I look for teaching moments wherever I can find them. When the girls were younger, we watched The Rescuers, the 1970s cartoon about the little girl who was rescued by a motley crew of mice after being kidnapped. Marley had just started reading and wanted to see the description
Marley: Mom, what does kidnapped mean?
Instead of giving her a cutesy definition, I saw this as an opportunity to teach by putting the fear of God in her. I let her know that #1 - there are a lot of bad people in the world and #2 - when we go out, they need to stay close to mommy and daddy or someone will snatch them up.
Or the time when a bus driver blatantly ignored them as they said "Good evening" when getting on. Instead of cursing the a-hole out, for disrespecting my well-mannered children, I looked at is as an opportunity teach them. They'll encounter people, in life, that will be rude and nasty, it's important that they never allow someone else's misery to affect their own happiness.
There are lessons to be learned around every corner. As a parent, it's my job to build the foundation for the well-rounded, compassionate, intelligent young women they will become.
One of my New Year's Resolutions is to teach and re-teach them life's greatest qualities.
Lesson #1 of 2017 - Gratitude
In an effort to start the year off right, the girls and I decided to bake cupcakes and deliver them to fireman. At first they thought 'yay!!! we get to make and eat cupcakes.' Yes, they did the actual mixing and baking. But it warmed my heart when after delivering the cupcakes they looked up and me and said 'Mom, that felt really good! I'm so glad we did that.'
I want them to be good people, so I'll continue to teach these important life lessons.
I'm not going to lie, it was a bit self-serving. In addition to doing a good deed, Momma enjoyed it because I do love firefighters.