Assets In Action: Be the change you want to see

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

There are so many things I want to write about, this week.
I think I have settled on the topic of Manti Te’o. I will take a different approach, though.
The background story is that this is a 20-something college student and football star that appears to have been duped, at least a portion of the time, in an online romance.
If we set the issue of guilty or not guilty, of knowing or not knowing, of being naive or being a master of deception aside, we have many other, more important issues to discuss.
When I watched the interview on the ABC show, “Katie,” the thing that bothered me the most were some things that related to his relationship with his parents.
I will start by saying that this appears to be a lovely family with only the best interest of each other at heart. A family with great core values, among them a love for each other.
The trouble comes when Te’o made several references of wanting his parents to be proud of him.
At the heart of that statement, is a lovely sentiment. A child actually cares what his parents think of him.
The problem I have, is that he was so worried that his father wouldn’t be proud of him, that he lied about ever meeting her face to face, so as not to disappoint him.
In early December, when Te’o found out that the death of his online girlfriend was a hoax, he waited until Christmas to tell his parents the truth.
He didn’t feel he had one solitary person to confide in, when he was at the lowest point in his life.
Parents or caregivers need to make sure their kids can come to them with anything.
They need to make sure that their children’s goal of pride can’t be lost with a single misstep.
Parents or caregivers need to make sure that their children have someone to go to in their hour of need, especially if that person isn’t them.
Finally, the conversation must take place about technology, about who is a “friend,” especially one that has never been met in person.
I do know everyone I am “friends” with on Facebook, but perhaps even I need to dwindle the list and cut out people that can’t seem to focus on anything but politics, or don’t mind throwing jabs about their children out to the public.
Perhaps I need to be a role model for my children and show them that I need to only lend credence to those that honor the core values of our family.

The LACDC and JJAB sponsor Assets in Action. Send comments to AssetsInAction@att.net.