Teaching little humans compassion and humanity

My son at a march for equality and justice

If you scroll through social media it is likely you will see at least one article about how someone did something callous to another human. Or you read about policy and corporate greed that completely negates the human side of working and living in America. Whether it be about immigration, fair wages, or equality a question that comes up often is ‘how can people lack compassion?’. Well,  I’m glad you asked. Of course I know that this complex question doesn’t have one easy answer I am here to give one suggestion on how to make sure tiny humans can grow with compassion for humanity.

Eating out with my son on his first birthday.

Situation: Dining out—  Kids are mess tornadoes. This is a scientific fact. Have you ever looked on the floor under a table in a restaurant with kids? It’s a crime scene. Bread crumbs, balled up napkins, crayons and whatever else that might be in arms reach. Now ask yourself how many times you have seen the table left in the condition for the server to clean up? Be honest, it happens all the time. While you can’t stop the inevitable mess you can choose to handle the situation differently.  Clean it up.

“But I leave a good tip!”  As you should and you will get no pats on the back for doing what you are supposed to do from me. Wait staff and servers live off tips and in some situations their paychecks are actually zero dollars after taxes. Tips are how they pay bills, buy school clothes, and all the other necessities of life. If they have to take 10 min to clean up after your kids it interferes with their ability to service other patrons and possibly effect those tips. Clean it up.

Be patient and courteous!

“But that is their job.” Oh really? I have had to explain this to my 4 and six year old and I’ll explain it to those who feel the same. Their job is to service you and help you have and enjoyable experience.  That does not mean you should treat them as your personal slave. It’s easy to make a mess and be overly demanding when you only look upon that wait staff in a service capacity instead of hard working people. I make sure my children know and understand this. They must be patient and respect that their wants and needs will be addressed in due time. All messes will at least be attempted to be cleaned to the best of their ability. And most importantly they must be respectful and appreciative of the work being done for them. They aren’t too young to understand that regardless of your role in life all people are equal and should be treated as such.

My daughter marching

How does this encourage compassion and humanity? It teaches basic human value and appreciation for contributions despite station or class. A child learns their comfortable existence isn’t in a bubble and that the life they enjoy is because of the hard work of many others. Small impressions are made through our everyday experiences and we often times get overwhelmed in our crazy parenting whirlwinds and forget about these little nuances. We shape how our kids view and treat others and we can make sure the world is a much better place with just a few small gestures.

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Lanae is lifelong Pittsburgh resident with a brief stint in Ohio for her high school and middle school years. Most of her life she lived in Wilkinsburg but recently became a resident of the north boroughs. Lanae holds an associates’ degree in fashion merchandising and a bachelor’s degree in business management. After college, Lanae, entered the insurance and financial services industry by becoming a licensed agent and a claims specialist. Lanae also is an advocate for cloth diapering and baby wearing. Through her website drybabies.org she offers information and sources offering cloth diapering to all women and families in need. With two boys and 3 girls ranging in ages from 18- 2 most of her time is spent traveling to ballet lessons, band practice, and cello lessons. Also, two of her children are special needs and require various appointments and therapy. When there is time left, she enjoys writing, sewing and cooking. She is currently finishing up her first novel with more already in the works. With a love for travel, Lanae and her family have been to 5 different Caribbean islands and 2 countries in South America. So, look to hear more about the organized chaos that is traveling with 5 kids.