Creating a Supportive Team for Your Child
Your child is more likely to succeed if he or she has many supportive adults in his or her life. How many caring adults do kids need? According to Search Institute research, the more they have, the better. Two adults are better than one. Three are better than two. Four are better than three.
- Talk with your children about the adult family members who are already important to them (such as aunts, uncles, and grandparents) as well as adults in the community and other places they spend time (school, youth organizations, faith community, and so on). If they do not know many adults, develop a plan together to expand their scope of contacts.
- Encourage the adults you know and trust to spend more time with your children. Offer specific invitations for connections based on mutual interests.
- Thank the adults who spend time with your kids. Notice those who make special efforts to be there for your children. These may include teachers, youth leaders, extended family members, neighbors, music instructors, tutors, bus drivers, and many other people in your children’s lives. Sending an ParentFurther e-card is an easy way to share your thanks.
- Encourage your children to seek insights from other caring adults when they are facing important questions or decisions such as a getting a job, exploring higher education, working through relationships, or making financial choices.
- If your children do not have a strong network of caring adults, consider finding new activities and places they would enjoy where they could build new relationships. These may include after-school activities or community organizations.
Every child needs a supportive network in their lives that includes relatives and adults from outside the family. By making an effort to connect your kids with other caring adults, you help create a network that your kids can rely on in times of need.