Here’s another thing I would suggest to you concerning maximizing teachable moments. Answer questions directly. Don’t try the creative approach and say, “Well, son, you know why there are so many giraffes in the zoo?” Don’t try to paint this Mutual Of Omaha, National Geographic type picture, and never get down to the facts. Steve Farrar in his book “The Point Man”, says “Answer small questions with small answers and big questions with big answers”. I heard about a father who kind of messed up in this regard. After dinner, his son, who was five years of age, cornered him and said, “Dad, where do I come from?” The father swallowed hard, “Oh no”, and he went into this long speech about the facts of life. He’d been talking for five minutes and he looks down at his son and his son has an expression like this…he said, “Son, do you understand what I’m saying?” His son said, “Yes, dad. I guess so. Tommy comes from Cleveland. Where do I come from?” Make sure you discern the question.
That brings us to another guideline if we’re going to maximize teachable moments. Discern the age and development of the child. Don’t give them too much too early, but begin to teach, begin to explore, begin to initiate conversation. However what you say to a seven year-old will be a little bit different from what you would communicate to a ten year-old and on up the ladder. Sex education never stops. It never stops.
Something else I would encourage parents to do is to take your child off for a night or two and talk to them about the facts of life. I know Owen Goff took his son, Timothy, off for the weekend and they went through this book, “Preparing For Adolescence”. Again it communicates to your children, “Whoa! This is important. Dad or mom, they’ve taken enough time to take me off for the weekend, to sit me down and share with me this gift called sex”. Are you capturing those moments or are you fleeing from those moments?