We have no guarantees when raising children, but we have some excellent guidelines.
Everyone should know about the 40 developmental assets. People who study early childhood development have identified forty practices or circumstances that must be present in order for a child to grow up confident and happy. Many are predictable: a supportive, caring environment, healthy adult models. But they also include items such as: “young person spends 3 or more hours/week in lessons or practice in music, theatre, or other arts.” And, “the young child spends time in activities that nurture spiritual development.” In other words, it’s not just a Sunday school class or a piano lesson. Arts and the spirit are basic to healthy development.
Where to learn more
To know more about the research on these assets, visit www.search-institute.org. Those who have already raised children will satisfy yourselves that you have done well by them. Those currently raising children can evaluate your practices. And if you’re in the pre-family stage, you can plan accordingly.