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Finding Teachable Moments With Our Kids

This conversation featuring 10 places to find teachable moments is brought to you by Vroom

Finding Teachable Moments With Our Kids

Over the past few years I’ve come to realize how important it is to turn average, everyday moments into teachable moments with our kids. Not only are they the most relaxed when we’re just doing our own thing and going through our day, they’re also more apt to ask questions and really take in what you’re telling them when you share something with them in the moment.

In an effort to take advantage of these moments, I’ve listed our top 10 places to find teachable moments below.

10 Places To Find Teachable Moments

Finding Teachable Moments in the Car

1. In The Car

The one place that I find ourselves the most disconnected from tablets and computers and phones is the car. For one… no wifi! And we’re in the car at least twice a day to and from school for drop off and pick up. While we don’t necessarily talk the whole time we’re in the car, we are together in a confined space with no where else to go until we get to our destination.

I’ve found that this is the great time to not only ask about their day, but to open up about topics we might not have thought about. And what’s most crazy is that those topics don’t just pop up… they’re provoked by the one thing that is on in the car: the radio. Whether it’s a song that comes on, or something the announcer says, my kids and I have had great talks about everything from racism to politics to math after a topic was sparked by what we hear on the radio.

2. On A Walk

We love taking family walks. It’s important for us to get outdoors with the kids so we try and make time for walks as a family. Whether we’re heading out to the park or up the road to grab an ice cream cone after dinner, it’s a great time to bring things up. We also love talking about what’s going on in our neighborhood and what we see around us.

3. After School

I don’t know if this is the same for everyone but my son never gives me any information about what’s going on at school or what’s coming up. My daughter, on the other hand, gets in the car after school ready to share about her day. But when I do want to know what’s going on with him I don’t just ask what he did at school. I find ways around the obvious question and ask him other things that might lead to a conversation about his day. I found some really great conversation starters here.

4. During Dinner Time

Dinner time in our home is family time. And it doesn’t just start when we sit at the table to eat. By getting the kids involved in making dinner with me, I can teach them little things in the kitchen that they can continue to learn as they get older. Whether its dumping in the ingredients into a bowl like my 15 month old, chopping up veggies like the older kids, or unloading the dishwasher like my husband, everyone has something to do when we get dinner ready. This gives us the opportunity to spend time with one another while we teach each other new things. You can find more tips for creating a family table at meal time here.

5. On A Trip

When we leave home for trips, whether it’s for vacation or a simple get away for the day, we try to take any opportunity we can to teach our children about something. If we’re heading to Boston to visit family, we make sure to schedule a few historical stops along the way, or if we’re going to the San Diego Zoo, we try and get the kids involved in learning more about the animals we see. By just exploring the world around them, they soak in everything.

6. In The Bathroom

So if you’re a parent you know that you can’t do anything alone anymore. And that includes going to the bathroom. While it may not be the most enjoyable thing, I’ve found that my kids curiosity in the bathroom has helped open our channels of communication about things we might not have discussed until a later age. I’m pretty open about the birds and the bees with my kids. While I do make sure to keep it at an age appropriate level, most of the talks I’ve had with my son and daughter have started in the bathroom.

Finding Teachable Moments in the back yard

7. In The Back Yard

Our back yard is our oasis. Whether we’re gardening together, playing together, or taking care of our many animals, having an active back yard has allowed us the opportunity to continue to teach our children about how to grow their own food and how to take care of another being. By just making things available to them, like a few planters to plant whatever veggies or flowers they want to plant, I’ve come to realize how independent they become and how much they’ve learned by just observing us.

8. In The Classroom

Now this might sound like a no-brainer but it’s not on the list for why you think. If you work outside of the home it may be hard to do, but volunteering in your child’s classroom can really open the doors of communication and help in teaching them at home.

I’ve found that by observing my son in class and seeing how he learns things there has helped how I approach teaching him certain things at home. Homework time is also a great time to check in with them and see how they’re doing.  By being active and in communication with his teacher, I’ve been able to see what his strengths are academically and what he needs help with.

9. At A Friend’s House

Growing up I learned so much about the differences between each family after heading to a friend’s house for a playdate or sleep over. The family dynamics are so different between one household and another and by going to friends houses to see their family dynamic, we’ve been able to teach our kids that being different is great. We also make sure they feel comfortable in asking questions they have about those differences.

10. With Family Members

One thing I absolutely love about living close to family are the different life lessons their grandparents and aunts and uncles can teach them. Whether it’s just hanging out at Grandma’s house or going on an adventure with their Great aunts or uncles, being able to learn different ways from different people has allowed our kids to get a bigger perspective on the world around them.

Finding Teachable Moments with Family Members

In an effort to inspire every caregiver to think more about teachable moments, the Bezos foundation has started a fun campaign called the Vroom initiative. Vroom was developed based on the premise that every child is born with enormous potential, and every parent can help them realize that potential. The Vroom Superhero campaign demonstrates the heroic role that every parent and caregiver plays in the lives of children, and reinforces the message that anyone can be a Vroom Superhero to a child.

You can find a little more about the campaign in the video below:

Vroom was designed to give parents and caregivers simple tools that turn everyday activities, like mealtime and bath time, into brain building moments. We want to empower parents and caregivers like Camellia to interact with their children during their daily routines, engaging them in activities that require no additional time or resources but have outsize long-term benefits.

Become a superhero and join Vroom today!

How do you make teachable moments fun?

5 Tips for Creating a Family Table at Meal Time

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Barilla, but opinions are my own.

5 Tips for Creating a Family Table at Meal Time

When my son was a toddler I thought he was the pickiest eater. Then I started to realize that he wasn’t picky, he was just a kid. So I started to focus more on creating a family table at meal time and truly allowing him (and now my daughter) to experience food differently.

With the changes we’ve put in place I not only have kids who eat dinner, even if it’s just one part of dinner, we also now have a place to sit and talk about our day as a family. Mealtime now sometimes leads to playtime afterwards when the conversation doesn’t stop and the kids request either a game or movie night after we eat.

By eating at home, around a table, we’ve come to realize the importance of meal time and creating a family table. [Read more…]

Prayers and Good Thoughts Needed… and some Chocolate Pie

When I’m happy I eat. When I’m sad I eat. When I’m upset I eat. When I’m mad I eat. See a pattern here? For the most part I’ve been able to curb this addiction but lately I am thinking about food all the time. My grandma is in the hospital. Has been since last Thursday.

Congestive heart failure, renal failure and pneumonia.

Not a fun trio. For the most part she seems herself although she’s hating the whole hospital thing. And if she can get her oxygen levels up and breathe on her own again she might just be able to work on everything else going on.

But for now she waits. And waits.

So we wait with her. I find other family members willing to watch the kids while I visit. The visits aren’t all that exciting and for the most part I just sit with my aunt, uncles and mom while reading a book. I haven’t read this much in a long time. But every once in a while I’m able to visit with her alone. And we chat. Small things, big things. It’s nice.

I haven’t really thought that it’s impacted me much but I think it is. The other day I went into the pantry, went into the fridge and checked out the freezer. Nothing sounded good. Nothing looked good. Ugh.

So I figured I’d check out a few of my recipe books and I grabbed one of my favorites, Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from My Home to Yours. And I happened to open it on a recipe for chocolate pie. With a chocolate shortbread crust. I already had some pie crust in the freezer so I grabbed that and let it thaw. Now I should have stopped right there. If I had time to thaw crust I had time to realize that this was just a bad plan all over.

I am losing weight, on the right track, just got over a 6-week weight loss challenge.Why sabotage these efforts? Because I could. 

So I made Dorie’s chocolate tart filling.

Added some diced macerated strawberries and waited for the mix to chill in the fridge. As it was chilling I baked up the pie crust and let it cool. Once it was cool I grabbed the chocolate/strawberry filling, poured it into the crust, and smoothed it all down. If I had any whipping cream in the house I probably would have whipped that up and layered it on as well. But lucky for me I didn’t. And I was out of chocolate.

Half of the pie was gone the next day. Oy…

So I ask for your prayers. No, not so that I stop eating. Only I can work on that. Prayers for my grandma. Prayers that she finds peace, gets better, makes it to her 60th high school reunion later this year. She says she’s ready but I know she wants to do just a bit more. Let her visit with her sister at least.

I thank you in advance for any positive thoughts or prayers you have to offer. I truly appreciate it!

Oh, and the pie was amazing.

I’ll have to make it again. And maybe isntead of strawberries I’ll throw in a swirl of peanut butter. Yum!



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