It can be downright frustrating to be on the receiving end of a child throwing a fit or temper tantrum. The minute you turn your head, they yell or scream louder. Or, sometimes worse, they throw tantrums when they do not get what they want. These behaviors are enough to drive a parent crazy, but when they happen 10 times in one day, it can seem as though the child’s powerful emotions have possessed them for the entire day. When children act out, it is often because they do not understand what you want them to do, and they lack the skill to use language to communicate their wants.
Being a parent means having more patience than you ever thought possible. You want to instill it in your kids too, even when it is hard. But raising kids who are patient with one another can be even harder. Whether you are raising a sibling rivalry-prone toddler or a kindergartner who is always pushing your buttons, here are some tips for raising kids who know how to be patient with others.
Here Are Tips for Being More Patient with Your Children:
Listen to Your Child.
They may not come up with the cleverest ideas but tend to know more about what is going on in their lives than you do. Be patient. When you hear “patience,” you probably picture a boring and long drive. Patience is not about driving for hours, though. Patience is being able to listen to your child when they tell you something, even if they are totally wrong. Patience is that knack of perfect timing of stepping in and backing off. Patience is knowing when to be firm and when to let it be. We can make our children feel like their feelings matter when we have patience.
Talk to Them
Children are always seeking our approval and attention. As a parent, this can sometimes make patience a challenge when your children do things that annoy you. You could be tempted to yell or threaten to take away privileges. However, most children do not respond well to those two approaches, and sometimes a simple conversation is all that is needed.
Respect Your Child’s Preferences.
They may not love broccoli, but they love tacos and ice cream. Children have preferences. They want to listen to the same music as your cousin, they want to play with the same toys as the kids down the street, they want the same books you read to them—and they want you to spend time with them, too. But sometimes, kids can be stubborn, and you may have to repeat yourself, impose conditions, or explain things repeatedly.
Do not Make Assumptions.
What may seem not obvious to your child might be to you. Children have no idea how much patience you have until they are old enough to voice their concerns. In the early years, you can assume they are feeling just fine and that they’ll eventually understand things fully. However, kids’ expectations shift somewhere between 6 to 10 years old. Suddenly, they become demanding, defiant, and argumentative. As a parent, this can get frustrating, but try not to take it personally.
Establish Small Goals.
Establishing small goals in your parenting journey is key. Setting small goals allows you to check off baby steps and slight progress through it all. Goals could be by weeks, months, quarterly, or twelve-month. When you have small goals, it allows you and the kids to celebrate that success. Instead of focusing on the end goal, you are more familiar with the small things.
Not having enough patience with your children is a common concern, but you can make things better. Everyone struggles with patience at some point or another, and while there is no magic cure, there are things you can do to help you be more patient with your children.