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Perspectives: The Right Time to Teach

December 3, 2014
 / HCSS / 

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I always try to be in "teaching mode" with my twin 16-year-old boys. As you can probably guess, they are not always in "learning mode," and this leads to them getting frustrated with me, me getting frustrated with them, and my wife getting frustrated with all of us.

I try not to let that stop me. I tell myself that one day they’ll remember my lessons. Am I right? I have no clue whatsoever.

One example of this is leadership. I have spent years trying to talk to them about the importance of being a good leader, only to see rolling eyes and glassed-over expressions.

But that all changed this school year. Both boys earned leadership roles in the high school marching band, and all of a sudden they wanted to learn all about leadership from me. They had problems with other kids and wanted suggestions. They wanted to brainstorm on concepts they wanted to try. It was fun! (Although I had to suppress the urge to say, “Why haven’t you been listening to me all these years?”)

These conversations got me thinking about timing, and I realized how laughable my strategy has been at times. The right time for them to learn leadership isn’t when I want them to learn it; it’s when they want to learn it and could actually apply what they were learning. Such a simple concept I overlooked!

Will this stop me from bringing things up? No way. It does, however, keep me on the lookout for opportunities to use their current situations as launching points for teaching.

Tell us your own story of givingg a well-timed lesson to your kids in the comment section! 

Click here to read more Perspectives articles.

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