Teaching your kids is something you do from the moment they make their grand arrival into the world until they day you’re no longer with them. There is a teachable moment in just about every situation and missing out on those moments, especially when your children are still small and impressionable, can be pretty devastating. Here are three common teaching moments moms and dads miss that can have a negative effect on their child’s future.
Behavioral Teaching Moments
Kids learn more from experience than anything else, which is why this makes such a good teachable moment. For example, if your child misbehaves in the store and you tell her that unless she stops she’s not going to play outside with her friend later that day and you don’t follow through, you’re going to regret it. This is a teachable moment. You’re going to teach her that inappropriate behavior leads to unfortunate consequences. It’s not fun to follow through on discipline, but it is necessary. She’ll grow up understanding that when she deliberately disobeys the rules, she’s going to lose out in the end.
Teaching your kids the value of money is one of the best gifts you can provide. When it’s time to start with the allowance thing, here’s a great lesson; discuss what she’s responsible for paying for. For example, with her allowance she can be responsible for paying for items she wants for herself as well as entertainment when she’s with her friends and then talk to her about budgeting. When she runs out of money because she spent all of her allowance on a new shirt the first day she got it and has to wait two weeks for more allowance (even though she has a movie date with her friends this weekend she has to pay for) don’t give her more money because you feel bad for her. Let her take that as a lesson and help her create a budget and savings plan – when she knows that once it’s gone it’s gone, she’s going to have a much brighter future.
Using Married Moments
Your relationship with your spouse is a great teaching moment for your kids. How you interact with one another in front of your kids is what gives them insight as to how to behave and what to accept in future relationships. Don’t skip arguments in front of your kids – keep them clean, fair and respectful, but don’t skip them. Kids need to know that people don’t always agree in relationships and they need to know that disagreements are easily solved with open communication, honest conversation and respectful behavior.