Why The Best Parenting Happens In Sticky Situations

by Brenda Yoder, MA

best parentingThe other day I was in a sticky situation, making strawberry jam with berries from our garden.  It’s a messy project, one I don’t like to be interrupted from. While I was in the middle of the mess, one of my kids let me know they needed to talk. Sometimes the best parenting happens in sticky situations!


There are times children need our undivided attention. This was one of them. With four kids, there have been moments when the best parenting was needed at inopportune times. It’s tempting to say, “I can’t talk now” or “I’ll do it later.” 

In parenting teens, there’s a small window of opportunity where they’ll let you into their world. The best parenting happens when we take the moments they give us, even in sticky situations.

Sometimes situations are sticky because it requires talking about hard subjects. One of the best parenting moments for me happened when my child asked me about controversial choices I made as a young adult.  It was a moment I wanted to avoid at all costs. But they asked.

I had to own up to my past and let them down in the process. But good parenting came out of it. They listened to the lessons I learned not because I was lecturing them but because they wanted to know and listen to the wisdom I learned the hard way. Best parenting – sticky situations.

The best parenting doesn’t happen when planned.

It evolves when availability aligns with teachable moments.  How do you respond to windows of opportunity for your best parenting? What are cues you take when your children need to talk? What have been outcomes of some of those “best parenting” moments?