There is no denying the protective factors of family. A strong, healthy, caring family can help us weather some of the greatest challenges in life. If we don’t have a family like that, it’s harder to face adversity and overcome obstacles.
Building on 20 years of Developmental Assets research, Search Institute® conducted a national study to identify a set of “Family Assets” that help families thrive even through challenging times. When families have more of these assets, all members of the family – kids and adults – do better in life.
Family Assets are everyday actions that all families can take to become stronger. Everyone in a family – including children, teens and parenting adults – plays a role in building these assets which fall into these categories:
Nurturing Relationships – Families are stronger when family members have healthy relationships with one another. People in healthy relationships communicate openly, show affection, and support each other.
Establishing Routines – Families are stronger when they share meals, traditions, and activities together, and when family members know they can depend on each other.
Maintaining Expectations – Families are stronger when they have clear expectations for each other, including talking about tough issues, setting fair rules and boundaries, and expecting everyone to contribute to family life.
Adapting to Challenges – Families are stronger when they balance everyday commitments, make decisions and solve problems together, and adjust when necessary.
Connecting to Community – Families are stronger when they feel like they have deep connections to their friends and neighbors, and when they have access to activities and resources to enrich their lives. Here are some ways you can build these assets in your family.
For more information about the Family Assets, visit the Family Strengths page from Search Institute.