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News from the Nest: Teaching compassion is important

"Mommy, is this where people get sick?" My four-year-old son asks me as we enter the Urban Plains Center for the Walk for Wishes Saturday, Feb. 6. Bringing my children to the fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation was important to me. I want my kids to learn that helping others is important and can also be fun.

However, trying to fully explain it to a preschooler, not so easy. After trying multiple times to explain to him that we were there to raise money for kids who were sick and not to play the variety of video games scattered around the course, I noticed him staring down at a boy in a wheelchair.

Here was my chance.

So I picked up my preschooler and carried him as his eyes were glued to this boy. I explained that sometimes kids get sick, and when they do we need to help them. One way we can help is to show our support by raising money and walking in the Walk for Wishes.

You can just imagine the thoughts running through his little head... "So by walking in a big circle around a hockey rink, the sick people can get better?"

Well, I tried.

In the end, I realize it may be years before he truly understands why we walked around a circle so many times that day.

As parents we can only hope that the little things we do help our children grow into good, caring and respectful "big people."

(Lauritsen is the mother of two children, and the wife of Jake Lauritsen. She is active in the family-owned business, Lauritsen Financial Inc., as branch operations manager. They make their home in West Fargo and are involved in as many community related endeavors as possible.  Stephanie enjoys writing in her spare time and will be sharing her insight into parenting occasionally via this column in the Pioneer.)