Today while grocery shopping I asked the 5 year old to stay next to the cart. Instead he wandered off when I turned my back and burnt his hand on the chicken warmer.
I wagged my finger in his face and said "I told you so." But the truth is, I hadn't told him so. Had I told him it was hot, his little fingers wouldn't have been so curious. All it would have taken was a moment to pull him aside and tell him why I was asking him to stay close. It's often the small teachable moments that have the longest lasting impact.
We often think of the big teachable moments: like learning to ride a bike, tying shoes, conducting a store transaction, learning to drive. But there are hundreds of teachable moments that happen all the time when you are rearing little people.
And I'm learning that teachable moments aren't just handed down to kids. Sometimes they filter back up to us parents as well. I think about some of the teachers and college professors I had whose teaching style wasn't the greatest. Instead of re-evaluating their skills, they blamed us students for not getting it.
It's okay to realize that in handing out a lesson, we often get a lesson ourselves. Maybe it's a lesson in patience. Or self control or in being more clear. I get these lessons on a regular basis.
I'm also understanding that as kids, the lessons have to be repeated. These are children we are dealing with and as exhausting as it is to keep going over the same lessons, we know that one day it will just kick in. My mother tells me that all the time. She said she was constantly repeating herself with us about things she'd taught us in previous years. And then one day as we matured, the light bulb went off and the lesson kicked in.
Makes me thing of my oldest. He got a brand new bike last year but never learned to ride it....even after continued efforts from various family members. Then one day after all the frustration and tears, all the tips and teaching just set in. And he was off riding on his own.
Now the lessons are starting all over again with the 5 year old. Here's to patience...and self control for all of us.
Learning to ride with Auntie