn is the ability to engage with people.’ That will take you anywhere."

We help each other grow in our families when we look to new possibilities. This involves trying new things, going new places, and meeting new people. Expanding possibilities involves three actions in the developmental relationships framework:

  • Explore—Expose me to new ideas, experiences, and places.
  • Connect—Introduce me to people who can help me grow.
  • Navigate—Help me work through problems that could stop me from reaching my goals.

Expanding possibilities helps us the most when it includes dependable care and support. Care and support help children safely explore and expand their horizons.2

Expanding possibilities means we respect the “loose ties” we have with people and places beyond our “close ties” with immediate family and friends. Connecting our close ties to a broader web of relationships and experiences is called “bridging social capital.”1

Next Steps

  • Take the quiz to explore the ways you expand possibilities in your family.
  • Learn about why expanding possibilities for young people is important.

Research Source

1. Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community. New York: Simon & Schuster.

2. Waters, E., & Cummings, E. M. (2000). A secure base from which to explore close relationships. Child Development, 71(1), 164–172.