How Your Family Assets Support Us All

Posted: August 26, 2012 in Parents & Families
Tags: , , , , , ,

We all have assets, things of value we can use for individual and mutual benefit.  The question is…how are we using those assets we’ve been given?  A huge reason this blog exists is due to my devotion to equipping, resourcing and encouraging families.  Families are a God-ordained part of humanity, and when functioning in health, are the most unique and dynamic force on the planet (outside of God’s people as His church!).  And within every family unit, there are assets that each family has that contribute to different areas of the family dynamic, as well as within the community at-large.

So what is a family asset? Simply defined, it’s a trait, a concrete component a family might posses. The more assets a family has, the more likely its members are to display healthier behaviors. The presence of more assets is also linked to higher satisfaction among family members.” –Meredith Miller

Not every asset is as easily measurable or tangible as an object/item or financial resource.  But how each family goes about investing and using these assets not only goes a long way in establishing how that particular family functions, but also how their assets contribute to the overall health and wellness of society.  It’s really a fascinating concept, and I wish i was the one who came up with this revelation, but alas the honesty guy within me cannot take the credit…plus it’s too easy to spot a plagiarizer in the internet world anyways!  No, this information came my way via an article I read by Meredith Miller from the Fuller Youth Institute.

Her article, Strengthening Families: How Family Assets Support Us All, is based on research conducted by The Search Institute’s American Family Assets Study.  The premise of the study is that most every parent seeks to obtain wisdom and insight on how to be a ‘good’ and effective parent.  They glean wisdom and information from different sources (books, seminars, friends, family), but that the approach of one particular family doesn’t  necessarily match the approach of another’s, despite both having the same common goal.

The Search Institute identified 21 unique assets in their study, which they then divided into 5 categories;

  1. nurturing relationships
  2. establishing routines
  3. maintaining expectations
  4. adapting to challenges
  5. connecting to community

What Difference Does All This Make?
According to the Search Institute, “These assets are associated with positive outcomes for young teens and their parenting adults, explaining more of the differences in outcomes than many demographics and other individual and family characteristics explain.”

Families with more assets tend to sleep more, exercise more frequently, eat healthier than those with fewer assets…children in these families tend to make better grades and be more involved in their schooling. Both parents and children of high-asset families are more socially responsible and civically engaged than members of low-asset families.” –Miller (source article)

The entire article, in case you missed the link above, can be read here
You can See how each asset is defined here
There’s a full discussion guide available here
Further ideas on building Family Assets at home can be found here

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