6/29/2008

Teachable Moments

Kung Fu Panda

Went to watch 'Kung Fu Panda' with my children. It was indeed a delightful movie - well, if you are willing to put aside the queer or even repulsive idea of a panda having a goose as a father. Not just any goose mind you, but one that sells one of the best noodles in town! But that is not why I like this little show. I like one of the messages that comes with the story.

The goose father finally decided to tell the Panda son, 'Pole' his secret ingredient that made his noodle so good (as he thought his son was ready to be groomed to take over his legacy). He said "The secret ingredient is...that there is no secret ingredient." That clicked totallly with Pole who had earlier been entrusted with the dragon scroll only to find that there are no messages on the scroll. The enlightened Pole then decided that in any endeavour, there is no secret ingredient - it is all about believing in yourself and working towrds what you want to achieve. Wow ..I thought - pretty powerful for a kids' show - an advice that I could use myself!

Later, upon reaching home, I asked my children what they have learnt? My girl tried to be funny and said "that it's ok for your father to look very different from you" - even different type?! We laughed but I asked again seriously this time and with a little more prompt. I asked them about the 'secret ingredient' and how they relate to that. The elder girl said understood and reaffirm the statement that there's no secret in any success just hard work and perseverance - my little boy nodded. I'm sure he understood what that meant in his own little world.

I think that it really helps to talk to your kids at times about issues when it is timely. In schools, we call it 'teachable moments' - what this means essentially is seizing the right opportunity to talk to the younger ones about this so that they could reflect and learn certain correct values from it. I plan to think of 1 teachable moment a day to hold discussions with my little ones - on top of being able to understand what they are capable of thinking about, such moments also allow be to seemlessly point out relevant values that I feel they should know. ;)


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