Bringing out the best in children

Now ask yourself, what do children need if they are to grow up successfully?

Family dynamics?
Support from other communities?
School effectiveness?
Positive peer influences?
Value development?
Learning and mastering social skills?

Now, what we need is a broad vision that is a core group for all the elements of healthy development for children.

Little Red Bus embodies this kind of broad vision. We establish benchmarks for positive child development. Our framework enables families, schools, neighbourhoods, congregations, employers, organizations, corporations and children to unite around a common goal: healthy children. The importance of this common goal cannot be overstated. Yes, an effective family is extremely crucial ingrdient in healthy development, but it takes more than just that to raise a nation of healthy children.

A major flaw in our contemporary society, is that those outside the imediate family have lost their place in this developmental process. We need to look into what assets do we have and need to build upon.

(the following assets are adapted from “Search Institute’s Forty Developmental Assets.”

External Assets

Asset Type: Support

  1. Family Support
    Family life provides high levels of love & support.
  2. Positive family communication
    Young person and her or his parent/s communicate positively, and child is willing to seek advice and counsel from parent/s.
  3. Other adult relationships
    Child receives supports from more non-parent adults
  4. Caring neighbourhood
    Child experiences caring neighbours.
  5. Caring school climate
    School provides a caring, encouraging environment.
  6. Parent involvement in school
    Parent/s are actively involved in helping child succeed in school.

Asset Type: Empowerment

  1. Community values children
    Children perceive that adults in the community value them.
  2. Youth as resources
    Young children are given roles in the community.
  3. Service to others
    Young children serve in the community
  4. Safety
    Children feel safe at home, at school, and in the neighbourhood.

Asset Type: Boundaries & Expectations

  1. Family boundaries
    Family has clear rules and consequences and monitors the child’s whereabouts.
  2. School boundaries
    School provides clear rules and consequences.
  3. Neighbourhood boundaries
    Neighbours take responsibility for monitoring children’s behaviour.
  4. Adult role models
    Parents and other adults model positive, responsible behaviour.
  5. High expectations
    Both parents and teachers encourage the child to do well.

Asset Type: Constructive use of time

  1. Creative activities
    Child spends time in practice in music theatre, or other arts.
  2. Child programmes
    Child spends time in sports, clubs, or organizations at school or in the community.
  3. Time at home

Internal Assets

Asset Type: Commitment to learning

  1. Achievement motivation
    Child is motivated to do well in school.
  2. School engagement
    Child is actively engaged in learning.
  3. Bonding to school
    Child cares about her or his school.
  4. Reading for pleasure
    Child reads for pleasure.

Asset Type: Positive Values

  1. Caring
    Child places high value on helping other people.
  2. Equality and social justice
    Child places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.
  3. Integrity
    Child act on convictions and stands up for her or his beliefs.
  4. Honesty
    Child tells the truth even when it is not easy.
  5. Responsibility
    Child accepts and takes personal responsibility.

Asset Type: Social Competencies

  1. Planning and decision making
    Child knows how to plan ahead and make choices.
  2. Interpersonal competence
    Child has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
  3. Cultural competence
    Child has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds.
  4. Resistance skills
    Child can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.
  5. Peaceful conflict resolution
    Child seeks to resolve conflict non-violently.

Asset Type: Positive Identity

  1. Personal power
    Child feels he or she has control over things that happen to them.
  2. Self-esteem
    Child reports having high self-esteem.
  3. Sense of purpose
  4. Positive view of personal future
    Child is optimistic about her or his personal future.

Visit us:



  1. 1
    Joanne Says:

    For more on “positive family communications,” check out a new release on communication skills. PLEASE LISTEN TO ME! is a guide to becoming a reflective listener. It includes a section on listening to young children. A very helpful resource for those who are seriously interested in improving their relationships with others. Learn how to listen with your heart to the heart of others! Find PLEASE LISTEN TO ME! at any online bookstore or go to

  2. 2
    Joanne Says:

    I forgot to mention the author — Dick Fetzer. See also his author weblog at

  3. […] Forum Bringing out the best in children […]

  4. […] in order to strength his or her identity, you are still important. Building assets (… read more) is a way to think about parenting consistently across the two decades of childhood and […]

  5. […] How can a teacher infuse development assets into their classroom […]

RSS Feed for this entry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: