We all lose our patience, regardless of if we’re a parent, a spouse, or a friend. Why? Well, because we’re human; and have emotions. But if you are a parent, there’s a whole other level of patience required when handling your children. You know what we’re talking about. It’s the “I love you so much, but you make me want to scream” level of patience.
Children inherently know how to test our patience and push us to our limits. It’s pretty amazing how good they can be at it. Because of this we’ve probably all said the phrase, “I need to learn to be more patient” many times over! But how do we teach ourselves to be more patient?
Check out these tips to practice better patience:
- Identify your trigger. We all have them. It may be a word, a phrase or even a time of day. Identifying what may set you off will help you determine how you need to assess the situation better to avoid the meltdown! Do you lose your patience when you’re hungry or tired? Is it only when you may be running late or constrained on time?
- How do you react? Your physical and mental reactions can help you identify when you are about to lose your cool. Does your breathing increase or your heart start racing? Are you questioning your child’s sanity? This is a good time to tell your child “Mommy is starting to lose her patience and is about to get upset.”
- Make a plan. Identifying your triggers and your reactions can help you determine when or even why your patience wears thin. Using this information, you can develop a plan to try to avoid these situations or to handle them better. Maybe it means you need more time in the morning to get ready? Or maybe you shouldn’t schedule so many activities back to back? It could be as simple as talking to your child about those times of the day and why it’s important for them to listen so you can keep on a schedule.
- Set aside time for yourself. Yes, you can share this post with your spouse to tell them we told you to “take a break.” As parents, we’re so concerned with our family that we most often forget to take time for ourselves. It’s important to take a break and take care of yourself. You need time to decompress (we all do!). It helps us to become better and more focused. It is essential to set aside this time for yourself. You can’t get far running on fumes.
In the end, we’re not superheroes (don’t need to tell your kids that). We’re parents, which is much harder. As long as we’re doing our best to be our best, that’s what truly matters.
TKD Tip: Patience needs to be practiced. It’s not going to change overnight. Don’t beat yourself up because you lose it a few times. Do your best to identify why you lost your patience and make a promise to try and better yourself when the next occasion might occur.
Parent/Child Activity: Children lose their patience, too. Sit down with your child and teach them what “patience” means and discuss ways in which you both could be more patient. Giving examples helps and it’s also a great reminder for when you tell them you’re “starting to lose patience.”