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Teach Your Child to Be Patient

Patience is a virtue, or so they say. But being patient is a concept that is normally not experienced or commonly known, especially with children, unless taught. When there is so much to be anxious about in this world it’s understandable that children just don’t have the patience to wait. With their birthday, the big game, Christmas, New Year, summer vacation, etc., it seems like all children do is anticipate the next big thing to happen in their life.

With “I can’t wait for…” or “Are we there yet?” being frequently spoken by children, the best way to fight impatience is to teach patience. Patience isn’t merely a great quality for children to have right now; it will continue to help children be successful in their adult lives as well. Patience can lead to self-control, understanding of how things work, and helps them to maintain and overcome adversities in their adult life, and helps develop social and interpersonal relationships.

Preschool
It is adamantly preprogrammed in children to be impatient, although that doesn’t make it right. Just as young children have to learn how to walk and talk they need to learn how to be patient. It starts with parents showing patience to their children, whether we are on a time constraint or not. For instance; you have to run an errand and it is time to leave the house and you want them to pick up their toys first. Try to reinforce the theory of patience and simply give them a hand (without doing it for them). “We have to leave the house in two minutes, so let me help you pick up your toys to make it go faster.”

Sooner or later (be patient it’ll probably be later than sooner), children will begin to understand everything will need patience to get through. When you and your child are waiting for an appointment in the waiting room. Talk about turns and how everyone has to patiently await their turn. “We are after one other person before we get to see the doctor, we have to be patient and wait for them to call our name just like all the other children. While we are being patient we can always do something to help pass the time, like read this book.”

If your child showed a patient behavior at the doctor’s office or wherever it is they need to wait, reward their behavior. “I thought you did a very good job being patient while we were waiting. To thank you for that you can pick what you want to do next. EShould your children show a behavior that was not appropriate take a moment to explain the importance of being patient and instruct them when they do show patience they will be rewarded.

Main points to address:

  • Don’t reward impatience, but reward patience.
  • Show patience even with time constraints.

Grades K-3rd
When children get excited about something they want they are ready to receive that “right now, Eyet so many things take time to obtain. A great lesson for your children to learn is how most things take time to create, receive or obtain. Build something with your child that takes time such as a tree house, an outside playhouse, doghouse or any other project that takes time to make. As you work on this project day-by-day or week-by-week it will demonstrate to your children how patience and persistence will ultimately make your goal successful.

Another great way to teach your young children about patience is to talk about future events such as holidays, birthdays or family events that will be taking place. Sit down with your children with a calendar and count the days together until the day the event will take place. Point out how patience will play a role in waiting for that special event.

Main points to address:

  • Build something that takes time.
  • Talk to them about exciting events and the time it takes for them to come around.

Grades 4th-6th
Once your children get older and have the ability to understand pros and cons allow them to help make decisions in the family unit. Understanding decision-making can make a big difference in your child learning patience. Even if you don’t fully allow your child’s opinion to make or break your decision allow them to be interactive with their opinions.

Acceptance, understanding, patience, are all similar qualities each maintaining another. When you understand you accept, when you accept you allow change, when you allow change you are patient. Accept your child’s desires and opinions as important beliefs and theories. Even if your child’s desires and opinions differ from your own, allowing them to be an individual will help to maintain the patience in your child.

Main points to address:

  • Allow your child to be interactive in decision-making.
  • Accept your child’s desires.

Resources
Resources that can help you in your venture include:

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