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Children Are Like Sponges

We’ve all heard that old age adage, “Children are like sponges”, and while they are often colorful, soggy, and unfortunately often smelly, this is not what

this statement means to point out. Kids do though pickup on everything we adults do and say, which is why teachable moments are so valuable.

A teachable moment is an organic moment in time in which the opportunity to teach a lesson becomes available.

As a character education teacher, I sought out teachable moments as I if I was searching for nuggets in a gold mine. I knew that if I could capture that one moment one of my students was acting out of character and show compassion instead of stern judgment, I had scored! I had in fact given them a nugget of gold, an experiential lesson in SEL that they could, from now on carry in their own toolbox for dealing with challenging moments.

One of the greatest things about family life, is that almost every moment is a teachable moment!

By simply tapping into what you’re feeling or facilitating your children to tap into their feelings and talking about it without judgement, you’re already on your way to creating self-awareness a part of your day.

It can be as simple as saying, “I woke up before my alarm this morning and it makes me feel so much better about myself, it made me want to make a special breakfast!” or “ I slept past my alarm a few times this morning and I’m feeling a little sluggish, it was pretty hard to get going. ” you’re already modeling self- awareness for your kids.

When it comes to your kids, instead of just asking how was your day, you can ask:

What was your favorite part of the day?

  • What was your not so favorite part of the day?

Follow up with questions like: How’d that make you feel?

  • What did that make you want to do?

  • What did you do when you felt ___?

And respond with empathy and positive reinforcement or encouragement:

  • That’s great! I bet I would feel ___ too!

  • I’m sorry, that doesn’t sound like much fun, but I am very proud you chose to ______ you handled it very maturely.

  • I'm sorry, it sounds like that was a challenge for you, it would have been for me too, what do you think you would try to do if something like this happens again?

Taking advantage of your family’s teachable moments is a powerful tool for creating a sense of well-being, for managing stress, and for creating overall good health.

I wish you all fun and insightful moments together, Thank you for letting me be a part of your journey!

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