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Help Children Grow to be Happy, Productive Adults

by Kim Steggles, M.A., L.L.P., Beaumont Parenting Program, provides insight into the questions often raised by parents.  

Q.  Parenting is so challenging.  How can my husband and I be effective parents while allowing our children to grow and develop into responsible adults?   We don't want to be overbearing, but we believe as parents we need to set boundaries and expectations.

A.  I couldn't agree more. One parenting theory, the 40 Developmental Assets, provides tools or building blocks that help children grow to be happy, healthy productive adults. These tools are presented in a simple and easy way for others to utilize to assist children as they grow.

The assets are divided into two main categories. The external assets -- support; empowerment; boundaries and expectations; and constructive use of time - are provided by parents, caregivers, teachers and relatives. The external assets are formed through relationships and opportunities that surround young people.

The internal assets - commitment to learning; positive values; social competencies and positive identity -- are guiding values and skills young people develop.  

Q. How is this child developmental theory different from other popular parenting theories?  

A. This approach is built on a strong foundation of research. It has the power of reaching others by just one person initiating these assets. The challenge is that most children are not experiencing enough of these assets. This goes beyond the physical needs of a child and focuses on social, psychological and emotional needs.

It creates a web of support for children. It builds a bridge between individuals and their community, to allow both to contribute to the healthy development of young people. 

Q. What evidence will be visible that my child has profited from these 40 Developmental Assets?

A. This becomes evident when the child is reporting a positive view of his or her personal future, family support, school engagement and improved integrity.  They will want to be leaders in life and community. 

Q. Is this a difficult process to learn and to continue to use throughout my child's youth? 

A. When addressing children, the 40 Developmental Assets are actually very easy to engage in; practice daily; and encourage others to participate.

The building blocks of development, which serve as the foundation for healthy children, can be initiated at infancy and followed through young adult years. It's never too late to begin using the 40 Developmental Assets.  

Q. What is the impact I can have on my children by using the assets?  

A. The assets provide enriched relationships that reach beyond the household doors. It becomes evident in the child's daily activities; in an academic setting; and it creates a stronger foundation that reaches into the community.  

Kim Steggles, MA, has received a Masters degree in Counseling and 12 credits in post grad classes in assessment and testing and has a limited license psychologist from the state of MI. She has been in practice as a clinical therapist for the last 10 years prior to working for the Beaumont Parenting Program. Specializing in postpartum depression, anxieties and adjustments in Individual and marital therapy.  She is currently is a Program Coordinator for the Parenting Program working with first time parents and can be reached at 248.551.1462 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The Beaumont Parenting Program is a member of The Family Center's Association of Professionals.   

Save The Date
'40 Developmental Assets' 
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
6:30-8:30pm Presentation followed by Q&A session
Assumption Nursery School, 22150 Marter Rd. St. Clair Shores 48080
No Fee
RSVP by March 24, 2011
Register online at or contact The Family Center, 313.432.3832. 

Download the Ask The Experts March 2011 Series flier with all presentations...

Celebrating a Decade of Commitment to Community Families 2000-2010 The Family Center serves as the community's hub for information, resources and referral for both families and professionals.

The Family Center is a non-profit organization founded to promote a deeper understanding of the role of parents and others in supporting our youth to become competent, caring and responsible community members. 

All gifts are tax-deductible. To volunteer or contribute, visit, call (313) 432.3832.

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or write to: The Family Center 20090 Morningside Drive, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236.