As a parent, it is our job to watch for and use life’s teachable moments – those moments that life has something important to teach our kids. It is in this constant learning that they discover how to show up happy, successful and responsible in life.
Too many times we are too blind to see or too busy to use these teachable moments. We miss an opportunity to help our kids learn how to develop the virtues and behaviors to live a life of impact and quality. We are their teachers, helping them learn how to successfully be in our world, to discover and live what makes them unique and to be happy in the process. This is lifetime work, and as such, requires us to on the watch – to be ready and willing to translate life’s situations and our kids responses to it into meaningful life lessons.
So what do teachable moments look like? Here are some examples:
The time your kids are wrestling with a toy, neither one willing to let the other play with it. Teachable moment: teach sharing, sacrifice and patience.
The time your son or daughter is critical of someone who said or did something to them at school or criticizes someone who is different. Teachable moment: teach kindness, respect, acceptance.
The time your son or daughter fails at something (important or unimportant) and continues to be negatively affected by it. Teachable moment: teach empathy, forgiveness, resilience.
The time your son or daughter deliberately disobeys you or treats you poorly. Teachable moment: teach respect, caring and kindness.
The time your son or daughter receives a gift from a family member and makes no effort to say thank you. Teachable moment: teach gratitude, appreciation and kindness.
The time your son or daughter got caught driving without permission or drinking at a neighborhood party. Teachable moment: teach self-respect, honesty and integrity.
The time your son or daughter is ready to give up on a school project, sport, music lesson or homework. Teachable moment: teach determination, creativity and accountability.
The time you and your son or daughter are working on things together and life is fine. Teachable moment: teach joyfulness, helpfulness and love.
These moments happen constantly in our lives (for us to learn from) and to use to teach our kids. Stop and notice these moments and tap into the virtues that drive lifetime success behaviors to help your kids show up happy, successful and responsible in life.