Parenting isn’t easy. Moms and dads – the people who wield the most influence over a child’s life – can sometimes feel like they’re flying blind.
And if that’s true for parents who are doing their job in the best of circumstances, can you imagine the challenges families living in at-risk communities face? Not only do they have to deal with the typical homework struggles and behavioral issues, these parents must do it while navigating poverty, neighborhood gang activity and other hardships. And for those families that have recently arrived to our country, they might be doing it all without a good support system – the relatives, friends or church that once helped them out.
Seems pretty hopeless, doesn’t it?
It doesn’t have to be.
Introducing Raising Highly Capable Kids
While kids don’t come with an instruction manual, the good news is parents can learn how to do their job with excellence. Focus on the Family is helping them do just that through Raising Highly Capable Kids, an evidence-based, bilingual program specifically developed to build stronger families.
Raising Highly Capable Kids empowers parents with the confidence, tools and skills they need to raise healthy, caring and responsible kids. It does this through a 13-week curriculum that teaches parents the “40 Developmental Assets” (based on decades of research by Search Institute). These assets are things like honesty, family support, high expectations, responsibility, and the ability to peacefully resolve conflict.
Simply put, the more assets a child has in their life, the less likely they are to engage in at-risk behaviors – and the greater the likelihood they have for success in life.
Engaging local communities to benefit the family
One of the best things about Raising Highly Capable Kids is that the curriculum is implemented by the local community. Because the program is values-based and not religious, public schools can host the classes. Local churches can partner with schools in their neighborhoods and provide resources and support. During classes, parents share their experiences and desires for their families, which builds and strengths community within the school and city.
In short, through the program, relationships are formed. Support system are established. Communities are encouraged to grow together.
It is our hope that, through these strong families, schools and even the nation can be changed.
Hear from the graduates
I can do my best to describe the amazing stories we’re hearing from the families, schools, churches and community groups impacted by Raising Highly Capable Kids – but my attempts can’t compare to you hearing directly from some of the participants themselves. This video helps provide an overview of the realities many families today face – and the way Raising Highly Capable Kids helps.
Every time a new city, school or church implements the curriculum, we hear stories like the ones featured in this video – and sometimes we hear unique tales that surprise us.
Take what happened in Diamond Hill Elementary School in Fort Worth, Texas, as an example.
The school launched its first class of Raising Highly Capable Kids during the 2015-2016 school year – and soon realized that families from opposing gangs with a long history of animosity were among the participants.
The facilitators went on to faithfully teach the material… and then the unthinkable happened.
The parents, of their own accord, decided to put an end to the strife. They came up with an idea: they’d write down the differences, struggles
and grudges they held against each other on pieces of paper and, on graduation day, they placed the papers into balloons and released them into the sky.
It was a sign of letting go of past issues – and a new beginning. A community that was once divided was now united around the goal of raising highly capable kids!
How you can help
If these stories capture your heart … if God is putting a school or neighborhood in mind … if your community group or church is looking for a way to support local families … won’t you prayerfully consider getting involved?
There are three ways you can be a part of how Raising Highly Capable Kids is making a difference:
1. Help introduce Raising Highly Capable Kids into your community. (These questions will help you understand what it takes to implement the program successfully.)
2. Support Raising Highly Capable Kids and its efforts to equip parents through a generous donation. Just $50 will provide one at-risk family with a 13-week curriculum that can transform lives. Learn more here.
3. Pray for the schools, churches, and community groups implementing the Raising Highly Capable Kids program. Pray for the parents who are taking part in the classes – often times they do so at some sacrifice. Pray for the team charged with spearheading this effort – their work involves much planning, travel, and meeting with various groups. They need God’s strength and wisdom to do their jobs well.
I’m interested in hearing from you: What do you think about Raising Highly Capable Kids’ approach to helping parents? Let me know in the comments section, below.