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.
  • 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.



that did not really answered my question

there is so much distrust due to the misconducts done with the children nowadays. though what u tell about the supportive network is true; I would rather not entrust my children with any tutors , bus drivers etc however trustworthy they might seem

These are very good thoughts but how do you get this across to parents who think their kids should be seen and not heard like 30 years ago. Children are so precious and some parents don’t see that until it is too late. What do you do to get you adult children to realize this and seek the help like parenting classes.

Classes count too! The Saturday projects put on by a certain big box hardware supply store, that hands out orange aprons, it’s a start!


Where did the research for this come from?

I agree that kids feel more valued and important when they have more adults around them, but I’d love to have the actual research to back that up.

Thank you for the question! The research is from studies done by Search Institute on the 40 Developmental Assets and Developmental Relationships.

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