The teachable moments never stop presenting themselves, it seems. You think it’s just going going to be ‘regular’ start to a day, but then an opportunity presents itself. When they have to do with personal power, I generally don’t let them slip by…
This morning, I was in the shower, the glass door fogging up, when I saw a little smiling face poke around the corner. Surprised me, because she fell asleep a half hour late, and I anticipated having to dress her in bed. She was ready to go!
We traded places. She got in as I exited, having greedily used up the majority of the hot water prepping for a better day than the last two I had created. “It’s going to get cold soon!” I said, implying she ought to scoot.
A couple moments later, I was in my bedroom getting dressed when I heard her whining. “It’s cold! It’s cold!” Here we go… a small but important teachable moment about personal responsibility and exercising her power to choose, albeit a cold one.
“Well, what are you going to do?” I called out, walking over. Quieter whining ensued. She was not getting the hint. At the shower door, I prompted her again. “What do you do when you don’t like something?” She replied, “Stop! I don’t like that!” That’s a phrase we’ve rehearsed many times for her to use when she feels like someone is crossing a line with her boundaries or with what she feels like engaging in at a particular moment. Credit to her last preschool teacher for introducing that. It was not, however, the conclusion I was hoping she would reach this morning, in the ever-colder shower.
Finally, she got the message. If she was going to change the situation, she would need to exercise her own personal power. I was not going to come save her. She pushed against the shower door but found it difficult to get out. Still, I didn’t physically help; just another prompt. “Turn around and press against it with your butt.” She stuck with the hand pushing approach and got it.
“Don’t wait for someone to come save you, Bellina. When there is something you want to change, do what you can.” It will apply to her for the rest of her life, just as it does for every person. If help comes, it’s a bonus. Either way, it’s up to us to create the results we want.
With that, we walked off into the sunrise, enjoying a sweet ride to school. She chatted with a feathery bird ornament I got her for her boldness last night at Panera’s, and I enjoyed the beautiful nature drive while listening with interest to her sparkling imagination…