Patience is a virtue. Or at least that is what adults tell children or a daily basis, but do we as parents ever apply it to ourselves? When asking for the fifth time for the child to stop what they are doing and come to the dinner table, do we ever say to ourselves “Patience is a virtue”. No, of course not! Patience is for children and not for adults, right?
Wrong! Without applying patience towards our children on a daily basis, we make for a very fraught existence.
Children, especially toddlers, get absorbed in what they are doing, whether it is playing with toys or emptying your bag into the compost heap. They don’t realize that they are needed else where, why should they? They are having a great time! And without patience (and persistence) we as parents are likely to go stark raving mad!
Patience isn’t however something that comes naturally to most. It is a skill, like everything else in life that has to be taught and nurtured.
Patience is developed through communication. I know you are probably thinking that “I can’t communicate with my child, because they are a child!” Well, no. Children have a much larger capacity for understanding than we give them credit for. And communicating with them enables them to be good communicators, helping to prevent frustrations (and tantrums) later on in life.
If you consider how you react to adults or older family members who push your patience to the limit, then you will begin to understand how your toddler needs to be treated. Most people, when pushed, will remove themselves from that situation. No one wants to get into a yelling match, and it would not be accepted in adult society. Nor should it be accepted in your child’s world.
I know that at times you can not remove yourself literally from the situation, but you can mentally. Taking deep breaths, humming, listening to music, whatever you can do to ease the situation do!
Once you have regained your cool, readdress the situation. If you are patient, you will win. The child will do as you ask, and if you continue to behave patiently, then you will be thanked by raising a patient child.
Remember not to rake things personally. Your child is not trying your patience because of some deep seated emotional resent that they hold towards you. They are just a child and are behaving as such. It is hard not to think that they are misbehaving or not listening just to get on your nerves, but seriously is that likely? No, they are just being children and having fun.
And remember if all else fails, try and try again!