Throughout our daily lives, there are numerous occasions where it is important to practice patience. From waiting in a line at the store to dealing with a difficult person, patience helps us stay calm and handle a situation that isn’t our ideal. If you are raising children, one of the most important gifts you can give them is the ability to exhibit patience in difficult situations. Teaching your child patience, however, can require its own healthy dose of patience. We aren’t naturally born with an abundance of this trait.
Here at our child care center in Monroe, we work to help kids in our program learn vital skills such as patience. Check out the following ways you can help instill this trait in your home as well.
It Starts With You
First off, if you are an impatient person and you constantly display this in front of your child, you are going to find it difficult to teach them how to be patient. Kids are often mirror images of our own strengths and weaknesses. If you need to take some time improving your own patience, begin there. Whether you join a yoga class to better handle daily stress or you consciously calm yourself down in trying situations for the sake of your child, look for ways you can become better at modeling patience. If you find that you are short with your kids, impatient with your spouse, or speak disdainfully about coworkers you have zero patience with, your children will echo that in their own lives. Make it a point to become a more patient, calm, and caring person yourself.
Begin The Day With Something Calming
Do you and your kids get up in a flurry of chaos and activity? Does your child’s day begin with rapid commands and scurrying around? The way we start our day has a lot to do with how that day will ultimately go. The Merriam-Webster definition of being patient is “bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint.” That calmness has to originate from the very beginning of your child’s day.
Take some time each morning with your kids to engage in a calming activity. This could be yoga for children, reading a favorite story, or taking a short and quiet walk around the neighborhood. It might require a shift in your schedule, but you will find that everyone benefits from a calm start to the day.
Don’t Create A Dependence On Distractions
In the digital world we live in, it is easy to find that both ourselves and our children are fully dependent upon distractions to handle trying situations. While there is nothing wrong with entertaining your kid with a tablet on occasion, try to teach your kids how to handle periods of waiting without the need for a screen. This will go a long way in ensuring that they truly know how to be patient rather than just knowing how to be distracted.
Help Your Child Think Creatively
Not all of us can handle every situation the same way, and that’s OK. Being patient with others or with a trying situation doesn’t have to look like grinning and bearing it. Help your kids think creatively about how they can patiently handle something. For example, when needed, allow for leaving a situation. Perhaps your kid is extremely frustrated with their sibling. Help them see that when they reach their limit, it is fine to spend some time alone regathering their patience.
End Each Day Talking Through Frustrations
Finally, while you want your kids to learn how to patiently handle a trying scenario, you don’t want them to grow up bottling their emotions in an effort to “be patient.” Rather, you want them to be able to appropriately handle those emotions at the right time.
Just as it is important to start your day with purpose, it is vital to end your day this way as well. Spend some time each evening speaking with your kids one-on-one about the things that frustrated them that day. Use this time to allow them to vent and explain what bothered them about the situation. Make sure they feel heard and that they are not penalized for their emotions. Work through the problems with them offering empathy and understanding. Give them positive feedback for how they handled something patiently. If they lost their cool, talk with them about how they might be able to find a creative solution next time around.
Here at our child care center in Monroe, we will work with you to ensure that your child is encouraged to be patient and kind throughout their day with us. Contact us today to learn more about enrollment in our child care program.