“Patience is a virtue.” How many of you heard that when you were a child? Or maybe you’ve said it before! My mom said that to me many times when I was young. I’ve struggled with patience my entire life. I do believe people are born with a certain “patience” tolerance. Some people, like my mom, husband and sisters, tend to be more patient, whereas others, myself and my dad included, struggle with it. I have a million things to do and I need to do them NOW! I do not have time to wait! Waiting for people or things irritates me to no end. I am working on remembering what I can and can not control. I can’t control whether or not the concert starts on time. I can’t control the speed of the line at the grocery store. I can’t control whether or not the slow left-lane driver in front of me moves over). I can’t control how fast my son ties his shoes.
I am trying to raise two children- do I want them to struggle with being patient? No. I need to be better at modeling patience. My kids know that I struggle with having and showing patience and that’s good. It’s good for my kids to know that I’m not perfect- far from it. I want my kids to see me working on improving myself.
How can you practice patience as an adult?
- When I feel myself start to lose my cool, I will take a deep breath and blow it out. I will count to ten. I will leave the area and take a little break.
- I will pray for patience throughout the day so my children can hear me.
- I will ask for help. My children and husband can help remind me to be patient and stay calm.
- I will give myself more time to get things done. If I’m always running late, I will be more impatient and stressed.
- I will try not to overschedule. Packing too many things into my day creates too much busyness and too much stress. Not enough time+too much to do=lack of patience.
How can you help your child cultivate a habit of patience?
- Be a good role model. Let your child see you practicing patience with a smile and positive attitude.
- Make them wait. If they want something that they don’t need, make them save up for it or wait for a birthday or Christmas. Help them realize that they can’t have everything right now. Find little ways throughout each day to have them practicing waiting.
- Empathize. Tell them you understand that being patient is hard. You’re going to work on it together.
- Play games and do activities that help them practice patience. (Get your free downloads here)
- Read books about practicing patience.
- Acknowledge what a great job they’re doing working on being patient.
Do you have any great ideas for practicing patience? How do you as an adult deal with waiting? How do you encourage it in children? With some practice and diligence, I can get better at waiting with a good attitude! After all, patience is a virtue.
Resources to help you:
Cami and Wyatt Practice Patience: a children’s book to encourage patience. Cami and Wyatt can’t wait to go fishing with their family, but their patience is tested when nothing goes as planned. Join the Kangaroo family as they find a way to have fun, even when there are hurdles to hop over.