One of my favorite parenting books is Kara Durbin’s Parenting with Scripture
. She talks about taking advantage of “teachable moments” with our children — the times that we use situations to dialogue with them about what’s going on in their lives–what he or she has seen, heard, or done.
We know it’s hard for busy parents recognize teachable moments when we’re rushing through life to get everything done before we drop our heads in exhaustion on our pillows at night, but she gives some great tips in her book for finding those moments to connect and disciple our children, and I’ve added a few of my own:
Our kids need to hear God’s perspective on things they see and hear on TV, at the movies, on the internet, and in video games. Having discussions about a show from a biblical perspective using scripture helps them begin to think critically about what they take in through media.
2. Conflicts With Friends and Siblings
It takes time in the beginning, but teaching your kids biblical ways to handle conflict when they’re young will pay off later, as you see them begin to handle conflict with siblings and friends appropriately.
3. Travel Time
Parents are in the car a lot, and with a captive audience! Why not use that time to find out what’s on their heart with a good discussion-starter question? Some of our CCA families use the drive to school as their prayer time (with their eyes open!), and some sing worship songs with their kids to start the day out right.
4. Use the Positive Moments Too
Teaching moments don’t always have to be when something negative has happened. Reinforcing the positive in our kids’ attitudes or actions can strengthen their confidence and resolve to keep honoring God.
5. Use the Difficult Moments
Going through a hurricane and watching the devastation it caused among our friends and neighbors here in the United States and in the Caribbean was a stressful situation for children as well as adults. Using these moments to reaffirm our faith in God’s sovereignty and care for us can calm a child’s spirit and models faith and trust in a heavenly Father that is in control of all things.
6. Find the Right Time
Sometimes, the time isn’t right to correct a child in front of friends or in the moment; so it’s best to swing back around at a more appropriate time. I’m usually calmer if I wait a while to correct misbehavior anyway, and I have time to find the right scripture to reinforce the teachable moment.
When we pray for wisdom to help our children, God will give us the perfect time and the words to say as teachable moments come up. He loves to give good gifts to His children!
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” —Psalm 84:11