Friday, December 28, 2007

Tween Teachable Moments

We often think of teachable moments (those natural times that happen anytime or anywhere as unstructured learning) as mostly for toddlers or young children. I have found that over the Christmas break we have had some great teachable opportunities with our twelve-year-old. The hard part sometimes is recognizing these and taking the time to make use of these since the moments will look very different as a child gets older. When our son was a toddler the moments where more about daily living and values. The older our son has gotten the deeper the teaching is. One of the benefits of teachable moments is that children are more open to the learning, since it is not as structured and often initiated by them (by comment or deed.)

A great teachable moment we had when David was young occurred when I got outside of a Target store and while placing our purchases in the trunk I noticed that a small item had lodged beneath my purse. I explained to my son what had happened and we marched right back in and got in line a second time to pay for this. We explained to the cashier what had happened, since she had just checked us out she thought it was strange that we had come back so quickly. After leaving the store my son was very upset that the lady had not even thanked us. I explained that it doesn't matter if we were thanked, or even if she had been mad at us for causing her more work that it was the right thing to do and God would know.

Just this week one of our teachable moments came while discussing what we would be eating for Christmas dinner. When I said that we would be eating ham David stated that he loved that and bet that's what they had when Jesus was born. We then told him that we don't know what they did eat, but it probably wasn't anything as lavish as we were having and we do know they didn't have ham. Of course he asked how we would know that it wasn't ham if we didn't know they ate. This lead into a discussion of the Old Testament law of clean and unclean animals and how we are no longer bound by the law, but live in the New Testament Age of Grace. Yes, David has been taught Old Testament and the laws but this was a very practical way to connect the practice and changes due to the death and resurrection of Jesus.

We need to look for these opportunities as parents and not let them slip by. Some of life's greatest actions (like honesty) can best be taught this way. What good would it have been to tell my son to be honest or read from the Bible "thou shalt not steal" to only leave the item in the cart because I didn't want to take the time to go back in and do the right thing. The moments we have now are deeper and more probing, so I must always stay on my toes.


Kelly (The Barefoot Mama) said...

So true, Kim! Great post...and I hope that you and your gang had a very wonderful and blessed Christmas. :o)

Jeannie said...

Again so very true, because the Lord see's our hearts and regardless of anything else it is those silent teaching moments that our children are watching us and to wether or not we walk the walk less talk the talk

Joy said...

Greetings Kim!

I have flown over from the nest to visit your lovely blog!

Amen! So true and so good to hear sister! Thank you for sharring this all, I have little ones and it's so encouraging and very helpful for me to learn and be encouraged by things you are teaching your preciouse son.

Thank you for taking the time to share your wisdom through your walk as a wife & mom. =)