Raising kids in today’s society is anything but easy. As parents, we are competing for our children’s time with their: cell phones, iPad, video games, and friends.
Most families have hectic schedules between: school, sports, work, church obligations, etc. It makes spending quality one on one time with our children nearly impossible. As a result, parents slowly lose the ability to be the most powerful, and prominent influencer in our children’s life.
We are no exception to this rule. We have and currently labor to find one on one time with our children. Timberley shared in a previous blog her revelation of this when she read, Preparing Him for the Other Woman. We took one of the principles and applied it to our children. Which was, choosing to use our available time to be an influence to our children.
As parents, we are caught up in all the “have to’s” of life. But the raw reality is that our children are growing up so fast. If we don’t make spending quality time with them a priority, we will lose the window of opportunity we have.
Think about it, our children belong to God. He has entrusted us to care for them and raise them in The Way they should go. So, we must ask ourselves: what am I going to do, to take advantage of my available time with my children?
Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) says: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Notice it doesn’t say that the child won’t deviate. And when that happens, we must do our part to help influence them back to walking in The Way they should go.
Over the years with much trial and error, we found a way to take advantage of our available time. A way to help impact and influence our children in a way that will sow into their future.
We purposed to identify teachable moments. These moments are exactly what it says, “moments.” That allow us to stop and teach our children life lessons based on something they’ve said or done.
When we see or hear something, our children say that does not line up with who they are in Christ, we pause and ask them to sit down so we can talk about it. No matter what we’re doing, where we are, we choose to stop and take advantage of the teachable moment. Is that inconvenient at times? Yes, but ignoring a situation because we are in a rush to get somewhere will allow the moment to slip by and someone else will influence them.
Is it easier to say, go to your room? Yes, but without having a teachable conversation, sending your child off to their room can possibly generate resentment, anger and bitterness.
We’re not saying sending them to their room for reflection is not necessary or beneficial. However, sometimes the extra 20 minutes it takes to stop and walk them through the choice they made, or the importance of why they should not speak in a certain tone; will go a lot further in building their character, then just sending them to their room. Remember, we are raising them to be the young men and women God desires them to be.
When we do this, we have found that it helps us from responding to abruptly. How many of you can relate? When our children do or say something crazy, deep down, inside we just want to go off…and we’re sure many of us have. But when we choose to pause, and maintain our composure, that helps us communicate in a way that changes their hearts for the better. In the process, we all grow from it.
Raising children is one of the greatest gifts we have from God. Yet, He has only given each of us a certain amount of available time to sow into them. We cannot afford to allow the “have to’s” of life to distract us from our available time.
So we ask you, will you find teachable moments with your children or will you allow the distractions of this world to influence them?
~ André and Timberley Gray