Parenting In Focus: Lessons are all around you

  • Wednesday, December 2, 2020 1:30am
  • Life

You don’t have to look around for lessons to teach your young child. They are everywhere. Talking about them is educational for both of you.

Some of the best topic to discuss are when you are together in the car. Here you have a chance to perhaps hear how preschool went, if she is fortunate enough to be enrolled during this pandemic time. Ask what they did and what she learned.

Be sure to show her the sign that says you need to stop. Ask her to look for the next one and tell you when it is coming. You can do the same thing for signals that are red, green or yellow. Talk about what the colors in the signal mean.

This is a time of year to have her pay attention to the trees that are turning orange and the leaves are flying everywhere. Show her the big machine gathering up the leaves from the roads.

Talk about the colors you want her to learn. See if she can find cars the color she likes best.

Just the two of you — or maybe more — talking together will help her be ready for school when the time comes. Talk with her about what you each will be doing when you get home.

Remind her that this is the day that maybe you will be washing her toys. This is something she needs to learn about and something you need to do on a regular basis. The stuffed animals that are washed in the washing machine come out looking good at least usually.

Be sure to talk about washing her hands. This is something she needs to do when she gets home so it is worth talking about in the car.


Another topic worth discussing is Thanksgiving. No matter how you celebrated Thanksgiving, it is still worth a discussion. Few children even understand what Thanksgiving is all about. Even though it is over, it is still worth talking about. Talk about the Indians and the Pilgrims, but let them even hear about today’s Thanksgiving.

Discuss the many things you and your child have to be thankful for. Let her know you are especially thankful for her. Ask her what things she thinks are good about her life.

This is certainly a time to also talk about people who may not have a lot. Even though the holiday is past, let her give a food donation to the local food bank. There is hunger after Thanksgiving, too.

If your child is not a big talker, it may be better to talk after the lights are off at night. At these times your child may say things that she wouldn’t say during the day.

Make a point of talking with her after you read a story and the lights go out. It is a special time to talk about the day, what made her happy or what made her sad.

Talk about what she would like to change. It is a wonderful way to build closeness and encourage communication.

Cynthia Martin is the founder of the First Teacher program and former executive director of Parenting Matters Foundation, which publishes newsletters for parents, caregivers and grandparents. For more information, email to or call 360-681-2250.

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