Most of us parents will agree that patience and children never, ever go together. A lot of effort, in the form of coaxing, punishment, pleading, rewards, threats go together in a situation where some patience is desired from a child. But hold, on, are we adults as patient as we would like our kids to be? You can take the cues from our post to be a patient parent, and try to imbibe the necessary quality of patience in your children through this piece. It might seem hard at first, but will blossom your child’s overall personality and make him a better person. Read on!
Why Is It Important To Teach Patience To Your Child?
Patience is an important virtue for our children to master. Well, it is important for us adults too. The world has become so fast and everything has become so accessible and convenient that even a small delay frustrates us. As our children grow up to be adults, this situation will only worsen. Patience can, however, come very handy. It helps them be relaxed when there is a delay. It teaches them not to give up if things do not go in their favor the first time. It teaches them to take turns, and give turns, making them more sociable and likable. It even gives them better self-control. The benefits are so many. Despite this, many parents would rather have their kids be more aggressive than patient. Why? Because of the misconception that aggressiveness is what today’s world requires. On the contrary, research clearly shows how patient kids become star pupils.
So how to teach your child to be patient? Some children are naturally more patient than the others. While others, need everything they want immediately! If you have a child in the latter group, we hope you find this article helpful.
10 Tips To Teach Patience To Your Child
Here are 10 tips to teach patience to your child.
Use a timer: The biggest challenge in teaching patience to children is that they do not understand the concept of time well. The differences between “now”, “soon” and “later” can be just matter of minutes for them. So, if you tell them something will be done later, they will start asking for it again in few minutes. One way to give them a better sense of control over time is to introduce them to a timer (a digital one or a sand timer, depending on their age). Let them know clearly how long they will have to wait, with the help of this timer. Watching the timer ticking away, or the sand falling down, make for a great way to pass time too!
Stop immediate gratification: One way we make our kids impatient is by rushing to them every time they want something. The battery in the piano is drained? Do not run to change it immediately. Let them understand that their needs are not the top most priorities for everyone
Praise patience:Positive reinforcement goes a long way! If you child shows patience while waiting for your order in a restaurant, or while waiting for your turn to meet the doctor, praise that! Ensure they know you notice!
Start gardening: Most of the activities we engage our kids in give quick results. This becomes their expectation soon! To avoid this, engage them in an activity like gardening where the fruit of the actions bear a bit slowly. Let them sow some seeds, water it every day, see the sapling grow, become big and finally flower! Lot of patience, and even more happiness!
Keep promises: If you have promised your child you will paint with her after you finish cooking, deliver on that promise. Your child needs to understand that if he/she waits patiently, whatever was promised will be done. If you break promises, next time you ask your child to wait, he/she will not be so understanding as they will get the impression nothing will come out of waiting
Make the wait interesting: Let us face it. They are after all, kids. Their attention span is low. Their understanding of time is bleak. Let us not make the waiting a torturous game. If you know you have to wait for an hour to meet the doctor, ensure you carry a book to read for the child, get a small puzzle she can occupy herself with or engage her with an activity book. You could even tell the child a story!
Be a good role model: This must be the hardest tip for you. Your child learns a lot from your behavior. If you get impatient with a 2 minute delay in getting your order, or if you start tapping your fingers or feet at the doctor’s office, or if you start complaining, or if you start sighing loudly – none of them are signs of patience. Sure, you are waiting. But you are not being patient
Engage in activities that require patience: Just like gardening, there are many art and craft projects that require lot of patience and waiting. Pottery, for instance. Or Mosaic art. Introduce your child to these
Prepare them: Most often, they crib when they were not expecting to have a long waiting time. This is why it is important to prepare them mentally so that they know what they can expect. Realistic approaches work best with children
Divert: Teach them how to make waiting more interesting by diverting their attention to other things. Listening to music, watching and observing people passing by, looking at the big TV in the waiting room and talking to a similar aged child who is also waiting are some of the examples
And remember, if they do not get the hang of it the first time, BE PATIENT. They will eventually master the virtue.