Developing Capable Young People

A part of our Holistic Financial Life Planning philosophy are families and primary relationships. Most people agree that their families are the most important thing in their lives. However, raising a family is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work and commitment, yet as they say…when children are born they don’t come with a parenting manual.

Most parents do the best they can in rearing their children to become independent, responsible and contributing citizens in their communities. However, most parents will tell you they could use a little help from time to time.

True Personal Story:

In 1989 when our oldest daughter, Nicole, was 4 years old she attended a local pre-school in Fair Oaks, California. My wife, Julie, volunteered her time to assist at the school. One day Julie came home and told me that the teacher requested all the parents to listen to a series of 6 cassette tapes entitled “Developing Capable Young People” by Stephen Glenn, PhD.

While listening to his tapes, I became acutely aware that both Julie and I were unconsciously doing the ‘barriers’ with our children versus the ‘builders’. As I paid attention to how adults were interacting with children I heard adults using the ‘barriers’ at home, at church, at school, at the store, on the playground…literally everywhere I went adults were unconsciously doing the ‘barriers’ with their or others’ children.

A year later I took a series of intensive training classes from Dr. Glenn to become a certified trainer of his work. The introduction to Dr. Glenn’s work was a ‘tender mercy’ from above and it changed my life for the better. It helped me become a better father, husband, neighbor and employer. That is why I am passing it on to others.

I recommend his material to all parents and grandparents who do not want to unconsciously do the ‘barriers’, as I did, with their children or grandchildren. I highly recommend his series of CDs entitled “Developing Capable Young People” and his book entitled “Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World”.

From Dr. Bruce Colston's website ( we read:

This powerful training program developed by H. Stephen Glenn, PhD prepares adults who work with young people at developing the three perceptions and four skills which determine how effectively they’ll deal with life. Young people who gain strength in these assets normally increase in character, resiliency, and other human intelligences essential for living. They meet life’s challenges of learning, relationships, and the work world ­– successfully.

“No parent, teacher, counselor or youth worker can afford to be without this program!”

— Dr. Bruce W. Colston, Indiana University

“Developing Capable Young People training programs provide an important foundation for Oregon’s highly effective Self-Sufficiency and Welfare reform efforts”.

— Perry Downes, Oregon Dept. of Adult & Family Svcs.

These are the “Significant Seven” from Dr. Glenn’s Developing Capable Young People:

The Significant Seven


“I am capable of facing problems and challenges and gaining strength and wisdom through experience.”


“My life has meaning and purpose—who I am and what

I have to offer is of value in the scheme of things.”


“My actions and choices influence what happens.”


The tools to respond to feelings effectively—self-assessment, self-control and self-discipline.


The tools to communicate, cooperate, negotiate, share, empathize, resolve conflicts, and listen effectively when dealing with people.


The tools of responsibility, adaptability, and flexibility necessary to deal with the environmental family, social, legal, and other systems in which we live.


The tools to set goals and/or make decisions, judgments, and choices based on moral and ethical principles, wisdom, and experience.

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