Helping parents help kids

Presentations to show residents how to support youths

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— Representatives from Assets for Colorado Youth will offer special presentations Wed--nesday and Thursday for Routt County parents, adults and community members interested in learning how to support youths.

Sandy Visnack, director of Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, said the two presentations are similar in content, though one is geared for parents and adults who work with children 11 and younger, and the other is for parents and adults who work with adolescents.

The presentations are follow-up seminars to a program held in March called "Assets: What All Youth Need to Succeed." The presentation was an introduction to what assets are. The presentations Wednesday and Thursday delve more into what adults can do to raise and support young members of the community.

"We're hoping this will be another tool that adults and parents can use to create communities that help young people thrive," she said.

Assets is a philosophy that adults can use to encourage youths' growth. The 40 developmental assets are a set of "concrete, common sense, positive experiences and qualities essential to raising successful young people."

The program framework was developed at the Search Institute of Minnesota and focuses on 20 internal and 20 external assets, such as empowerment, support, setting boundaries and developing positive ideals and values.

Any parent, adult or interested community member can attend either or both of the four-hour sessions, Visnack said.

"We're really trying to get the community to embrace this approach," she said.

Space is limited, and interested parties are asked to RSVP by Monday.

The two Assets for Colorado Youth presenters will go over topics such as providing tips and tools for strengthening support systems for children and their families, setting boundaries and expectations for children, recognizing their strengths, working with parents and connecting to other community organizations.

-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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