Teachable moments are some of the best tools in the savvy Christian parent’s tool box. You can create an experience or take advantage of one that happens naturally to teach your children important lessons. A lot of the ideas in Parenting Like Hannah are actually ways for you to intentionally create teachable moments to help your child develop specific godly characteristics.
Sometimes, the teachable moments which occur naturally are not so much fun. You may find yourself in an awkward situation. Your child may be devastated emotionally over something that happened at school. Your children might stumble upon a situation exposing them to seriously ungodly behaviors you had hoped not to address with them until they were much older.
You know these moments need to be addressed, but being blindsided by them can keep you from even thinking clearly. Suddenly becoming intentional and providing a meaningful spiritual or life lesson out of the situation seems impossible.That is why I was excited to be given an opportunity to review (and give away a free copy!) of the book Teachable Moments: Using Everyday Encounters with Media and Culture to Instill Conscience, Character, and Faith.
Marybeth Hicks is not only a well known author, but she has raised four children of her own. This book actually shares a lot of the teachable moments she experienced with her own children when they were younger. Hicks breaks teachable moments into seven basic categories: family, media, friendship, school, sports, real world and moments that matter.
Each chapter begins with a basic overview of the challenges in that area. She quotes research and shares what is happening in most homes around our country. As she discusses the issue, she introduces godly principles and the problems associated with following the parenting crowd.
After the more general discussion, Hicks provides advice for ten common teachable moments in each category. Although the scenarios may be common, it doesn’t feel that way when it happens to you and your child. Hicks realizes that and provides general guidelines for you to talk about with your child (hopefully helping him learn important lessons in the process).
It would be easy for a book like this to become preachy sounding very easily. Hicks not only avoids preaching to the reader, but encourages straightforward and loving conversations with your children. The advice is very practical and consistent with basic biblical principles. Although the author mentions she is Catholic several times, I did not notice any specific doctrine being mentioned or taught. At times, her suggestions for conversation openers sound a bit stilted, but they could easily be rephrased in language similar to what is normally used in your home.
If you are looking for a Bible study or lots of specific scripture references to back the godly principles she advises you to teach your children, this is not the book to meet that need. I would also say at least one or two of her situations and their corresponding answers are more about patriotism than God. That’s not bad, but I don’t consider God to be a proponent or opponent of American patriotism.
Having said that, I believe this is a very solid, extremely helpful parenting book. It is especially good for parents of young children or parents who lack confidence in taking advantage of teachable moments. It is a fairly easy read and her advice is very practical. In fact, she ends each chapter with a lesson plan to remind you of the basic principles you want your child to learn in each area.
The best news is the publisher is giving one of our Parenting Like Hannah readers a chance to win a copy for free. Simply enter your email address below and you will be entered in the drawing. The entry form also has additional ways of earning more entrees – the competition for this book might be fierce – it’s not even officially released until August. So click at the bottom of this post immediately for your chance to win a copy. If you don’t win when we announce the winners on Monday (entries must be received by Sunday July 27), this is a book you definitely want in your reference library. Taking advantage of those teachable moments will only increase the impact you can have on your child.
This book was provided to me for free in exchange for my honest review.