Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Teachable Moments

I am a big believer in the value and importance of "teachable moments". These are the little opportunities that arise dozens of times each day to teach the children in our lives more about the world around them. This is a tale of caution, however.

Children are human sponges, and sometimes we jump on those teachable moments without thinking about potential consequences.

So one day my daughter's skirt is slipping down. She is oblivious to the "plumber's crack" that she's showing the world and so my wife, Andrea says "Pull up your skirt. You're mooning us."

"What does 'mooning' mean?" Madeleline asks.

"A 'moon' is when your bottom is showing." I explained.

That was the end of the conversation. It was never brought up again by anyone.

Two days later, we went out to the video rental store to get a movie. We were coming out of the store at around dusk and I could see the moon in the sky. I asked my daughter, "Do you see the moon, Madeleine? Where's the moon?"

I don't suppose I have to finish the story for you other than to say, while we are proud of our four-year-old's ability to recall and apply information in new and creative ways, and while we are very proud of her well developed sense of humor, we were not really that impressed with her response to my question in the parking lot of Blockbuster Video.

--Julian Franklin

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