Teachable Moments - eBook  -     By: Marybeth Hicks
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Teachable Moments - eBook

Howard Books / 2014 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Howard Books
Publication Date: 2014
ISBN: 9781476757506
ISBN-13: 9781476757506

Publisher's Description

Nationally syndicated columnist and media advisor on parenting, Marybeth Hicks outlines the overarching issues in using daily encounters with the current media-driven culture to impart the values and virtues of Christianity.

Never have Christian families been so challenged by the world around them to instill and instruct their children in the tenets of their faith. In today’s day and age, children and teens are surrounded on all sides by popular culture through incessant streams of social media on their cell phones, televisions, and computers. The constant presence of social media in your child’s daily life can influence and define their attitudes and behaviors. As parents and role models for the millennial generation, how do we overcome the moral relativism that saturates our culture to help our children put their faith into action and live out the values and virtues embodied in Jesus Christ? Marybeth Hicks shows Christian families how through “teachable moments.”

These teachable moments might be as simple as incorporating empathy and compassion in early friendships, or as complex as understanding the subtleties of our culture’s potentially destructive messages about human sexuality. They might present themselves in song lyrics, teacher’s comments, television shows, social media interactions, and current events. Teachable moments can emerge in parenting decisions, family relationships, school situations, and in opportunities for freedom and responsibility as our children engage with the world around them.

Through Teachable Moments Marybeth Hicks has created “a parent’s field guide to navigate a challenging culture” (Dr. Michele Borba). With entertaining and instructive questions and answers, this enriching handbook provides concrete examples of teachable moments that will ring true for you as you maximize opportunities to instill important life lessons into the everyday experiences of your children.

Author Bio

Marybeth Hicks is a columnist and speaker and the author of three previous books on parenting and culture. Founder and editor of the blog, OntheCulture.com, she also writes a monthly family column for Catholic Digest magazine and is a regular contributor to EWTN radio. Formerly a columnist for The Washington Times, Marybeth is a frequent guest on national television and radio outlets to comment on issues that impact families and communities. She and her husband, Jim, are the parents of four children and make their home in Michigan.

Editorial Reviews

“Marybeth Hicks understands that the character of our children ultimately will define the character of our society. We must focus on raising kids who are ethical, empathetic, and virtuous—children whose behavior reflects their excellent character. Teachable Moments encourages parents to use everyday experiences to reinforce the lessons they are teaching about the values and virtues that they want their children to exhibit. It’s a parent's field guide to navigate a challenging culture.” —Dr. Michele Borba

Yes! Another spectacular, must-have book on parenting from my friend Marybeth Hicks, who reminds us that the role of parents is one ordained by God to instill in our children the virtues and values and faith that will lead them to heaven. A seasoned mom of four young adults, Marybeth brings to bear her years in the parenting trenches but also a keen understanding of the cultural influences that challenge today's Christian parents. This is more than a book of parenting advice and suggestions; it's an encouragement to those of us who are committed to fulfilling our vocations as mothers and fathers. Get this book and start looking for teachable moments with your kids every day!

Product Reviews

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3.5 out Of 5
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  1. Irvine, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Tool For Using Moments To Teach Values
    August 12, 2014
    VicsMediaRoom
    Irvine, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Teachable Moments.
    Marybeth Hicks in her new book, Teachable Moments published by Howard Books gives us Using Everyday Encounters with Media and Culture to Instill Conscience, Character, and Faith.

    From the back cover: Never have Christian families been so challenged by the world around them to instill and instruct their children in the tenets of their faith. Moral relativism literally seeps into every facet of family life and saturates our popular culture. A ubiquitous media presence that defines our daily experience also is defining the attitudes and behaviors of those who consume it. Yet within this pervasive secular culture, Christian families encounter teachable moments, those unplanned but unmatched opportunities to put their faith into action and live out the values and virtues embodied in Jesus Christ. When looking for teachable moments, parents, and coaches must approach each day with intentionality, seeking out and capitalizing on opportunities to incorporate life lessons into every day experiences amid the culture.

    Teachable moments might be as simple as incorporating values about empathy and compassion in young friendships, or as complex and consequential as understanding the nature of the cultures destructive messages about human sexuality. They might present themselves in song lyrics, teachers comments, television shows, social media interactions, and current events. Most certainly, teachable moments emerge in parenting decisions, family relationships, school situations, and in opportunities for freedom and responsibility.

    Teachable Moments outlines the overarching issues and objectives in using daily encounters with the culture to impart the values and virtues of Christianity. Through entertaining and instructive questions and answers, author Marybeth Hicks provides concrete examples of teachable moments that will ring true for every family.

    I think the best thing a parent can do is talk with their children. We never know what is going on in their heads unless we allow them to speak and speak freely. Then, once we have learned what they are think, we need to steer them to good thinking. The best times parents have available is when the child sees something and asks a question. That is the moment to use to plant the seed of faith and moral character. It is not always easy. Ms. Hicks offers parents eight chapters of teachable moments. Do I agree with everything she offers? No, however that does not mean it is all a waste. Parents need to adapt to the moment and their child. Teachable Moments gives parents the tools they need to use such moments to the best outcome.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  2. Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    I hate giving "star ratings." Just read my review.
    July 25, 2014
    Sufficient in Jesus
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 2
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    This review was written for Teachable Moments.
    Books about parenting are a lot like books about dating: there is a steady stream of new ones coming all the time, and they tend to miss the larger picture.

    With dating books, they focus on sex-not having it- and they forget all about wholesome relationships in general. They don't talk about conversation, communion, and closeness, the intimacy that we are designed to have with multiple people of both genders and all ages.

    They boil it down to sex, and fail to lead us into a richer relationship reality.

    With parenting books, we hear about returning to the old days of obedient children and a clean world to raise them in. (Without music videos, Instagram, and same-sex marriage.)

    It's a rare parenting book that sets your relationship with your kids in the context of your relationship with God, and their relationship with God, and both of your roles in the world today as it is.

    The premise of Teachable Moments is a great one. Wouldn't you love to use "everyday encounters with media and culture to instill conscience, character, and faith?"

    I read this book with a mixture of feelings.

    Some of it is extremely helpful, and exemplifies "sanctified common sense."

    Other parts of it never would have worked on me as a child. Certain explanations for why we do this or why we don't left me cold even now, reading them. They probably would have just piqued my curiosity and sent me to the dictionary to try and figure it out myself! And maybe that's the point... there is no human guidebook, no perfect plan, no two-step process for parenting. And the author tells us that right up front.

    Yet something about this book rubbed me wrong. Three hours after finishing it, I think I've hit upon it.

    There seemed to be very little grace in this book. And by grace I don't mean no-consequences-la-di-da-parents-with-their-eyes closed. This book seemed less about leading your children into the full-bodied Gospel of life than it did about using Biblical principles to make your kids "be good."

    Like somebody said, we drive our kids away from Christ when we tell them that He came to make them good, instead of He came to give them Love.

    At one point, there is a sentence suggesting that shame and guilt need to be reintroduced in our children. I know this is semantics, but shame is not equivalent to healthy Biblical conviction. Shame is a chronic state of mind, a feeling of unworthiness that no amount of good behavior can scrub away. Ironically, in a world that has cast off so many moral ties, shame still exists, and it's not leading to repentance in the sinners-it casting them further down. It's not keeping the righteous on the straight and narrow, it's intruding in their peace.

    A lot of parents seem more concerned with having tidy, presentable, un-troubled kids to show off than they do with getting their hands dirty to help their kid wrestle with life. That kind of parent wants the book that tells them what not to allow. They make actions, outfits, words, and websites the enemy.

    We think that we have to protect our preteen from makeup and high-heels, when we really need to guard her against the heart-breaking hookup culture.

    We think if we can keep our son off of Facebook that he will never cave in to peer pressure or use foul language, but we need to address his desire to fit in.

    So many parents seem to give their kids access to all the bad stuff and then punish the child for getting sucked into it.

    They spend 18 years worrying about weaning their kids off of the world's evil influence, instead of loading the kid up on so much good music and good stories and good times that they won't want to seek out much else. And if they do taste lesser food, it won't appeal to them. My own parents never forbid a single song or book or movie- they gave me access to so much quality, pleasurable, fun stuff that I hardly regretted missing the alternatives.

    I also wonder if maybe we can spend *too* much time trying to explain situations, behaviors, and other people's choices, when we could be just living well and falling in love with our Savior, and inviting our kids to join us. I don't know where the balance is on this between explaining everything over and over vs. confusing our kids with silence, but there must be one.

    If you already like Marybeth Hick's earlier books, then this is probably one to add to your shelves.

    Thank you Howard Books for my review copy.
  3. West Point, UT
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Nice stuff, but not all that compelling
    July 15, 2014
    pastor2519
    West Point, UT
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    This review was written for Teachable Moments.
    If you have a pre-teen or teenager in your life, or think that one day you might, you probably need to read this book or one like it. Teachable Moments: Using Everyday Encounters with Media and Culture to Instill Conscience, Character, and Faith. (Marybeth Hicks, Howard Books, 2014) is a compendium of ‘moments' drawn from family, media, friendship, school sports, the real world, and moments that matter. And the moments are discussed in the context of someone with a strong faith background.

    Some of Hicks' suggested answers are common sense, some seem a little too pat, and a few are ones that I would have liked to have had read about several years ago. Hicks is the mother of four children, and so she has some experience in dealing with the things that pop up in the lives of our children, things that we would like to be able to protect them from, but unfortunately, we can't.

    An expression that she uses throughout the book, and which made perfect sense to me is "we're preparing the child for the path, not the path for the child." Try as we might, there is no way we can foresee all the pitfalls that our children will encounter: we can't prepare the path. What we can try to do is instill values and morals that will help our children to make wise decisions. Consistently throughout the book Hicks is careful to point out the importance of integrity and character.

    In our politically correct world, everyone seems to have a voice, and the right to make it heard, except someone who espouses traditional Christian values. This is becoming more and more prevalent in schools where in the name of preventing bullying, the pendulum seems to have swung a little too far, to the point where teachers are required to put a positive spin on things that many consider sinful. Hicks offers suggestions on how to deal with these conflicting messages in a way that reinforces your own values and explaining how others deserve to be treated with dignity and respect even when you disagree with their stance on a particular issue.

    I was interested in reviewing this book because I have a teenage son, and expected to find it very useful. My mistake was thinking that one size might fit all, which is obviously not the case. Although there is a lot of good material here which many people will find useful, I imagine that supporters of some of the issues that Hicks considered to be ‘teachable moments" will attack her as being a hater, not being open-minded, or being one of those judgmental Christians.

    I did not find this book as helpful as I had hoped, but younger parents and those with preteens, and younger teens in the house may glean more helpful hints than I did.

    I received a pre-release copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

    3.5/5
  4. TX
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent Resource for Intentional Parenting
    July 8, 2014
    DiscipleMom Laura
    TX
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Teachable Moments.
    This is the first book I've read by cultural commentator and author Marybeth Hicks, but I guarantee you I'll be reading her other books after readingTeachable Moments: Using Everyday Encounters with Media and Culture to Instill Conscience, Character, and Faith. The Howard Books release will assuredly revolutionize my parenting--and yours too, if you'll let it.

    Hicks talks a lot about parenting in the moment and parenting intentionally--thinking ahead about the values, character traits and morals you want to instill in your children. She urges parents to take advantage of the unplanned and unexpected moments, using them to teach and mold our children. In fact, Hicks says that not taking advantage of teachable moments sends the opposite message--that the culture's values are okay. And in a culture that seems to lack a moral compass, that's not a good thing for Christian parents and their children.

    In Teachable Moments, Hicks employs a conversational and somewhat humorous tone to illustrate a variety of situations and moments in life that parents can seize and use to develop character and faith in their kids. For each of the following areas, she takes a chapter to address 10 common teachable moments: family, media, friendship, school, sports, and the real world. In each of those chapters, Hicks gives practical examples, showing parents how to navigate moments when kids are faced with issues like suggestive music or television shows, cheating at school, bad sportsmanship, bullying, and even sexual health and education in schools.

    At the end of each chapter you'll find "The Lesson Plan" which features a helpful synopsis and practical tips related to the teachable moments presented in that chapter. Overall, Teachable Moments is practical, helpful and challenging. The concepts are surprisingly simple, yet not easy. They will require time, commitment, and intentionality; however with this resource in hand, parents can learn to take advantage of those teachable moments, molding children of character and conscience while also strengthening family ties. I highly recommend this book to parents of children of all ages. It's one of my new go-to resources on parenting. Teachable Moments is definitely worth the investment, and it's one volume I'll refer to over and over again as I grow as a parent.

    * Note: I received a copy of the book from NetGalley for this honest review. However, the opinions expressed are my own.
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