Never underestimate the power of patience!  Think about how much smoother situations you experience, and in turn, your days go, when you are able to remain patient.  By remaining patient with your child and yourself, you are gaining more than you may realize.  By utilizing the five parenting tips below, you and your family are gaining:  more peace, more time to get things done, increased empathy, compassion, and understanding of one another, and more quality time together to focus on things that really matter to all of you.

Five effective parenting tips for increasing your patience:

  1. Predict delays
  2. Build in a cushion into your time frame
  3. Take deep breath, count to 10 or 1,000 if needed
  4. Ask yourself, “In the grand scheme of things how important is this?”
  5. Enjoy the wait!

First, predict delays:  If you plan for and expect delays you will stay calm as these delays occur.  This means planning for the delays that occur on a regular basis, as well as accepting that some delays happen without warning. I.E.: car won’t start.  An example of a delay you can “predict” is if your child is not a morning person.  You know if this is the case, he/she will move at a snail’s pace, slowing your morning down.

Second, build in a cushion:  If you know you need to leave your house at a certain time, make sure that you build in a cushion to your time frame.  If you know, in order to be on time, you need to leave by 8:30am, try telling your child you need to leave by 8:00am.  This gives you a thirty minute cushion, allowing you to remain calm and patient as time is ticking “away.”

Thirdly, when you feel your blood starting to “boil,” and your frustration/anger rising catch yourself before you begin to react.  As you start to feel the frustration taking over your body and mind, listen to those cues, and take a deep breath; count to 10, or 1,000 if needed.

Fourth, ask yourself in the, “grand scheme of things, How important is this?”  If it is not a high priority, “don’t sweat it.”  You will get there when you get there, or the task will get done, when it gets done.  You stressing and losing patience is only a guarantee of one thing.  It will only delay things further, or completely stop them in their tracks.  You will be achieving the exact opposite of what you needed/wanted to accomplish.

Lastly, learn to enjoy/appreciate the wait.  If you are going to the store and your child stops to smell a pretty flower, rather than hurry him up, retrieve the gift you have been given.  It’s the gift of more time with your child, and a reminder to stop and “appreciate the little things in life.”  There is a lot to be said for taking the time to “see the world, through the eye of a child,” especially your own child!

In conclusion: the ability to effectively increase your patience is more about you, the parent, then you may recognize.  You have a choice of how you choice to allow your child’s behavior to effect/affect you.  You also have a choice as to how you react to your child’s behavior.  Simply changing your perspective/reaction to a behavior, will drastically change the outcome of a situation that your are experiencing.  Whether or not you experience something as a positive or a negative is NOT about your child’s behavior.  It IS ABOUT your choice of how to REACT TO IT!  The level of patience you exhibit is in your control, in your hands, not your child’s hands.  The behavior your child participates in, is not a power button for your patience.  You are in control of the level of patience you have at any given moment in time.

©Possibilities R Infinite; Sharon Birn, November 4. 2015