Has there ever been a parent that didn’t lose his or her patience? It doesn’t seem likely. However, like anything else, patience can be cultivated and developed, with some effort and focus.
Patient parents have happier and better-adjusted children. If you’re patient, your children are more likely to be patient with others as well, including your future grandchildren. An increase in your patience helps everyone.
Consider these ideas in striving to become a more patient parent:
1. Pretend that someone is watching you and your child. This is a classic tip that really works. Everyone’s behavior improves when they believe they have an audience. Maintaining your composure is much more likely if you pretend that someone is watching you.
2. Remind yourself of what it was like to be a child. Sometimes we forget that we were young once, too. If you can see things from your child’s perspective, you’ll be more likely to keep your emotions under control.
3. Give yourself a break. Sometimes the smartest move is to disengage for a few minutes. Give yourself a chance to collect yourself and then return with a calm composure. Notice how much better your conduct yourself after taking a few minutes.
4. Use the opportunity to change their behavior in the long-term. Kids are just kids. We all know they’re not perfect. You’re their teacher, so use a challenging moment to teach them something valuable.
5. Do a postmortem with yourself. When the situation is over, ask yourself how you could’ve handled the situation better. Then visualize yourself handling the situation in the new way. If you do this enough times, you patience will continuously improve. This is the road to developing a high level of patience.
6. Keep your eye on the big picture. Kids are designed to be totally unreasonable at times. As adults, most of us keep our behavior within certain limits. Children don’t have the same inhibitions. That’s why your 5 year old can flop on the floor of the store and scream bloody murder.
7. Count to 10 or take 10 deep breaths. Even better, do both at the same time. You can avoid your initial impulse to overreact. You’ll be able to feel the frustration melting away. If you count aloud, you’re children will also learn when to make a hasty exit.
8. Set a goal to be more patient. Intention counts for a lot. Start each day with the intention of being a more patient person in general. Practice patience with everyone in every situation. If you’re a more patient spouse, friend, and employee, you’re bound to be a more patient parent, too.
- Having a goal creates a target and helps to bring about focus. It’s challenging to become more patient if you don’t have patience as a goal. Give it a try.
Patience can be nurtured. Put these tips to the test and see how they increase the amount of patience you display with your kids. As you develop your patience, you’ll discover your relationship with your children strengthening too.