Why Expanding Possibilities Is Important

Mother and son high-fiving while walking bikes

Broadening Our Worlds

Expanding our horizons and relationships helps kids as they grow up. Through connecting with the people, places, and experiences, our kids:

  • Explore new possibilities and find new opportunities.5
  • Learn about how the world works and how to make their way. This includes education, work, housing, health services, and civic life.2,3,4,6
  • Learn how to hold meaningful, responsible roles in society.1,6
  • Discover more about themselves and what matters. They do this by interacting with new people and places.4,6
  • Develop allies who look out for them, particularly if they run into crises, prejudice, or other barriers.1,4,5
  • Learn to respectfully engage with new cultures and nationalities. This is good for kids and society.2,3


Next Steps

  • Take the quiz to explore the ways you can expand possibilities in your family.
  • Learn about the importance of other adults in expanding possibilities.

Research Source

1. Furstenberg, F. (2005). Banking on families: How families generate and distribute social capital. Journal of Marriage and Family 67, 809–821. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2005.00177.x

2. Portes, A. (1998). Social capital: Its origins and applications in modern sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 24(1), 1–24. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/223472

3. Putnam, R. D. (2001). Community-based social capital and educational performance. In D. Ravitch & J. P. Viteritti (Eds.). Making good citizens: Education and civil society (pp. 58-95). New Haven: Yale University Press.

4. Schwartz, S. E. O., Chan, C. S., Rhodes, J. E., & Scales, P. C. (2013). Community developmental assets and positive youth development: The role of natural mentors. Research in Human Development, 10(2), 141–162. doi:10.1080/15427609.2013.786553

5. Shaw, L. H., & Gant, L. M. (2002). In defense of the Internet: The relationship between Internet communication and depression, loneliness, self-esteem, and perceived social support. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 5(2), 157–171. doi:10.1089/109493102753770552

6. Sullivan, P. J., & Larson, R. W. (2009). Connecting youth to high-resource adults: Lessons from effective youth programs. Journal of Adolescent Research, 25(1), 99-123. doi:10.1177/0743558409350505