Time is such a tricky thing for most people. Even though everyone is allotted the same 24 hours, you may find yourself feeling as though someone else finds a way to get more out of their 24 hours than you. This is especially true for many who have children. Whether you’re working a regular 9 to 5 or not, an overly active life can present a challenge when it comes down to spending time doing as God says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Finding the time for those teachable moments doesn’t have to be the challenge that it appears to be. I for one have come to discover this first hand. With three young ones all vying for attention and amid my wife and I both doing all we can to keep them sheltered, clothed, fed and socially active, it can be quite daunting, but we get it in. Here are 7 things you may want to consider.
- 1. You’re never too old for games: Games are a great way of connecting and teaching your kids. Many of the games kids play are means by which children learn concepts that will help them when they become adults. From board games like Monopoly®, Acquire® and CA$HFLOW®, that teach concepts of finance to outdoor sports and other things like hide and seek, tag and other games that involve imagination can teach discipline, how to strategize, cooperation and other life skills and values essential to growth, ethical behavior and social acceptance.
- 2. Television doesn’t have to be the babysitter: Watch television with your children. I know that as a child I learned a great deal from it, but what really make a difference is sitting down with children to see whether or not they recognize appropriate behavior and social dynamics. Understanding why children enjoy the shows they find entertaining can be as informative as a chance to demonstrate to them how to be selective and being aware of the affects and influence a program can have on them.
- 3. Drive time doesn’t have to be lame: Whether you’re singing songs you make up or those on the radio to making up words from the letters on the license plate in from of you, your drive doesn’t have to be boring. If that’s not something you’re into, you can always take drive time to point out things along your trip that your children might not have known before. Children always love learning, especially if they see relevance to them in it.
- 4. The dinner table shouldn’t be the cone of silence: I know that for many families meals together at the dinner table becomes difficult the older your children get and the busier your schedule becomes, but in the rare occasions where it does occur it does not have to become an awkward moment. Children don’t automatically open up as they get older unless you’ve kept dialog welcoming to them. If they see that you are truly interested in how they see the world in which they live, they will become more open to share without the fear of being judged or criticized.
- 5. Bedtime stories aren’t just for putting them to sleep: There’s a wealth of wisdom in many of the bedtime stories and nursery rhymes we share with our children. While many tend to stretch truth or appear silly to us as we get older, many have actual historical significance, are a means of sparking imaginations and dreams, as well as build self esteem.
- 6. Worship doesn’t begin at church: My mother always told me as a child that children should first learn how to worship at home; in doing so, children are more inclined to know how to behave in church as well as have a better understanding of why certain things are done in church. My wife and I try to do this often with our children, not only for those reasons, but because we want them to develop a love for God which to us is greatest legacy and generational blessing we could hope to give them.
- 7. You should be smarter than a fifth grader: Homework time with our oldest daughter can be challenging to say the least. Not because she is in the sixth grade, but because she, like so many children today face the challenge of being schooled by a system that doesn’t always have the luxury and unfortunately in some instances the inclination to give them the individual and personalize time to learn what has to be taught. This is where we come in and find other methods to not only present the lessons taught in school to them, but to also show them how it fits into the grand scheme of what they may hope and dream of becoming when they grow up.
Time management is often a task that has to be worked on. Finding the time where you can maximize those quality moments with your kids so that they appreciate you and become what you know they can be is so crucial. So, take the time to find those teachable moments. What you may find in those moments is your kids are teaching you.
QUESTION: How do you find those teachable moments?