5 tips for being a patient parent

be patient with toddler
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Rob Charteris RMN, BSc Hons, CBT practitioner

Patience is a 2 way process

 

In today’s world of instant gratification patience is more necessary than ever.

You need to be patient so that your kids have time to learn and your kids need to learn patience to avoid the consequences of having everything they want when they want it.

Snacking between meals is just one example of lack of patience. If you allow your children to eat whenever they want don’t be surprised when they won’t eat healthy foods and pile on the weight!

Here are 5 tips for being patient to pass on patience.

  1. Model patience:Being patient doesn’t mean just being able to wait; it means being able to wait calmly without giving signs of irritation. Eye-rolling and sighing are not signs of patience. Humor and understanding are. It can be difficult to remain patient when you’re trying to get ready for an important meeting but you can do it. If you show patience under stress your children will pick it up without even knowing.

2.Use reflective listening: Reflection is the art of letting someone know you heard and understood them. If your kids are complaining because they are late for something or having to wait, you can use this skill. Say what they say back to them in new words and they will know you understand their frustration and are doing all you can or should be.

3.Timers: If you are constantly saying “In a minute” and it is usually 20, you need a timer or a watch. It is best to give people realistic time schedules so that they feel respected. If you said 5 minutes time 5 minutes and if you’re not ready – apologize. Giving this sort of respect is the best way to get it back!

4.Use games to pass time: Sometimes you just have to wait. Make this easier for your kids to bear by playing “I spy” or tell them a story. They will learn that spare time should not be wasted and can be used for fun!

5.Activities that require patience: One of the downsides of screen focused lifestyles and a heavy focus on technology is that kids are over-exposed to instant gratification. Choose projects and activities that require time and patience, such as planting, mosaics (with paper), and pottery, and slower-moving games like Monopoly. By investing in games that require a little more time, children will come to see that “good things come to those that wait”.

 

 

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