Parenting In Faith“Teachable Moments ”
By Donna Rayburn
If you counted the number of teachable moments in one day, you would be astounded by the number of opportunities. An example is driving to the store and observing how you interact with other drivers on the road. Are you yelling at other cars in traffic? Do you let cars turn in front of you? If so, does the person in the other car wave to thank you? When you arrive at the store, your child is watching the decisions you make at the store. Do you smile at the store clerks as you enter the store? Do you say good bye to the clerk when you leave? These encounters show your child how to act during an outing to the store.When siblings are arguing, it is quicker and easier to say “STOP” rather than asking “Why did you do that?” and letting each sibling give his own side of the story and then finally to ask, “What is a different way to handle the situation that may have gotten you better results?” Following up with “What are you going to do/say the next time your sibling does that?” A great way to experience a teachable moment is to make the right choice in a difficult situation instead of the one we want to make – and talk about it. There are so many times when my day gets busy and all I want to do after running around all day is go home to my family and relax. When I get home, I realize that I have committed to have dinner at a friend’s house. Do I call and make an excuse not to go? Unless I am ill, I will follow through on my commitment and have a wonderful time. Sometimes there is a party later in the evening that I said I would go to. In my mind I’m thinking that there will be several people attending, I won’t be missed. I know I need to follow through on my word so of course I attend. Oh and what about that cooking class that I signed up for way in advance? Since I paid for that in advance, I am definitely going whether I am tired or not. With all these commitments, not only do I talk to my children about committing to too much (which many of us have this problem) but I also talk about how important following through on my commitment is to me and to God whether I feel like it or not.We are so quick to say “my kids know right from wrong” but there are more gray areas than black and white situations that our children are faced with. This is why we should model the behavior our children observe as appropriate.Throughout your day, I challenge you to count the number of encounters and observations in your environment that you can make teachable moments!Donna Rayburn is a local resident, mother of four and author of I Accidentally…, a story about her son’s kindergarten adventures.

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