Monday, October 19, 2009
What do you say to your children before bedtime? Selena is now three, and the going to bed routine has gotten longer. As I've mentioned before, the two girls sleep in the same room now. Shana goes to bed about an hour before Lena does, so about 8pm, Lena and I (or Daddy) tiptoe upstairs for teeth brushing, final pottying, storytelling time.
After Lena is tucked into bed amid her many billowy blankets, stuffed animals and two pillows, she is ready for a story. She has an imaginary friend, so I often spin my stories around adventures that she, Shana, and her imaginary friend would have.
After one particularly discouraging day, my heart was full of love for her. Full of love and longing that she will one day be a woman of God. I started my story as usual:
"Once upon a time, there were --"
"TWO GIRLS!" she whisper shouted.
"And their names were Selena and Shana, and they were --"
"BEST FRIENDS!" she finished for me.
Then I paused, looking at her wide eyes and eager expression. I realized what a teachable moment I had, and began to tell my story in such a way that it would be character building for her. She was raptly attentive, and I was able to talk to her after the story. We said one of the verses that she knows, and as always, we prayed together for her and Shana.
Ever since that night, I have tried to take full advantage of those moments before she sleeps. I encourage her for the wonderful traits her daddy and I have seen in her, and I talk to her about some of the areas that need attention. We do this at naptime sometimes too if there is something good or otherwise that needs to be mentioned. And there are times, when I feel that all of this would be burdensome, so we just have our little story and then she goes to sleep. I pray that this will bear fruit in both of my girls. Sometimes Shae wakes up while we are talking, and I tuck her into bed next to Selena and talk to both of them for a few minutes.
Do you have a special place for your teachable moments? I'd love to hear about it!