Mama Miller Parenting

Passionate parenting and homemaking.

Being the First Teacher

on September 2, 2012

It is almost 3 pm on this lovely Sunday afternoon and I am already in my pjs.

My boys, Andy and K, are out at the “old house” with my in-laws. I am at home with the sickly little girl. Her fever has broken but she is still super clingy. Poor baby. I decided that I will most likely spend the rest of the day snuggling, playing, or possibly getting a little nose wiped on me… I may as well be comfortable.


I want to to talk for a minute about being your child/children’s first teacher. Some parents don’t always see this as one of their rolls but it is so important!

If your children aren’t home schooled, their teachers will cover math, reading, and science; but it is not their job to teach life skills.

Like skills are the things they will need to be able to thrive as adults. How to do laundry, cook, keep house, calm down, respond to criticism, and get along with others are just a few.

Little people have to know how you expect them to behave in new situations. It isn’t enough to give them a vague command or just expect them to know.

Break it down into steps that they can easily remember and follow.

For example, this year K moved up from the nursery to the 3 and 4 year old room at church. Instead of telling K to “be nice in Sunday school”, we go through a process.

“Remember to listen to your teacher during Sunday school. When we listen our ears are open, our mouths are closed, and our hands are still. Share with the other kids and ask your teacher if you need help. Please tell the teacher if you need to go potty. If you listen during your class, we will get to eat lunch with Nonna and play after church. If you choose not to listen, we will go home and take a nap.”

We talk through the steps of how we expect him to act in a new situation and then do a brief reminder each time. It really does help. He knows exactly what we expect of him and what the consequences will be if he doesn’t. He doesn’t always make good choices but it does greatly up the odds.

We also ask him questions to make sure he understands.

His cousin’s dog was bitten by a rattlesnake yesterday. The house we are renovating is out in the country a ways and we worry about him encountering wild animals. In the car we talked about what to do if he sees an animal he doesn’t know.

“What do you do if you see a snake?”

“I run away and find mommy or daddy. I don’t touch it.”

“Very good, buddy. Why don’t we touch snakes?”

“Because some snakes have rattles and they can bite you. Billie had to go to the doggy hospital and she had owwies.”

“That is right. Some snakes can bite and hurt you. We don’t touch any animals we don’t know. Even if it is a kitty or puppy, we go get mommy or daddy or an adult.”

It is not always easy to put yourself in teacher mode. Sometimes I get frustrated with how he acts or reacts to certain situations. I often have to step back and ask myself if I taught him how I expected him to act. Did I explain what behaviors are acceptable or did I just tell him to “be good”? “Being good” is a lot of pressure to put on a 3 year old. They may not know what that means. What does “being good” in the store look like? What are the consequences for not behaving the way we are supposed to in the store?

“Or else” doesn’t really help much either. You need to have a clear idea what the consequences will be when you are teaching.

Also, the greatest way to teach your children to be the adults you want then to become is to live it out in your own life. You are their greatest witness. It is such a big responsibility and so humbling to know that God has entrusted us with the next generation of adults.

I’m enjoying writing out some of the parenting principles we use in our home. It is a great way to hold myself accountable to the parent I want to be.
Thanks for those of you that have been reading over the past month. It has been an amazing outlet for me and I appreciate the support and kind words.

Thanks again for reading!

Do you have any examples of teaching moments with your own kiddos?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Real. Life. Storytelling.

Nontoxic Megan

Living a healthy life (the best way I can)


What I See

Stuff Kids Write

Like stuff adults write. But funnier.

Louis and Mel

Let's have some pun.

mummy flying solo

...murmurs from the depths of my world

Baking in a Tornado

Passionate parenting and homemaking.

Dates 2 Diapers

Passionate parenting and homemaking.

The Three Bears

Life as I know it...

Thirty-Four Million Moments

Everything from motherhood to love...and anything else that comes to mind.

Making Memories in The Chaos.

A family and lifestyle blog by a SAHM in Northern Ireland.

Máthair Fiona

Be thankful. Give thanks. Live thankfully.

The Tabletop Vector

A convergence of tabletop gaming, music, and geek culture.

Chronicles of the Deranged

Passionate parenting and homemaking.

What the Mom

Real tips from a mom of 4

%d bloggers like this: