Teachable Moments

Teachable Moments

Any of my dear friends that I worked with at camp will recognize this phrase: teachable moments.  Teachable moments are those instant {many times unexpected} opportunities to share truth.  Maybe they come up during a particular struggle with a bunk mate to teach about forgiveness.  Maybe it’s a chance to understand a little better just how big God’s love is as you look out at the vastness of a clear summer sky.  

It takes a little bit of thought, but when you find yourself in a teachable moment with your kids (or someone else’s kids) it can speak volumes with few words! Consider it a living parable. Sometimes it just sneaks up and it’s obvious: “there’s something we can learn here!” Other times those teachable moments are a little more elusive, and need to be sought out.

And I’m not even talking just spiritual truths.  For instance,when I’m out shopping with my early reader, I’m on the look out for words she can sound out on packages that are going in my cart.  She feels helpful and it’s reinforcing what we’re learning in reading time at home.  Teachable moment!  

While helping teach my toddler how to dress himself we talk about the colors on his clothes.  Teachable moment! 

My three-year old knows her letters and sounds. {Many thanks to The Letter Factory DVD!}  She likes to sit on my lap when I’m on the computer and look for letters that she recognizes. Teachable moment!   

I try to do word problems for my first grader throughout the day.  Prepping for meals is an easy time to do that: “I need 8 potatoes but I only have four here, so how many more do I need?”  And yet another teachable moment! 

Words, letters, colors, and addition, all “taught” in everyday life situations!

I try to use the times I screw up with my kids as teachable moments too.  “See, Mommy just lost her temper and wasn’t being patient.  It was wrong of me to yell like that.  I really need to work on my self-control, huh?”  And I ask for forgiveness.  Even watching a movie with the kids we try to point out what the characters are doing, and talk about whether they’re making wise or foolish choices and looking at the consequences of those choices. 

 Now, I know we’re all busy.  I’m not trying to turn everything into a sermon or anything.  You could think of this as learning on the go.  When you feel like you’re just wasting time, such as standing in a line somewhere or driving in the car, look around for a teachable moment.  It might be that moment when something “clicks.”  And there’s nothing better than looking into a child’s eyes and knowing that he/she gets it!


Blooming lilacs were a teachable moment for my daughters!



How can we bring a sweet fragrance to others?

 Be on the look out for teachable moments today!

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5 Responses »

  1. So true.
    Sometimes, TOO true!!! Like when our kids say something “inappropriate”, usually in public, and as parents we’re shocked. “Where did you learn THAT?!!!”
    Yes, we teach when we don’t realize it… or at the very least, we model. And to the children, it’s the same thing.
    Even our teachings can be a double-edge sword when we’re not careful.
    The pics are terrific!!!

    • Hmmm…I seem to recall a story about me at a very young age saying a highly inappropriate word during church…is that what you’re referring to? Sorry for that, Dad! Thanks for all you and Mom and many others taught us! :)

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