The following is a lesson worth sharing with your child at any age. I have witnessed the picture in this post countless times before: woman close to the end of her pregnancy standing in the NYC subway and no one offering to stand up to give her a seat.
The woman standing next to me commented on the lack of common courtesy and as I looked over I saw the “sitting” people sleeping or looking through the pregnant woman as if she was invisible. When I got off the subway and many people got off, I saw the pregnant woman move over to a seat and shake her head in disappointment that no one offered her a seat.
Since my kids were not with me that day, I decided to try to take a picture of the situation. I wanted to take the opportunity to teach my kids to do the “right thing”. When I got home that evening, I explained to them what I had observed that day. I told them ” When someone is “older” (looks like a grandpa/grandma), pregnant (having a baby), disabled (i.e. – walking with a cane) and you are sitting on a bus or train, please get up to offer the person your seat.” They looked at me with a certain level of understanding, but asked me, “But what if I am tired?” It’s a valid question. When I was growing up, I was taught “young” people have strong and healthy legs/feet and you should always offer to get up for someone who is elderly or looks like they need to sit down. They may tell you it is ok and that they can stand and don’t need to sit down, but you should ask them anyway. I told them I know you might be tired, but it is the “right thing” to do. The other person will surely appreciate your kindness and thank you with a smile.