Children can sometimes be annoying. They like to play games that adults don’t enjoy. When was the last time you wanted to play with dolls, climb a tree, or ride your bike up and down the cul-de-sac? They’re loud. They complain. They know how to push your buttons.
Children can be a great source of frustration. They’re also a great source of joy.
You can embrace the joy and show your unconditional love with patience. After all, they depend on you to teach them how to best get along in this world. Why not exemplify patience and give them a gift they’ll never outgrow?
Be a more patient parent with these strategies:
1. Understand your trigger points. When are you most likely to be unreasonably impatient? Is it at bedtime? After a hard day at work?
- Make a list of your trigger points and keep it handy.
- Is there anything you can do to change the situation? Maybe you could listen to relaxing music on the ride home after a long day. Could you alter your children’s bedtime routine?
2. Where does the challenge lie? You’ve seen wonderful children with impatient parents and misbehaving children with incredibly patient parents. Neither situation is ideal. How well do your children behave? It’s not easy to assess our own kids accurately.
- Ask the most reasonable person you know whether they consider you to be a patient or impatient person. Then ask them how well they think your children behave. Ask them to be completely honest.
- Put your attention where it will be most productive. You’re not doing yourself or your children any favors if you accept poor behavior.
3. Visualize yourself being patient in challenging situations. Use your list of situations that try your patience the most and imagine yourself dealing with those situations calmly and effectively. When you’re faced with the real situation, you’ll have a better chance of dealing with it appropriately.
4. Be patient with yourself. Everyone is impatient at times. We aren’t static. This is good news, because it means we can change. Accept that you’re only human and that you’ll have the occasional bad day.
5. Pause before you act or speak. The greatest damage occurs when you fail to take a moment before making a decision. You can save yourself a lot of grief if you take a minute to pause when you’re upset. Take 10 deep breaths, regain your composure, and then make your decision.
6. Give yourself a timeout. If you’re unable to find a peaceful mental place, take 15 minutes. When you’re upset, you lose the ability to make good decisions. If no one is bleeding or on fire, they’ll survive for 15 minutes while you collect yourself.
7. Consider the perspective of your child. Children have little power or control over their lives. You’re holding all the cards. When you act in a way that’s frightening or unreasonable, your child loses trust in you. What could be more frightening? You could be causing more damage than you realize.
- On the other hand, children are also quite resilient and forgiving. You don’t have to be perfect, but it’s important to be reasonable. Your children deserve it.
If you’re impatient with your children, you’re not alone. Children can be a challenge to your ability to remain calm, cool, and collected. However, you can change. You can become a more patient parent. Enhance your ability to deal with frustration and prevent frustration from occurring with these tips you can use every day.
About The Author – Ed Gough, Jr.
Ed's experience working with fathers and men injects an extra dose of thoughtfulness into all of his conversations in these areas. His mission is to bring purpose and clarity to fathers' and men's lives. He believes that "the better men are, the better the world will be".
Ed has been a member of Dad central (Ontario) Steering Committee since May 2019. Ed hosts Dad Central's monthly epic events and was the moderator for the "Dad's Panel" at the 2019 Side-by-Side: Fatherhood Matters in the Early Years" conference.
Ed has been the host and producer of his own award winning online show The Dr. Vibe Show™ for the last decade. He's done over 2000 interviews with people from all over the world. In 2018, The Dr. Vibe Show™ was the recipient of the Innovation Award by the Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA). Since May 2013, The Dr. Vibe Show™ is the first and only online show to be regularly featured on the popular U.S. based men’s website The Good Men Project.
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