photo by intisar abioto

True Parent 10

“An Explosion of Family Homelessness”

Ask the Parent!

The Sexy Sexless Parent

You Worry Too Much!

Build a Better Parent

True Book Reviews

Mom, You Are Kind of Weird

The Journey to ’Ohana

Dangerous Parenting

I’ve got an aversion to the term “teachable moment”—usually because I’m rarely prepared when the teachable moment arrives.

That’s our job as parents, right? To turn frustrating, hair-yanking moments into opportunities for learning? But here’s the thing: If I’m supposed to be teaching these “teachable moments,” it’d be nice to know more than 37 seconds in advance. Example: When my nine-year-old daughter suddenly demanded to know if a man’s “peanut” goes into the woman’s “pee-hole” during sex—my wife was inconveniently nowhere to be seen. My response? “Honey... daddies are dumb. That’s why they invented Google.” So we looked it up, knowledge was attained—and yet? I do not like being backed into a corner like that.

Example two: the recent second presidential debate. Same daughter, now 11, has pushed aside her Minecraft obsession and now claims she’s interested in politics. Could she watch the debate with us? “Ah-ha!” I said to myself smugly. “Teachable moment!” I’m a pretty politically savvy guy, and figured I could finagle a halfway decent answer if push came to shove. Well, as everyone knows who watched that debate, the shoving started almost immediately.

My daughter’s first question came after moderator Anderson Cooper asked human piece of excrement Republican candidate Donald Trump if he understood that what he said on that now-famous Access Hollywood tape was an admission of sexual assault.

“What did Donald Trump say on that axis Hollywood tape?”

“Errrrrruuuummm... it’s Access Hollywood.”

“Okay, Access Hollywood. What did he say?”

“Ahem... well, some terrible things.”

“What kind of terrible things?”

I did not like the direction this teachable moment was heading.

“Well... okay... Trump was bragging about how he liked to... ummm... ‘grab’ women without their permission. Umm... in the genitalia.”

“OH NO HE DID NOT.”

Needless to say, we were forced to watch the debate later, because the next 20 minutes were spent having a very intense discussion about the concepts of sexual assault, consent, and how it’s our responsibility to speak up for those who have been victimized by abuse. It wasn’t a fun conversation, either. But eventually, it was one I felt good about, and needed to happen. So the way I figure it, I’m gonna take it easy on myself when the next opportunity for a teachable moment rolls around, even if I don’t feel comfortable about it. I don’t have to be a genius, and besides, Google’s always got my back.

STEVEN WEISSMAN