Show your support for youth

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

Have I told you lately that I love kids? I love everyone’s kids. After today, I hope you will try to do so too.
Our assets this week are number three, which is other adult relationships and four, which is a caring neighborhood.
They are defined as the child receiving support from adults other than her or his parent(s) and the child experiencing caring neighbors.
This summer, my son’s two best friends moved to other towns in New Mexico. Either departure would have been sad, but for them both to move was pretty unreal.
I find that it was also sad for me, too.
I didn’t see the young lady often, but knew my son was in constant communication and they hung out when they had time. They were great sounding boards for each other and a safe place for each other to fall.
The young man was like a family member. He is one of the nicest kids I know and was often referred to as another Lauritzen. He still visits from time to time, but I miss the daily interactions, watching him at sporting events and hearing him provide my son equal amounts of sass and encouragement.
Kids do better when they have good adult role models in their life. You don’t have to be a spectacular person, crazy smart or have money, just take time to lend an ear or a smile.
There are lots of programs where adults provide a chance to be good role models. I have to say I would like more of those groups to consider providing opportunities where anyone can attend. If you think everyone in town can afford the membership fee, the dues or the cost to get in the door, you are wrong.
As adults, if we can attend a function to watch a neighborhood youth, do it. Last night at the C-team football game, little Tommy and his family came out to watch #88 Isaac Dunwoody take the field.
It sounds like a small gesture, but the impacts are large.
I love when neighbors and friends of the family come out to watch elementary school productions. I love when middle and high school students return to say hello to former teachers and pass along a little kindness to the elementary aged youth, sharing stories.
Some local elementary schools have programs where the sixth graders are teamed up with kindergarten students to work on projects together. Some have the senior class alumni return to rejoin their kindergarten buddy, who is now the sixth grader. The sixth grader has become the adult, a senior about to graduate and leave the fold.
Let the love begin.

The Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and Chamber of Commerce sponsor Assets in Action. The chance to buy tickets for a Night in Italy ends soon, call 661-4846.