Life Lessons

A friend recently heard a mom teaching her little guy about forgiveness as they were waiting outside a neighbor’s house for a play date. Apparently there was a communication mix up and her son was mighty disappointed that he’d been stood up. Mom was right there, explaining the circumstances and, even better, teaching about forgiving your friends when they disappoint you.

Some of the best lessons we can teach our kids happen when we’re in the middle of something else.  As mothers, we need to look for those “teachable moments,” that present themselves when we least expect them to. This little guy needs to know what to do with the disappointing feelings inside his heart when someone lets him down.  Mom gave him the tool of forgiveness to help him know what to do with his feelings.

I’m not talking about “lecture mode,” which we can so easily move into. Rather, I’m talking about “love mode” where we maximize an opportunity that will help drive home a concept our children need to understand.

That wise mom used this small experience as a platform for a much bigger concept. Her son probably doesn’t know it, but he’s one lucky boy. He’s living in a home where character is part of the fabric of everyday life and that’s a skill he’ll need well beyond the play-date years.

Can you think of a time when you’ve used a “teachable moment” to teach a life lesson?  


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3 thoughts on “Life Lessons

  1. One time my daughter was walking the perimeter of a pond. She slipped and got her shoe, sock and pant leg splattered with mud. When I saw her, I started to laugh because she looked funny. She was angry at her misstep and at my laughter. I taught her that sometimes, laughing at yourself is the best way to handle a situation and it takes a lot less energy than getting mad. What amazes me most about this story is that four years later, she still talks about the day she learned to laugh at herself.

  2. I’ll never forget the day when what I thought was my brilliant life lesson backfired on me. My children, David and Rebekah, at the time about 7 and 5, were playing when I heard their voices start rising in the not-uncommon dispute over the ownership of a certain toy. I intervened with what I thought was a brilliant idea. I asked them what they thought Jesus would do if He were playing with His brothers and sisters. They wanted to be like Jesus, right? Both reluctantly nodded their heads, and I had them go to their rooms to ask Jesus what they could do to be like Him. Several minutes later David came to me quietly, and I waited in inner triumph, sure that my wonderful plan had worked. Then David said in a sweet voice, “Mommy, I’m gonna let Rebekah be like Jesus!” I held in my laughter and sent him back to his room to think some more. I think they did learn something that day, but I learned something, too. I learned that my son is pretty smart!

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