Patience is the first of the 3 P’s to parenting: Patience, Persistence, and Positivity. These are the three key ingredients to growing great kids. It begins with patience because it’s patience that allows our brains slow down, gather our wits, and think with wisdom and creativity. When we realize that raising a child is a long term task and that they absolutely need our guidance, it might help to slow us down a bit and take the time needed to do it right. There’s no need to rush something that we want to last forever.
Keys to Patience
Give children many opportunities to practice patience. It takes 3-20 times to learn something and 30 – 60 times to fix something learned wrong. Let your children know that if they can’t take a “no” as well as they take a “yes”, then we need to practice “no” more often.Your children are intelligent human beings – treat them that way. Expect that they can learn and anything less doesn’t give them the dignity that they deserve. They can control their behavior when we expect them to.Slow down your response time. Put a pause on your response. When our children want our attention, help them to learn that non-emergencies can wait when we are in the middle of something else. I used to tell my children and students who wanted my immediate attention that I wasn’t ignoring them, I was paying attention to someone else.
Patience is our ability and willingness to suppress our reactive desires in order to produce a more positive result. It means to take that extra few seconds to listen with understanding and empathy and reach into our frontal lobes and allow wisdom to speak clearly. When we say “no” to the multitude of requests from our children, what we are really saying is “yes” to something more important. We are saying “yes” to their health when we say “no” to another piece of candy. We are saying “yes” to the wonder and awe of their minds when we say “no” to screen time. We are saying “yes” to greater happiness in the future when we say “no” to a moment of pleasure. Patience is the realization that waiting for a big “YES” is better than being irritated by a little “no”.
“Patience is a form of action.” – Auguste Rodin
“Patience may be bitter, but its fruits are sweet.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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