Looking for Those Teachable Moments

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teachable moments


“MOM!” How many times do you hear that word in a day? Over the past 25 years, I have heard that word at least 50 times a day. I remember the first time our oldest son said it.  I cried.  I thought it was the sweetest word I could ever hear.  Now, I will admit there are times I cringe when I hear that word being yelled across the house.  It doesn’t bring the joy it did before. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom, but let’s be real it can be hard some days.

So, what do we do when our children are crying out for our attention?  How do we handle the day-to-day squabbles?  What if Suzie and Jerry are fighting again and Tommy will not sit and do his schoolwork?   Well, you could just run to the bathroom and hide (yea right!) or you can choose to look for teachable moments throughout your day. It’s all about getting to the heart of the issues.

It’s important to step back and ask yourself why your child is acting out or disobeying.  Sometimes they can’t convey their feelings with words, so they express it with actions. You must be able to figure out what is going on at the time.

Until recently, I chose to handle issues by using band-aid parenting to curb the bad behaviors of my kids. I wanted a quick fix, so I would yell at them or send them to their rooms instead of getting to the root of the problem.  What is at the heart of the issue? Some children will do anything, and I mean anything, to get our attention.  It is our job to assess the situation and find a solution that will have a long-term effect.



Would you like to know how we should handle these opportunities to teach?  Here is what we need to do step by step:

  •  When we see our child acting out, we should stop and pray before reacting.  We want to act, not react, during their bad behavior.
  •  Don’t feed the misbehavior. There should be no yelling or screaming.  Quickly remind the child that their behavior is not acceptable and that they need to stop.
  •  Sit down and talk with your child. Ask them why they are acting in this way. Allow them to share their feelings but remind them it must be done with respect.
  •  After you talk for a while, explain why the behavior was wrong and give them other ways they could express their feelings. (Now would be a good time to get the Bible out and show them verses that will help them next time they are feeling out of control)
  •  Pray with your child. Let them know that you are there, and that God is there to help them.

I know it isn’t easy to be calm, cool and collected in the heat of the moment, but our children need us to be. They need our guidance, not our frustration, when they are acting in a way that is inappropriate.  That is why we need to be in control of our emotions even when they’re not. You do this by praying each day for God’s strength to see you through it all.  Read your Bible and allow God to teach you so you can instruct your child. Let the Holy Spirit guide you as you look for these teachable moments. You will find that you will also learn as you teach.


My name is Betty Daley. I am a wife, mother, and homeschooling teacher.  I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 24 years and we have six children. I have been homeschooling for 20 years.  Our older three have graduated The Daley Academy, and we continue to homeschool our younger three.  We love sharing about our homeschooling adventures. Our family motto is “Do all to the glory of God”.  We pray that we can encourage others as we give you a look into our lives.

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).