Maybe we make it hard on ourselves, moms. We love to try and say the most important things at the most difficult times.
Here'a s familiar scene for many of us:
The toast is burning, the baby is screaming, the brothers are fighting...
We're late for an appointment, the laundry never made it to the dryer, our coffee spills, the toddler wets his pants..
...and we choose that very moment to let everyone within earshot know what we think about responsibility, organization, attentiveness, and brotherly love.
We so often feel as if no one is listening to us and what we say doesn't matter. We can be discouraged in the teaching and training of our children because the words we speak seem to go nowhere. But what we may not consider in the everyday chaos of raising children is this: Are my words being delivered in a teachable moment?
In the same way that headphones shut out noise, doors keep others out, and walls divide and distance, a stressful and chaotic situation makes for a context that rarely allows a mother to be heard. Unfortunately, yelling or speaking louder doesn't make us more accessible, but rather, less so.
Instead, we find the most effective, heart warming, surprisingly engaging times of instruction with our kids is often when we don't plan to do so at all. Teachable moments make a difference and can appear at the perfect, and sometimes, the most inopportune times. Either way, you must look for the opportunities and have enough margin in your life to take advantage of teachable moments.
Here are a few places you may find teachable moments:
- When you and your child are driving somewhere; turn off the music and invite an older child to sit in the passenger seat.
- When the family is working together on a project.
- When a child wants to snuggle before bed.
- When you invite one child to fold laundry with you.
- When enjoying nature together on a hike or at the park.
- On your way home from church.
- When you're celebrating a success, a job well done, or a milestone.
- On a saturday morning, over cinnamon rolls.
The point is not location or environment, ultimately. The key is context. Teachable moments are moments when you have the heart and attention of your child. The are moments when instruction and training are surprisingly welcomed and not begrudgingly tolerated. They are moments when we may lead our children more by example than by lecture. To wait for a teachable moment takes self-control and attentiveness. It requires that we take time and we pay attention as moms. And most importantly, it directs our hearts to the lasting impression we will make and not the immediate results we settle for and take.
Be encouraged...and begin looking for those moments today!
What are some of the teachable moments you've had with your children?
Because of grace,