Almost a century ago, the Lebanese American poet Kahlil Gibran wrote: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. (The Prophet, 1923) Gibran’s words capture perhaps […]

At many schools across the United States, it’s parent-teacher conference time. Although being able to collaborate with parents is important, conference night can sometimes leave both parties feeling like they were unable to have a productive meeting due to the rushed nature and limited timeframe of the event. Search Institute’s work with families has given […]

A few weeks ago, I led a workshop on family engagement for prevention specialists. I asked them what makes engaging families challenging. Here are some typical responses: Families are busy. The cycles of dysfunction in so many families. Every family is different. It’s hard to access families. Families don’t want help. Finding transportation to participate […]

1. Instead of messaging to families, start with listening to families In too many cases, efforts to engage families begin with policy makers, researchers, and professionals determining what families need to do, and then developing messages that will generate “buy-in,” support, and participation. But whenever we authentically take time to listen to and build an […]

Most of us have a memory of a class in high school we just weren’t good at. For many it was math or english. For some it was art. Either way, the results were the same–belief that we’re not good at that subject, that we just didn’t have what it takes to get through it. […]

“It’s a collaborative thing. It’s a two-way street: you grow with each other as a leader. Maybe one has more experience than the other, but it’s about sharing that and to ultimately grow together.” — Shinnyo-en Focus Group Participant Search Institute’s Approach Search Institute’s partnership with Shinnyo-en Foundation exemplifies how we seek to bridge between […]

Much of Search Institute’s past research on relationships has shown their value in the lives of youth, and how kids experience better outcomes when these relationships are strong. Our research is now shifting to how we can help families, organizations and communities that work with kids build these relationships. Search Institute recently interviewed 55 leaders […]

This is part three of our 6-part series on family relationships. Click to read parts one and two.   All of the blog posts in this series are focused on how families can use Search Institute’s Developmental Relationship Framework–the key elements of strong relationships–as their kids transition to middle or high school. We all need […]

Transitions to high school or middle school and high school are times of big change–both for parents and students. With new opportunities and and challenges come new worries and stresses. And it’s an easy time for parents and youth to grow disconnected as outside demands, expectations, and shifts in their relationships pull them apart. But […]

This is part two of our series on Family Relationships. You can read part 1, Preparing for Transition to Middle School or High School, here. In part 1 of our series, Preparing for Transition to Middle School or High School, we talked about the 5 elements of a developmental relationship–that is, a relationship that contributes […]